Say goodbye to your beloved QWERTY keyboards – Apple may be making some major changes to its laptops.
The tech giant has teamed up with an Australian startup to turn the standard QWERTY keyboard into a blank slate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The new keyboards will be a standard feature on MacBook laptops, and will be able to display any alphabet, along with an unlimited number of special commands and emojis.
The Journal’s report comes a week after rumors spread that Apple was working with the Australian startup Sonder Design on utilizing some of its dynamic keyboard tech. Sonder Design, which is backed by Apple partner Foxconn, already has an external keyboard available for pre-order.
The Guardian also cites a now-deleted Reddit post, in which the poster claimed to have used a prototype Apple E Ink keyboard developed using Sonder’s technology. The keyboard was said to have back-lighting and an E Ink display on each key, and was seen at a tech incubator event organized by Foxconn — an Apple manufacturing partner and, according to the WSJ, a soon-to-be investor in Sonder.
Reports say that Tim Cook met with Sonder founder Francisco Serra-Martins in China last week to talk about using the keyboard tech, but this has been denied by Songer in a press release. It does not deny though that Serra-Martins was at the event.
If you’re keen to get your hands on a cool, new futuristic keyboard, you’ll have to wait – Apple is reportedly aiming for a 2018 launch, according to tech sources.
And while Apple has not officially confirmed the speculation, a round-up of rumours for the next Macbook Pro seem to prove that a buttonless keyboard is the way Apple is going.
One of the biggest supposed new features on Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro lineup is an OLED display strip that will take the place of the ‘F’ keys (different from the rumoured 2018 keyboard), which are usually found above the row of number keys on a keyboard.
— Martin Hajek (@deplaatjesmaker) June 12, 2016
Business Insider reports that OLED strip is said to let users customize those key functions to show a range of things like volume or brightness control, or even assign one of the keys on the OLED strip to open an app or a shortcut.
Looks pretty cool if you ask me.