Apple May Ruin the MacBook With a Force Touch Keyboard, Because Thinner is Better

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Apple’s believed to be working on a Force Touch (shudder) keyboard that could become a fixture on future MacBooks. A recently-published patent describes an ‘ultra low travel keyboard’, which would likely work in a similar manner to the new MacBook’s trackpad or the iPhone 6S’ display, sensing and reacting to different levels of finger pressure.

“A keyboard or keyboard key that has a force sensor that measures the force imparted to the key when a user presses the key or rests a finger on a key,” reads the entry. “Key embodiments may also include an actuator that excites the in order to provide feedback to the user in accordance with various feedback methods disclosed herein.”

The filing suggests that different levels of pressure would open up a range of commands, and that each key would offer haptic feedback.

While a crazy-thin laptop would certainly be impressive, I’m not convinced it would add a great deal to the overall user experience, especially as Apple-manufactured keyboards already have an excellent rep. What's more, the buttons on the 12-inch MacBook (which do actually move) have been criticised for feeling too shallow, and it seems likely that a Force Touch version would only add to people's woes.