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Apple to acquire Australian startup

Apple to acquire Australian startupApple is reportedly closing in on an Australian startup that has pioneered dynamic, customisable “magic keyboards”, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

The Sydney tech company Sonder has designed a smart keyboard that can be customised to accommodate any language, shortcut or custom icon, using the same E Ink display technology used by Kindle.

Apple’s looming acquisition of the company was first reported on Wednesday by a Reddit user purporting to have used an Apple prototype using Sonder technology at an event at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she worked.

A representative for Sonder confirmed its chief executive, Francisco Serra-Martins, attended the event and that the startup was in talks with Apple’s procurement board.

The Reddit user said the prototype magic keyboard used an adaptive interface developed by Sonder, similar to that of an early demo unit it publicised on YouTube.

The Reddit user said the chief differences between the Apple prototype and that shown in the Sonder clip was all the keys had a screen and lighting panel, and the display updated instantly with no slow transition from black to white.

As a design-for-testing model not due to be released before 2018, the design was far from confirmed but the Reddit user seemed optimistic about the early unit.

“It’s really a solid indication of the future of input technology,” she wrote. “Apple has a reputation of making big leaps which are seen to be unpopular but then become the new standard."
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