This is still very much in the wishful thinking stage, and there have been no actual product leaks to support the supposition, but Techspot speculating that:
Apple is rumored to be holding a press event before the end of this month where it will show off its new line of MacBook Pros. The refreshed laptops will reportedly feature an OLED touch display above the keyboard that changes depending on which application the user has open. Now, it’s been revealed that a similar system could be implemented into an entire Apple keyboard.
Reddit user Foxconninsider, who works at Tsinghua University (“like the Chinese MIT”), said such a keyboard was on show at a recent closed-doors event on campus, hosted by Apple supplier Foxconn.
Australian startup Sonder was present at the event, showing off a prototype next generation Apple Magic Keyboard that features an E-Ink display on every key. These can change depending on a user’s needs, bringing up different languages, images, and shortcuts. The device could also have many applications when if comes to gaming, especially with titles that use a lot of keys, such as Elite: Dangerous.
Of course we should wait for a leaked component, spec, or other concrete info before putting any weight in the story, but it would be pretty cool if this rumor comes true.
As you can see in the following video, putting an E-ink screen behind a keyboard gives users the option of quickly switching between custom keyboards.
That looks nifty, but it is hard to say whether it will be very useful.
Does anyone really need to change the keyboard that often? And would they need the keys labeled, rather than having memorized the key positions?