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(Pocket-lint) - Could Apple have a tactile touchscreen keyboard in future? While the concept of being able to 'feel' a touch on a screen isn't new, it wouldn't exactly feel natural for typing at present. 

Mind you, typing on a touchscreen hardly feels natural at the moment so anything that could be done for making the experience of typing on an iPad screen would be most welcome. 

After all, it's one thing to tap out a text on an iPhone keyboard but quite another to sit down and type your dissertation on an iPad Pro. 

The patent, discovered by Patently Apple, shows a next-gen haptics tech known as Static Pattern Electrostatic Haptic Electrodes. A variety of voltages could be applied which would make typing on the device feel different.

The site says such efforts could mean that touchscreen keyboards could, in future, potentially emulate the feel of more traditional keyboards - even with concave-feeling 'keys' - so users would be able to find their place on the keyboard without looking down at it. 

Of course, Apple is no stranger to haptic technologies - the home button on the iPhone 7 and 8 weren't physical but solid state, the movement mimicked by haptics, while Force Touch on newer MacBooks - in use since 2015 - also uses haptics.  

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 4 October 2019.