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If Apple Has Touch Bar, Microsoft Has An 'Adaptive Keyboard'

By Angelie Cagay , Nov 04, 2016 03:08 PM EDT
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Last October 27 Apple held an event and introduced the newly refreshed MacBook Pro lineup, Impressive as expected. In addition to new high-end MacOS notebooks that are thinner and lighter, the most important announcement was the new OLED Touch Bar that replaces the old function keys with a new app-specific touchscreen running on top of the keyboard called "Touch Bar"

A concept for adaptive hardware began back in 1999, with an idea that PCs could display action keys and hide other parts of the keyboard based on context. Steven Bathiche, director of research in Microsoft's applied sciences group, spent years investigating keyboards that changed their function keys and actions based on applications on the screen. While most of the work was primitive compared to today's touchscreen interfaces, a lot of the concepts behind Apple's MacBook Touch Bar were investigated by Microsoft's research teams, according to The Verge.

research in 2008 finalized by Microsoft, which they describe as an "Adaptive Keyboard." Microsoft's Adaptive Keyboard includes a tangible keyboard with a display underneath it, and programmable display key tops, with a large touch display area above the keys.

What's an Adaptive Keyboard? It is a research prototype developed by Microsoft Hardware to explore how combining display and input capabilities in a keyboard can allow users to be more productive. The keyboard incorporates a large, touch-sensitive display strip at the top. In addition, the display continues underneath the keys, allowing the legends to be modified in real time. This lets you do things like change the character set to a different language or display command icons, mentioned from MS Power User.

Moreover, it's an equally handy device that would offer squarely the same advantages. In fact, Microsoft's Adaptive Keyboard is reasonably even more functional, with a bigger screen that's capable of giving more capabilities. Watch the video below for more details.

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