Concept imagines OLED Touch Bar on Apple's wireless Magic Keyboard

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 62
    I haven't yet seen anyone answer the question of whether Bluetooth could handle the sharing between the T1 chip (in the keyboard) and the computer's CPU. Because it does appear that they work together -- the T1 is not driving the Touch Bar by itself.

    If it's a problem, then we might be looking at a T2 chip that can drive the Touch Bar by itself.
    edited November 2016 Soli
  • Reply 42 of 62
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,357member
    I haven't yet seen anyone answer the question of whether Bluetooth could handle the sharing between the T1 chip (in the keyboard) and the computer's CPU. Because it does appear that they work together -- the T1 is not driving the Touch Bar by itself.

    If it's a problem, then we might be looking at a T2 chip that can drive the Touch Bar by itself.
    1) Do we know the T1 isn't driving the Touch Bar display and touchscreen? I've asked and looked into and found no absolute information.

    2) BT can handle the data connection for pushing the UI to the Touch Bar because BT+HS piggybacks on the 802.11 protocol (aka WiFi). This, however do affect power usage, but they could add a larger built-in battery so not a huge deal. I think more importantly 1) is the wireless connection fast and efficient enough that a wireless keyboard with the speed shown in the MBP demo, 2) is Touch ID and Apple Pay secure using this sort of wireless connection. For the latter, we know that Apple Pay already works with Macs via the Apple Watch so it's possible via wireless to some degree.

    3) If all these things are feasible in terms of performance and security, the next thing to consider is cost. The larger battery, the display, the T1 chip, Touch ID, Apple Pay, and possible a more robust wireless system would like increase the cost of the keyboard a great deal, which will cause more whining.
  • Reply 43 of 62
    neo-tech said:
    I'd buy 2 of these in a second... wired preferably. I use all 19 function keys and the keypad on the wired keyboard with my ProTools rig.
    Try setting up a Pro Tools rig where a wired keyboard isn't practical! Our trashcan is in a rack behind the console. It would be about a twenty foot cable run (is USB even capable of that?) with the wire strung over the knobs and faders.

    We wound up getting a Logitech SOLAR POWERED wireless keyboard (not great in a dark control room!) because at least it has the number pad Pro Tools users require.
  • Reply 44 of 62
    anomeanome Posts: 1,303member
    mike1 said:
    I have doubts about an external TouchID reader. I think if it came to the desktop it would end up being on the machine, not on the keyboard. You don't want to transmit that stuff wirelessly. 
    Not true at all. I would imagine that if the authentication process resided in the keyboard, only a simple Yes or No would need to be sent to the computer.
    Think about that for a while...


    A simple Yes/No is relatively easy to spoof, so it needs to be a bit more complex to prevent bypassing the Touch ID sensor altogether.

    As I said on another thread, I've been thinking about it, and I think it's easier than I first thought. If you want the Touch ID sensor in the keyboard, then the T1 should be in the keyboard. This has the added advantage of making it available to older machines, rather than forcing everyone to update. So the keyboard checks the fingerprint, works out whether it's valid, and then has to tell the computer that it's OK. If the keyboard is wired, that's relatively simple since it's a direct connection, but wireless introduces the possibility of someone intercepting the signal. A simple Yes/No, as mentioned above is too easy to spoof, so it needs to be encrypted somehow.

    It can be done with standard tokenisation, like the Two Factor authentication you might use for Google or DropBox. Basically, the keyboard and the computer run a piece of code that generates a token based on a number of variables, often including a time stamp, and uses that to determine whether the communication is valid. One advantage it would have, since it doesn't involve any buggy wetware, is that each token can be valid exactly once. If it fails on the first attempt, each component just generates a new token for the next attempt, while a system for people usually has a window during which each token is valid. (Repeated failure would suggest the keys are not synchronised, and would require generating new tokens.)

    To generate these tokens, of course, each component needs to start with a common seed, so they each know the correct values. Systems for people use QR codes or a long string that's entered manually into your phone. (There's then often some background stuff going on, that may include talking to a server to ensure both halves have the correct keys.) For a wireless keyboard, that would be done when pairing the keyboard to the computer. However, doing it wirelessly again introduces the potential for interception. The solution is to simply force the user to pair the keyboard with the computer by connecting it with the Lightning cable. Then all the key swapping, synchronisation, etc can be done over a wired connection. Once that's done, you can unplug it and continue using it to your heart's content.

    For added security, you could even force the user to re-pair the keyboard every 3 months or so, to allow for the keyboard and computer to generate new codes, although that will probably annoy a few people. You will definitely want to have regular firmware updates for the keyboard to protect against security issues, and to take advantage of advances in secure communication. In fact, updating your keyboard becomes a vital security issue.

