Future MacBooks Could Have Contextaware E Ink Keyboards

first_img E-Paper Keys Allow This Keyboard to Adapt to Any TaskAlienware, VR Parties in L.A. Stay on target There’s been talk that Apple plans to add a slick OLED strip of touch-sensitive controls to upcoming MacBooks. Now sources claim that they may get a killer keyboard upgrade, too.What kind of an upgrade, you ask? According to both 9to5Mac and TrustedReviews, Apple is toying with the idea of replacing all those boring old static plastic keys with a full spread of tiny E Ink displays. And it’s about more than just allowing Apple to source a single keyboard for every MacBook regardless of which country it’s going to be sold in.Yes, it’s neat that such a keyboard would allow, for example, Canadians to switch quickly back and forth between full English and French layouts — instead of having to slog on with a bilingual keyboard. The really cool part, though, is that these keyboards could be context-aware.As soon as you fire up an app — say, Final Cut Pro or  Photoshop — your MacBook could transform its keyboard to make commonly-used commands more accessible. Need to bang a boatload of numbers into an Excel sheet? No problem, just flick a software switch and light up a numeric keypad.There’s already a company making keyboards like this. No, not Art. Lebedev. Those Optimus keyboards are very cool and all, but they’re a little too pricey even for the $2499 MacBook Pro. It’s actually Sonder Designs, and a company spokesperson has acknowledged that they have indeed held discussions with Apple.That’s Sonder’s desktop keyboard there, and it’s up for pre-order at $199. Remove the healthy markup for retail and factor in the massive number Apple would be ordering if they go this way, and it’s probably not a terribly big cost to work into a higher-end MacBook Pro.last_img read more

SpaceX Is About a Month Away From First Crew Dragon Demo Flight

first_img SpaceX is about a month away from launching its first commercial crew mission, according to Elon Musk.The company founder and CEO on Saturday announced the upcoming “first orbital test flight” of its Crew Dragon spacecraft.The ship—currently sitting pretty atop a Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida—is strictly for demonstration purposes; there will be no humans aboard this voyage.Still, the mission will be “extremely intense,” Musk tweeted over the weekend. “Early flights are especially dangerous, as there’s a lot of new hardware.” ESA Satellite Avoids Potential Collision With SpaceX Starlink CraftSpaceX’s Starhopper Aces Final Test Flight in Texas Stay on targetcenter_img Sorry, to be clear, this pic is all real. Nothing rendered.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 6, 2019Partner NASA has been holding out hope for an early January launch. But technical issues (not to mention a partial government shutdown) are causing a delay of what many are calling a “critical” mission.Success would put SpaceX on track to becoming the first private aerospace firm to launch humans into space. And it would give NASA a leg up in sending astronauts to the International Space Station.“First flights of new space vehicles can carry inherent risk,” Wayne Hale, a consultant and member of NASA’s Advisory Council, told Ars Technica. “Test is better but has limitations, too.Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon (via SpaceX)“It is never possible to test the entire integrated system in the complete flight environment,” he continued. “Ground tests and partial environment tests provide some confidence, but there is no test like an actual flight.”SpaceX isn’t going in blind, though. Rockets from the Falcon 9 family have been launched nearly 70 times over nine years, boasting a 97 percent success rate. The rocket’s first-stage boosters have been recovered in 32 of 39 landing attempts.Just last month, the company sent its reusable Falcon 9 booster on its third flight to space.More on Geek.com:SpaceX Completes First US National Security Space MissionNASA Administrator Publicly Admonishes Elon MuskDespite Deadly Prospects, Elon Musk Wants to Go to Marslast_img read more