Ever since newspaper editor and printer Christoper Latham Sholes created the now-ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard layout in 1873, other companies have attempted to introduce alternatives they deemed as better. As you can see from the keyboard sitting in front of you, they have all failed. But if one company was able to change the way we input info into our computers, it would be Apple. Too bad then that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has no intentions of replacing QWERTYâ€”though, they do have an idea to improve it.
A recent patent filed by Fingerworks, a company Apple purchased in 2005, shows that the world's most valuable computer company has been exploring the idea of combining a computer keyboard with a mouse/trackpad by building a hybrid physical keyboard that would double as a motion-sensitive input device.
This would be achieved with the help of a series of "slot cameras" positioned around a motion-senstive area that would track finger movements, replicating usual mouse or trackpad functions. Apple offers that the keyboard would have a typing mode and a mouse mode. In short, you would move your fingers around your keyboard instead of a trackpad, and then press the keys when you want to type something. Sounds like the next step to us.