    Anyway, it is possible to do it over a wireless connection, but Apple may decide it's not worth it, or that the current solution for Apple Pay etc (using your phone to validate) is sufficient. In any event, I doubt they're going to do an extended wireless keyboard, and it probably won't look like that render anyway.

    williamlondonmattinoz
  • Reply 45 of 62
    What about such a keyboard working with iOS? Can't imagine they'd let an opportunity like that bypass them and not take advantage somehow in iOS and iOS apps, assuming they build a keyboard for their other systems, seems quite logical they'd extend that functionality further, right? Can't imagine what they'd put there, but I'm sure they could come up with something clever and quite useful. Perhaps it could be the first step toward a non-touch version of iOS (i.e. where some touch/input functionality is moved to the keyboard)?
  • Reply 46 of 62
    gordygordy Posts: 979member
    None of that is happening. Apple keyboards still aren't backlit, so I doubt this will happen either.
  • Reply 47 of 62
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    ireland said:
    Doesn't look like Apple will make a longer wireless keyboard again.

    As for the 48 hour comment above, that's effectively a wired keyboard - it'd be plugged in too often to be considered wireless, there'd be no reason to unplug it (only to have to plug it back in 2 days later).
    Hence my comment. They are trying to get rid of wires as much as possible, so were the battery life on this be merely 48 hours it likely would never be produced by Apple. Though I get the feeling the battery life would be greater. Though most probably not great enough to convince Apple. Were it me I'd consider a wired version. Though Apple is much bigger on pushing portables these days.
  • Reply 48 of 62
    Oh. I would definitely consider buying this thing. ESPECIALLY if I was using an iMac. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 49 of 62
    Full size? Oh, I would buy the hell out of that thing.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 50 of 62
    Soli said:
    I haven't yet seen anyone answer the question of whether Bluetooth could handle the sharing between the T1 chip (in the keyboard) and the computer's CPU. Because it does appear that they work together -- the T1 is not driving the Touch Bar by itself.
    1) Do we know the T1 isn't driving the Touch Bar display and touchscreen? I've asked and looked into and found no absolute information.
    My source for the information is Ars Technica
    ... developers who have dug into the software and documentation (particularly the tireless Steve Troughton-Smith) have confirmed that it has an ARMv7 CPU core and is actually running an offshoot of watchOS, all of which helps it interact with the rest of the Mac. ... Apple tells us that it has a built-in image signal processor (ISP) related to the ones Apple uses in iPhone and iPad SoCs, something which Troughton-Smith suggests could protect the camera from malware hijacking. And its Secure Enclave handles the encryption and storage of fingerprint data and protects it from the rest of the operating system and its apps, much as it does in iOS.

    When you interact with the Touch Bar, Apple tells us that the majority of the processing is being done by the Intel CPU, although the T1 also appears to do some processing in specific situations for security’s sake, as when Apple Pay is used. But ... the T1 is used to drive the Touch Bar’s screen. From what Apple told me, it sounds like the image you’re seeing is actually being drawn by the main system GPU but is being output to the display by T1, not unlike the way other hybrid graphics implementations work. ... Apple has essentially embedded a miniature iOS device with custom silicon in these Macs so it wouldn’t have to rebuild Touch ID and Apple Pay from scratch. Appropriately enough, the codename for the OS that the Touch Bar runs appears to be “bridge.”
    Solimattinoz
  • Reply 51 of 62
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,357member
    Soli said:
    I haven't yet seen anyone answer the question of whether Bluetooth could handle the sharing between the T1 chip (in the keyboard) and the computer's CPU. Because it does appear that they work together -- the T1 is not driving the Touch Bar by itself.
    1) Do we know the T1 isn't driving the Touch Bar display and touchscreen? I've asked and looked into and found no absolute information.
    My source for the information is Ars Technica
    ... developers who have dug into the software and documentation (particularly the tireless Steve Troughton-Smith) have confirmed that it has an ARMv7 CPU core and is actually running an offshoot of watchOS, all of which helps it interact with the rest of the Mac. ... Apple tells us that it has a built-in image signal processor (ISP) related to the ones Apple uses in iPhone and iPad SoCs, something which Troughton-Smith suggests could protect the camera from malware hijacking. And its Secure Enclave handles the encryption and storage of fingerprint data and protects it from the rest of the operating system and its apps, much as it does in iOS.

