Apple may be preparing to reinvent the keyboard.
The standard alphanumeric layout, for instance, could be transformed into a task-specific display in which keys could instead be used to execute functions. Audio recording enthusiasts could convert their keys into triggers that adjust volume, speed and various special effects. Photo editing programs could assign tools to individual keys and multi-key combinations.
The patent indicates modifiable key functions would be indicated by “dynamic labels.” These labels, according to a summary posted by patentlyapple.com this week, “may be generated using dynamically reconfigurable labels displaying components such as organic light-emitting diode displays with arrays of pixels, electrophoretic displays with arrays of pixels, or other pixel arrays.”
Currently, users can insert silicon placemats atop