The first time Apple Chief Engineers and the CEO of Input Devices were cheering when they saw this technology in 2002. Their words were, “This is the holy Graal of Input Devices!” (and yes, we have it on tape). Apple had many discussions and negotiations with Swedish Keys and the inventor, Valdi Ivancic, but waited it out trying to go around the patent as well as filing for their own patents.
On June 26, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the development of an LED based keyboard. Although last month’s report titled “Apple Rethinks the Keyboard with Gesture Controls & In-Key Displays to Support Pictograms, Symbols and Glyphs” was far more detailed than todays – it still goes to show us that Apple is continuing their work on this front. This particular invention also points to multitouch displays might be coming to future Macs.
Just like many times before, Apple put their own engineers and designers as inventors of this technology, although they admit on tape over a decade earlier that the Swedish inventor is Valdi Ivancic. Apple credits Craig Leong, James Niu, John Brock, Keith Hendren, Thomas Wilson, Bartley Andre, Mikael Silvanto and Dinesh Matthew as the inventors of patent application 20140118264 which was originally filed in Q 2012.
Apple did the same thing, to the same Swedish inventor with the colors of the first iMac that came in August 1998. Mr Ivancic presented the first PowerMacs to Apple officials on fall 1996 at an event in Stockholm. Present at that meeting were the CEO of Apple Eduction, Europe and the CEO of Apple Education Sweden. Apple credits chief design officer, Jonathan ‘Jony’ Ive.
Apple didn’t manage to get the right patents, since those already were approved world wide for Valdi Ivancic. They have tried to release keyboards and laptops with the technology but ended up with a touch screen on top of their keyboards instead. There are rumours that there soon will be keyvbvboards with all Swedish Keys’ technology since the patents expired and are free to use.