The satirical newspaper The Onion has never been known to be Silicon Valley's must-read periodical for bleeding-edge tech trends. But maybe it should be. Today, Apple wowed the tech press with news that it obtained a patent on a keyless keyboard with a glass panel covering its graphical display. "Apple Is Reinventing the Keyboard" screamed a Business Insider headline. Tech blogger Mic Wright called it Apple's "radical" attempt at "tossing the traditional keyboard in the dustbin." Interestingly, in 2009, The Onion ran a fake news segment about Apple introducing a similar product: a keyless keyboard.
In a particularly witty sketch, fake anchor Andrea Bennett notes that the "tech world is buzzing over Apple's latest must-have gadget... a revolutionary laptop that does away with the keyboard":
Of course, the satirical version is an unusable mess, spoofing Apple's philosophy of design simplification to new heights and its overly-zealous fanboys in the same swipe. Rest assured, the new real-life patent does not rely on a giant click wheel for all of its tasks. As Business Insider explains, "the patent indicates that you wouldn't just be hacking away on a silver slab of nothing. There's LED indicators to tell you which keys you're actually pressing and capacitive sensors for multitouch capabilities." Regardless, it still looks a little confusing to us: