Update: A Sonder spokesperson has confirmed to TrustedReviews that the company did recently attend Foxconn’s Innoconnn demo day, and that Sonder is currently closing procurement contracts with three third-party laptop companies “to integrate our technology into their products”.
On the matter of Apple, the spokesperson added:
“Sonder has been in discussions with Apple’s procurement board regarding Sonder’s laptop module. Foxconn International Holdings and E Ink Holdings – both strategic partners of Sonder Design Pty. Ltd. are assisting with the above discussions."
We've asked Apple for comment on this again, and we've also asked Foxconn for confirmation of Sonder's claims.
Original Article: Apple may be planning to introduce a customisable keyboard, according to a tipster from China.
A Reddit user has posted seemingly intimate details about a new keyboard design that may be rolled out on future MacBook laptops. The poster, who is named only as ‘Foxconninsider’, claims that chief Apple supplier Foxconn showed off secret Apple designs at the Tsinghua University campus in China, where he supposedly works.
According to the user, Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn hosted a demo day on the campus, where an Australian start-up called Sonder was present. Sonder hit the headlines last year after revealing a smart keyboard module that feature a backlit e-ink display that allowed for shortcut- and language-swapping.
Sonder's keyboard is customisable, allowing you to swap out different languages and shortcuts
The users claims that an executive from Foxconn said Apple’s Procurement Board Office “was closing an acquisition” for Sonder, a company that Foxconn itself has invested in. He also claims that he saw DFT (design for testing) versions of the new MacBook keyboard module, as well as Apple’s 2018 E Ink Magic Keyboard.
The moderators of the /r/Apple subreddit have verified the identity of the Reddit user, but obviously weren’t able to confirm that the information provided in his post that relates to Apple was accurate.
In any case, Sonder’s technology does sound very interesting. Here’s a quick demonstration of the technology:
“The Sonder keyboard is performance and design, right at your fingertips,” reads a description the Sonder website. “We meticulously designed and engineered the Sonder keyboard, from the inside out. The final product is an advanced, elegant keyboard with transparent keys and a bespoke display that’s as much a work of art as it is state of the art.”
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the Apple MacBook or Magic Keyboard will ever feature the technology. For a start, we don’t know whether Apple really plans to invest in the company, and even if it does, that doesn’t mean we’ll ever see the designs debuted in genuine Apple products. Take this report with a healthy degree of scepticism.
However, we are expecting a MacBook redesign to launch later this month, at least according to rumours. It’s said that Apple plans to replace the top row of function keys on the MacBook with a touch-friendly OLED display. This secondary screen will show notifications, and also offer up customisable buttons, if recent reports are to be believed.
We’ve asked Apple and Sonder for comment and will update this article with any response.
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(Lead Image Credit: Martin Hajek)
What do you think of Sonder's keyboard design? Let us know in the comments.