Apple Inc. is reportedly in talks with Sonder Design, an Australian startup, related to its dynamic keyboard technology, 9to5Mac reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions. According to the report, the U.S. tech behemoth is interested in using a laptop version of Sonder Design’s dynamic keyboard, which uses electronic ink to change key labels on the go.
Apple Interested in Laptop Version of Sonder’s Keyboard
Sonder Design confirmed that it held discussions with Apple. The startup noted that Foxconn International Holdings and E Ink Holdings are assisting in the talks, which were carried out with members of Apple’s procurement board.
Sonder’s keyboard is currently available for pre-order on its website for $199. The keyboard utilizes electronic ink technology and offers dynamic, contextual keys that can be customized as per users’ preference.
Apple is expected to unveil a new MacBook Pro on Thursday, October 27. Reports suggesting that the MacBook Pro will be a thinner and lighter notebook. It will come with several new features including the Touch ID sensor, touch bar, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. The rumor mill claims that the notebook will feature an OLED display touch bar just above the keyboard, replacing the keyboard’s current top row of function keys.
According to the reports, Apple is interested in using a laptop version of Sonder’s keyboard, which the startup has built for OEMs. Currently, Sonder Design is accepting orders for a standalone keyboard product.
The iPhone maker is interested in the laptop module that can be seen in this video:
However, the laptop module being shown to Apple has every single key is dynamic and backlit, according to sources.
9to5Mac reported that Sonder Design told the publication that it is “currently closing B2B procurement contracts with three 3rd party laptop companies to integrate our technology into their products.”
Will MacBook Pro 2016 Get a Magic Keyboard?
It’s still not clear how Apple is going to use the Sonder technology in MacBooks. There is no guarantee that Apple will use a smart keyboard in the upcoming laptops.
“Given the timing, you probably aren’t going to get a MacBook with this keyboard any time soon. Even if Apple has a contract in place (there’s no guarantee that it has), you probably wouldn’t see these livelier keyboards until 2017 at the earliest,” according to a report in Engadget.
Apple Inc. is reportedly will launch the MacBook Pro on October 27. Rumors suggest that the new notebook will feature a Touch ID sensor, which is expected to sit somewhere near the touch pad or form part of the top Apple logo. The next generation Macbook will come with an OLED screen, which will offer better visuals with greater color contrasts. It will boast a quadruplet of USB-C ports, two on each side, maybe even with a few new color variations.
The new Macbook is expected to come in 13 and 15-inch variants with price estimates around $1,099 to $1,300.