Apple has filed for a patent (number US 20230273674 A1) that suggests Macs, iPads, and iPhones may one day be able to display physical input devices as virtual objects.

The patent filing involves computer-generated reality (CGR) environments, and more specifically to representations of electronic products in CGR environments. Apple notes that devices, such as mobile phones, execute computer applications for performing various tasks. Users interact with the computer applications using application user interfaces. 

They interact with the application user interfaces using input devices, such as keyboards, to provide input data. For example, users interact with a keyboard to input information into the computer applications using the application user interfaces. For another example, computer applications use the application user interfaces to produce feedback based on received users’ input.

Apple’s patent filing involves techniques for displaying representations of physical input devices and overlaying visual features on the representations of physical input devices in a computer-generated reality (CGR) environment. 

The techniques include displaying a virtual application in a CGR environment and, in response to detecting an input field in the displayed virtual application, displaying at least a portion of the displayed application on a representation of a physical input device. 

At least a portion of the displayed application includes the detected input field. In response to detecting an input received at the physical input device, the input field is updated with the input, and the updated input field is displayed.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today