Nothing quite compares to the feel of a real keyboard. Despite the fact that most, if not all, smart phones and tablets, of course, in this day and age are touchscreens, Microsoft is going back to basics with their prototype keyboard cover that utilizes an e-ink display.  (Image:

Microsoft seems to have found a better way to integrate a real keyboard and a touchscreen.

Their solution is to invent a physical keyboard cover that’s equipped with a built in e-ink touchscreen.

As of late, this invention idea is in the prototype stage and is undergoing trials by Microsoft’s Applied Sciences division.

The prototype uses an e-ink display that sits at the front/top of the keyboard and offers quick, one-button access to a person’s applications. Many of these applications will automatically refresh the display, so that it can house a number of context sensitive commands.

The size is a bit small; however, the secondary display can be used for other tasks, such as responding to an email during a conference call.

e-ink won over Microsoft, rather than other traditional full-color displays, due in part to the fact that it uses very little battery power. This means that this e-ink technology could be added to other keyboards without impacting the overall charge.

What’s the drawback of e-ink? For starters, it’s black and white, and it doesn’t quite compare to the high-resolution displays of the latest generations of tablets and laptops.

As it stands, Microsoft’s keyboard cover is still in the prototype stage, so it’s far from finished. Much like other inventions, changes will be made to improve the product.

Right now, this e-ink display cover’s top priority is to make use of small screen sizes to promote maximum productivity.

Here’s a quick look at Microsoft’s prototype keyboard cover in action:

Copyright Inventionland, 2015