    When you interact with the Touch Bar, Apple tells us that the majority of the processing is being done by the Intel CPU, although the T1 also appears to do some processing in specific situations for security’s sake, as when Apple Pay is used. But ... the T1 is used to drive the Touch Bar’s screen. From what Apple told me, it sounds like the image you’re seeing is actually being drawn by the main system GPU but is being output to the display by T1, not unlike the way other hybrid graphics implementations work. ... Apple has essentially embedded a miniature iOS device with custom silicon in these Macs so it wouldn’t have to rebuild Touch ID and Apple Pay from scratch. Appropriately enough, the codename for the OS that the Touch Bar runs appears to be “bridge.”
    Thanks. That's inline with how I think it would work. This does make it possible to implement in a wireless keyboard, but it does offer additional challenges than with the MBP.
  • Reply 52 of 62
    I think after taking so much time showing how useful the touchbar can be, especially for pro and prosumer apps like Final Cut, Photoshop etc, Apple pretty much has to make it available for the iMac, and in the very next iteration.  This isn't like 3D touch, which I still don't miss on the iPad.  This has real potential to ease the learning curve for keyboard short cuts by making context pertinent options available on the bar.  You'd be crippling the flagship desktop if this heralded feature isn't available there - as an option or as standard - as well.  Unless it is less than they suggest, this should be considered a 'must have.'  That said, I don't see why it has to be wireless - whether for speed of data transfer and response or for battery reasons, it may be necessary to have a wire - and make it a proprietary port if need be.   The need to develop that can be added to Kaby Lake, may be the reason for no announcements on the iMac this time.  I think they should have given a roadmap on this issue, so maybe it's going to be a few months.
  • Reply 53 of 62
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,149member
    I haven't yet seen anyone answer the question of whether Bluetooth could handle the sharing between the T1 chip (in the keyboard) and the computer's CPU. Because it does appear that they work together -- the T1 is not driving the Touch Bar by itself.

    If it's a problem, then we might be looking at a T2 chip that can drive the Touch Bar by itself.
    I think Apple have already answered this with a shipping product.

    Apple watch lets you log in and out of your mac(s) based on proximity it then generates a token to tell the computer to log in.
     
    As reported the Touch bar is a mini-watch embedded in the laptop but it isn't on you at all times and always near the mac so proximity to the user can't be trusted.  They need the TouchID to re authenticate each time you return before it can generate the token it needs to send the computer to log in.

    Wireless keyboard would be just a mix of the two. Except it's proximity to either device can't be trusted but the proximity of the touchID to it's secure enclave can be trusted then create a secure connection between the 2. So the secure connection seems to be well solved.

    Also the first gen watch apps the phone cpu rendered parts of the interface then send them to the watch to do screen layout and interaction. Sounds very much like the touch bar works the same way Apps render touch elements themselves send them over to the T1 which does layout then pings back touches and interactions. The watch was laggy first gen so was that software/processor or bluetooth bandwidth causing the lag. Given what they did to improve things with Watch OS2 you'd have to say Bluetooth bandwidth was a big factor.

    Given new Bluetooth standard is close with higher bandwidth then maybe Apple could make that original scheme work to make for the touch bar on a keyboard without the lag that made the watch feel like a first gen product. Also helps the touch bar is off the critical path and even user view unlike the watch so any lag would be less noticable.

     


  • Reply 54 of 62
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member
    I'm throwing handfuls of cash at the screen and nothing is happening!
    mattinoz
  • Reply 55 of 62
    ahubs4032ahubs4032 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Remember the wireless future. Maybe the new keyboard will come with a truly wireless charging mechanism that is built into their new desktops they have yet to release. Apple is known to release small off products like the to test the feature before its released to their main products.
  • Reply 57 of 62
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,149member
    evilution said:
    I'm throwing handfuls of cash at the screen and nothing is happening!
    The screen only takes Apple Pay
  • Reply 58 of 62
    jony0 said:
    mike1 said:
    mike1 said:
    ireland said:
    Doesn't look like Apple will make a longer wireless keyboard again.
    Did they ever? I don't recall a wireless extended keyboard. Been wanting one for years.
    There was an extended "ice tray" model. 
    Thanks. I'll have to search the interwebs for a photo. I don't remember that at all.

    Circa 2009




    Delicious! My fingers are just twitching looking at the keyboard! They just want to start hammering away at it!!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 59 of 62

    Maybe as an interim solution, Apple could release a wireless keyboard with the Touchbar but without the fingerprint scanner.

    With the Touchbar replacing the need to keep grabbing the mouse/ trackpad, it will be a boon on the desktop Macs. Using a mouse on the 27" iMac is pretty cumbersome. The trackpad is much better, but the Touchbar will make it really easy.

    I hope they iron out all the wrinkles, if any, with this soon.

  • Reply 60 of 62
    I'd buy six of them now. Illuminated keys, yes please, with a zero illumination setting. Overnight plugin, no problem - or twice a week, whatever it needs. Direct attachment option via USB would be good. Ship them now!
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