Now that Apple has implemented touch bar on its MacBook Pro, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think that in future, the entire keyboard, along with the touch pad, will be replaced by a huge-ass touch-based keyboard. Such a design is exactly what Seattle-based industrial design student Daniel Brunsteiner is driving with his MacBook Pro 2018 Concept. The concept is nothing less than audacious, but the possibility is very real and while regular users may not appreciate the huge touch canvas, creative professionals could benefit from it.
Brunsteiner envisioned that the keyboard could be replaced by a huge touch pad at will and together with an Apple Pencil, lets creatives use third-party software like Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook in a more natural way. Now, take that Wacom! (Just kidding! But Wacom, you know it could happen right?) He proposed the touch bar to remain as it, continue serving as shortcuts and function keys, but the rest of the touch area can be switched between a regular keyboard and a big touch pad, and vice versa, whenever required.
The idea is certainly enticing, but it wouldn’t have the tactile feel like a traditional keyboard, would it? No, it wouldn’t, but that will be alleviated by Apple’s own Taptic Engine that will simulate the feel of physical buttons. Brunsteiner also suggests that the Taptic Engine-equipped touch surface “could also be beneficial for visually-impaired people, for it could display Braille and emulate the feedback required to read it.” Well, about that, we are not sure if the haptic-enabled touch surface could mimic that feel and so, I am not sure how it is going to pan out.
Then again, it is a concept and if Apple do toy with Brunsteiner’s idea, I am sure they will figure out a way to make it happen. Ok, maybe I am just being optimistic here. Whatever it is, I won’t dismiss Brunsteiner’s MacBook Pro 2018 Concept entirely because, if history has taught us anything, it is nothing that technology can’t do.
Images: Daniel Brunsteiner.