Microsoft’s constant development of technology leads to numerous patents. Some fly under the radar, while others demand attention. In terms of developing its Surface products, the company has plenty of developments cooking. The latest Microsoft patent shows how the next Surface keyboard will improve the typing experience.

Windows Latest discovered the patent published by USPTO. ‘PUSH BUTTON WITH HAPTIC FEEDBACK’ was filed in July 2017 but published last week. The patent describes a Surface keyboard that improves typing and reduces the thickness of the deck.

As the patent title suggests, the underlying technology provides a method for creating a more fluent feel when typing. Users will receive a more accurate haptic response, allowing faster and more efficient typing.

Microsoft explains how it has developed a new keyboard experience. The company says current mechanical keys have a rubber dome under the buttons. While good typing traction is possible with these keys, they limit how thin the keyboard can be.

“Mechanical key design for keyboards often includes rubber or metal dome switches along with scissor mechanisms that offer a desirable feel and overall performance or achieve the key travel necessary to meet shrinking overall keyboard thickness specifications, but not both. Haptic feedback devices offer a user sensory feedback signifying a selection has been made without any physical travel of a keypad, but also may not offer the user a desirable feel and overall performance. The following describes in detail keys or push buttons that offer the user a desirable feel and performance, while meeting shrinking overall keyboard thickness specifications,” the company explained.

“Implementations described and claimed herein provide a push button comprising a spring element with a user-perceptible physical travel upon depression of the push button, and a haptic element that simulates additional travel of the push button upon depression of the push button.”

Pen and Dial Changes

Last week we reported on a Microsoft Patent that aims to change the Surface Pen and Surface Dial. A Microsoft Patent for the Surface Pen was filed in August 2016 and published earlier this week. Microsoft describes the company’s efforts to create a printed circuit board that would be placed in a battery-powered pen.

As for the Surface Dial, Microsoft has a patent titled “PERIPHERAL USER-INTERFACE DEVICE” and was filed back in July 2017 and published last week.

This patent discusses the development of a touch sensor system that would allow added functionality. Microsoft says the sensor could be capacitive, touch, or resistive, and would also be multitouch.