May 5, 2022
As reported by 9to5Mac, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to Apple for an extractable mouse consisting of removable keys from a keyboard.
According to Apple, this would relieve users of the burden of carrying a separate mouse when using a portable computing device such as a laptop or tablet, while also providing the benefits of a handheld peripheral mouse.
The patent illustrations show two possible variations of this invention. One is that a single key can detach to create a very small mouse, and another is a section of keys can detach which would together form the mouse.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will incorporate this patent into its consumer products. Critics have questioned the practicalities of the patent, including raising concerns about how one would be able to use the keys that were detached while using the mouse.
Time will tell whether a practical application will result from this patent.
Authors: Eran Rubman and Mark Leonard