Virtual keyboard in visionOS uses multiple feedback elements

Keyboard in visionOS

Apple’s virtual keyboard in visionOS has a high level of attention to detail, with many small elements combining to make a great UI interaction for a non-physical peripheral.

One of the problems with new platforms is a need to come up with ways for users to directly interact with them. One of these problem areas has been the keyboard, with device producers needing to come up with a way to enable keyboard-like interfaces while working within the limitations of the platform.

For VR headsets or AR applications, a keyboard can be hard to implement, since a user typically cannot see the real-world physical version. Software keyboards in virtual space are also hamstrung by a lack of tactile feedback from pressing non-existent buttons, along with the typical use of controllers to do each of the presses.

The Apple Vision Pro, with its mixed-reality display, manages to offer an excellent concept for a keyboard, and one that relies a lot on the hand detection system. Sure, Siri could be used for text entry, but the keyboard is also there as an option.

Developer Atilla Taskiran took to Twitter on Sunday to outline how Apple’s software keyboard has great “attention to details.” Breaking down the keyboard and showing with an animated gif, Taskiran offers three graphical elements that each keystroke uses.

First, the keys highlight as the user’s fingers over over them, and also get brighter the closer to the key the fingertip gets. This helps confirm to the user that they’re in the right area to actually type the correct key.

When pressing the key, the button doesn’t remain static, as it instead goes downwards on the Z axis to match the press. This is somewhat reminiscent of a physical…