Apple has patented a new flat keyless keyboard concept, which promises a future of computing in which we will never have to actually physically press a key ever again.

Apple's new idea for a virtual, flat keyboard is clearly a development of the current keyboard design on the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. Yet what will speedy touch-typers think of the promise of a future without hard keys?

The latest patent filing from Cupertino shows the idea for a virtual, flat keyboard for Apple's Mac laptops and iMac desktop lines.

Piezoelectric wizardry

The patent details how the flat Apple keyboard will be constructed from metal, plastic and glass, using piezoelectrics, haptic feedback and acoustic pulse recognition.

The new Apple keyboard will also feature an LED-lit display (for typing in the dark) and capacitive sensors for your fingers to enjoy Apple's various multi-touch functionality.

Website Patently Apple was first with the info on Apple's new keyless keyboards, noting that the new flat surface keyboard might include a haptic or tactile feedback mechanism to let the user "feel" something on the tips of their fingers when they have hit a particular key, to take the place of old-style mechanical switches or buttons.

Via Patently Apple