Razer Inc. Patents OLED Keyboard and Mouse, Is Apple Planning a Similar Feature?

OLED keyboard patent from Razer Inc.

Gaming hardware maker Razer Inc. has recently patented a technology that will allow a single OLED display to be embedded in a keyboard right beneath transparent keys. The company also intends to use this technology on a later mouse model.

The tech isn’t particularly new, but it’s not the same as what the Optimus Maximus keyboard uses, either. The keyboard from Art. Lebedev Studio uses smaller, multiple OLED screens, one for each key.

The Razer patent, on the other hand, shows that the keyboard will have a single OLED screen under the keys, and the configuration of the keys can dynamically change depending on what application or game the user has opened.

Apple took this route with the new MacBook Pro, but only as far as creating a Touch Bar with OLED display. Looking at the technology itself, it appears that Apple could be planning something far more significant than a Touch Bar on future devices.

The ideal of a dynamic keyboard has been around for a while, but it seems that the concept could now make it to the mainstream hardware market very soon.

Apple’s implementation is limited at this point, but they already own the technology, and it’s merely a matter of extending the functionality to a regular keyboard. Virtual keyboards abound, but very few are mainstream products.

If Apple did decide to launch a keyboard similar to what the Razer patent shows, then the Cupertino smartphone maker could take a slightly different route to bypass any IP violations. Not that they’ve ever worried about that in the past.

A fully adaptable and dynamic OLED keyboard from Apple would be quite a product, and one that could see some very strong traction in the market as well.

We don’t know if Apple will ever create such a keyboard or other peripheral device that uses OLED to dynamically change the display based on the type of input required, but it’s almost 100% certain that the OLED Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro 2016 is just the beginning of a new tangent in input technology being pursued by the iPhone maker.

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