Amid reports of a prototype Apple ‘magic keyboard’, Tim Cook has met with the CEO of Australian tech company Sonder, a pioneer in dynamic, customisable keyboards, The Guardian is reporting. The source claims that Apple may be interested in acquiring the company for its dynamic keyboard tech, found in the company’s smart keyboard that can be customised to accommodate any language, shortcut or custom icon, using the same E Ink technology used by Kindle.
A Reddit user, whose identity has been verified by the moderators, has recently claimed to have used an Apple prototype using Sonder technology at an event at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she claims to have worked. The event was organised by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn for startups it has invested in. Meanwhile, Guardian has also confirmed Tim Cook’s meeting with Sonder’s CEO Serra-Martins in China on Wednesday.
The Reddit user said the chief differences between the Apple prototype and that shown in the Sonder clip was all the keys had a screen and lighting panel, and the display updated instantly with no slow transition from black to white.
“It’s really a solid indication of the future of input technology,” she wrote. “Apple has a reputation of making big leaps which are seen to be unpopular but then become the new standard. “Dynamic keyboards are the standard for phones, they will be for laptops and desktops too.”
Sonder’s own keyboard is due for release later this year, with preorders at US $199. Below is an early demo video of a prototype magic keyboard that uses an adaptive interface developed by Sonder: