When Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup last year and introduced the Touch Bar for the first time, the obvious question on everyone’s lips was whether Apple had any intention of bringing the innovation to desktop Macs, including the iMac and Mac Pro.

The belief was that if Apple truly wanted the Touch Bar to take off, then it would need professionals to use it and, as you might expect, the majority of professionals use a desktop machine during the day. Hence, needing a keyboard with a Touch Bar built in.

Magic Keyboard concept by Bas van der Ploeg, showing a built-in Touch Bar similar to the one on the 2016 MacBook Pro.

Now, it would appear that Apple is at least considering such a thing following the release of a patent application in which it is outlined. In fact, alongside the Touch Bar is also mention of the Touch ID sensor, which is also part of the MacBook Pro’s keyboard.

In some embodiments, the device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

Whilst some of the language is far from clear, what is obvious is that Apple knows that for the Touch Bar and Mac-based Touch ID to have an impact, Mac Pros and iMacs will need to also include support, and that is where an external keyboard with both technologies built in is a necessity.

Of course, Apple patents a lot of things and very few ever come to fruition, so it is important to bear that in mind when considering these things. Still, this makes so much sense that we have to assume, or at least hope, that this particular patent turns into a shipping product sooner rather than later.

(Bottom image via: Patently Apple)

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