Your Next MacBook Could Have a Changeable E Ink Keyboard

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The MacBook keyboard could be in for a big change. Austrailian startup Sonder Design is in talks with Apple to license its dynamic, E-Ink keyboards for upcoming MacBooks, 9to5Mac reports.

Update: 10/19, 10:36 a.m.: The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is aiming to launch a MacBook with this technology in 2018.

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Sonder, a part of Foxconn's incubator program, confirmed to 9to5Mac that talks had indeed taken place. Specifically, Apple's procurement board is interested in a laptop keyboard that Sonder is showing laptop manufacturers, rather than the standalone E Ink keyboard that the company is already selling on its website for $199.

There's no word on whether or not the two struck a deal, but Sonder told 9to5Mac that it's "currently closing B2B procurement contracts with three 3rd party laptop companies to integrate our technology into their products."

MORE: New MacBook Pros Finally Coming in Late October (Report)

A demo video for Sonder's keyboard shows keys switching over from a regular QWERTY style to adding Like and Share buttons for Facebook. Reportedly, the keyboard Apple is looking at can change every single key and is also backlit.

If these talks are just happening now, you shouldn't expect to see E Ink keyboards on the Macs that are rumored to ship this month. Those will reportedly have an OLED touch bar replacing the function keys and will be Apple's first attempt at a dynamic keyboard.

[via 9to5Mac, Image via Sonder Design]

Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
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