MacBooks May Get a Dynamic E-Ink Keyboard, With Rumours of Apple-Sonder Deal

MacBooks May Get a Dynamic E-Ink Keyboard, With Rumours of Apple-Sonder Deal

  • Reports suggest dynamic E-Ink displays might make their way to MacBooks
  • Sonder Keyboard has confirmed that talks with Apple took place
  • Dynamic keyboards allow customisation as per the user’s needs

There have been rumours doing rounds that Apple might introduce an Oled strip to its MacBook lineup, which are expected to launch later this year, with or without the ‘Pro’ moniker. However, if new reports are anything to go by, the Cupertino-based company might be working towards something even bigger for the keyboards on its MacBook lineup in the future.

Apple has reportedly been in talks with Australian company Sonder Design, part of Foxconn’s International Holding’s Incubator program, regarding Sonder’s dynamic E-Ink keyboard. 9to5Mac and TrustedReviews have individually confirmed from Sonder that these discussions took place. The company further confirmed that Foxconn International Holdings and E Ink Holdings are assisting the company in the negotiations.

(Also see: Apple Granted Patent for ‘Fusion Keyboard’ With Multi-Touch Input)

Sonder said that it is “currently closing B2B procurement contracts with three 3rd party laptop companies to integrate our technology into their products,” reports 9to5Mac.

Regarding the discussions, Apple’s spokesperson said, “Sonder has been in discussions with Apple’s procurement board regarding Sonder’s laptop module. Foxconn International Holdings and E Ink Holdings – both strategic partners of Sonder Design Pty. Ltd. are assisting with the above discussions,”reports TrustedReviews.

Sonder’s keyboard uses the E-Ink technology to provide a dynamic keyboard that allows users to customise it as per their requirements. The keys can change their context in terms of languages or symbols. The keyboard will be available in Q4 and can be pre-ordered for $199 (roughly Rs. 13,300). Apple is said to be want a slightly different implementation than what Sonder has shown off – one where every single key is customisable, rather than just the alphabet and number keys, as seen in the demo video below.

However, there are many uncertainties regarding this collaboration as there is no confirmation from the company if there is a deal in place. Further, the capacity in which Apple will implement this technology to its keyboard on MacBook lineup remains to be seen, if the companies do strike a deal eventually.

Several reports have suggested that two new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops introduced in Q4 this year, and that they will come with the an Oled display panel above the keyboard that will act as a replacement for the physical function keys. The new MacBook Pro models are also tipped to sport a Touch ID power button, apart from the Oled function-key panel.



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