Ergonomics done right.®
May 20th, 2011

Apple’s New Patent Brings Ergonomics and Human Factors Research to the Market

The latest from Geeky Gadgets’ Apple News says that Apple has patented an air-driven tactile-feedback keyboard designed to enhance usability of low-profile keyboards. As keyboards continue to get smaller, the tactile feedback provided to the user can be affected resulting in decreased typing speed and/or increased errors. This typically results because slim keyboards do not afford as much travel distance for the keys. To promote optimal keystroke-finger feedback, Apple is exploring using air pressure and proximity sensors, a technology similar to Haptic Feedback Technology. As the user places his finger over the keyboard, a small air stream provides pre-press tactile feedback. This technology is not yet included on products currently in the market, but no doubt will find its way soon. Apple also hopes to use this technology to enhance the development of virtual keyboards that allow you to turn almost any surface into a keypad.