The Touch Bar OLED on the latest MacBook Pro is one of its iconic and perhaps coolest features. However, for those utilizing the iMac and Mac Pro, you guys are out of luck, for a while at least.
Apple's latest patent application shows the Cupertino-based tech giant exploring the idea of bringing the Touch Bar and the Touch ID to the new Magic Keyboard. There have been images from the new patents published by the US Patent and Trademark Office last Thursday.
— Angélique (@ange1914) April 4, 2017
There were 3 patent applications, 20170090596, 20170090597, and 20170090654, all of which identified as "Keyboard with Adaptive Input Row." These patent applications were filed last September 26 crediting 10 people as inventors.
If these were to come true, it would bring the Touch Bar functionality and fingerprint unlocking feature found on the latest MacBook Pro to the iMac and Mac Pro. As an added bonus, the upcoming Magic Keyboard could also be paired with older MacBook Pro models, MacBook Air, and of course MacBook.
The patent describes the Touch Bar interface as a compact screen offering extra commands that the user can trigger, thus changing based on the task the user is performing and its application.
Plus, Apple could have included the separate keyboard image so that the tech giant could cover as many areas with the tech as possible. However, this does not guarantee that Apple does indeed plan on bringing the Touch Bar functionality to the Magic Keyboard.
But at least they are exploring the idea. You never know, this might actually happen in the near future.
In fact, Apple is already holding discussions with Sonder, the dynamic keyboard maker. This could possibly hint that there is more than meets the eye with these recently published patents.
However, the Cupertino-based tech giant has to solve a couple of issues first like frame-rates when using a wireless connection, battery life, and cost. Although judging by the launch of the new Touch Bar functionality, perhaps cost may not be an impossible roadblock to the future of keyboards.
If you want a detailed look at the Apple's published patents, click here. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates on whether the Touch Bar functionality and other features found on the latest MacBook Pro will make it to the Magic Keyboard.