Whether you love or hate the idea of dynamic keyboards, Apple seems to move gradually in that direction. We've seen the company's design even slimmer, less and less keyboards, and of course, the MacBook Pro series got Apple's first touch screen touchpad implementation in a Mac: Touch Bar.
It's no surprise when the concept designers continue to imagine how a MacBook Pro looks like a full touchscreen keyboard …
The latest from Industrial Design Student Furkan Kasap looks at a radical new design with the keyboard sitting on the front of the Mac, and uses space currently used for the trackpad, while the trackpad is a virtual right.
The existing touch bar remains, but the space released over the virtual keyboard is now used to some kind of giant version that provides more useful app thumbnails.
Like many other concepts, the designer seems to have prioritized a radically new look over ease of use. The track surface is too small, and it is unclear why there are actually two touch beams.
My own opinion is that Apple's next step in this direction is likely to be a kind of hardware-dynamic keyboard, such as that made by Sonder. The biggest obstacle in the way of a full touchscreen keyboard is the feeling.
Haptic feedback does a pretty good job of simulating a keystroke, and Apple is training us to accept ever less keyboard movement, which means we're probably not far from a virtual keyboard that feels like a real one. But it's only half of the job. Touch typists must also be able to place their fingers on the keyboard by feeling and it requires advanced haptics that can simulate the flow of the edges of each key even when not pressed.
Apple is already working on This technology, which makes some more practical versions of this concept a real possibility.
Perhaps the entire site becomes a screen size splash when it detects that we use it as one, switching to a keyboard and some larger version of a touchline when we are not. So while I think this concept is muddled to say the least, it can not be too far away marked in a respect: a gigantic Touch Bar.