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Apple patent application shows keyboard that doesn't require contact, blows air

Zach Honig

We've been generally satisfied with the chiclet-style keyboards that have become omnipresent in laptops and Apple's latest generation of desktop keyboards, but Cupertino feels that these thinner, lower-profile input devices limit tactile feedback. A patent application from Apple, filed in 2009 but only now revealed, aims to improve the user experience by "expelling air from the input device proximate the key when user selection is imminent." That's right -- your keyboard could blow on your fingertips as you blow our minds in the comments. Another solution in the patent would function like a vacuum to pull keys away when a proximity sensor detects that you're about to type, providing simulated feedback. If this concept takes off in the future, your next MacBook Air could really live up to its name.

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