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Apple Patent Imagines a Keyboard without Keys

After ditching traditional keys on its most popular products, Apple may now be thinking about phasing out the keyboard on its MacBook, too. The company filed a patent that was made public on Thursday for a "force-sensitive input structure for electronic devices."

United States Patent and Trademark Office

The patent describes technology that would replace the laptop keyboard with a "metal contact layer" (basically a large track pad) according to the filing. The "sense layer" underneath the track pad reacts to touch and will eventually configure itself to be customized to whatever you're doing.A user will be able to position keys, shortcuts, and symbol groups wherever they want on the track pad.

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The new design could also reduce the number of panic-stricken MacBook users who spill coffee on their laptops while typing term papers. According to the patent, without keyholes, the likelihood of "debris and/or liquid" dropping into the interior of your laptop would be reduced.