Future Apple products may be able to project a laser-based keyboard onto a table. At least this could be one of the functions of a new depth perception system that Apple has submitted a patent for, according to Patently Apple.

According to the application, the new technology could be used with future iMacs or next-generation iPads.

In this example, the system may be used in combination with a projected control panel 115 (such as a keyboard, audio/video controls, and so on). The control panel 115 may be a light pattern projected from a light source onto a surface (e.g., table or desk), the control panel 115 may include different light shapes, colors, or the like for representing different inputs.

The report also suggests that the technology could coexist with Apple’s Smart Cover for iPad. Additionally, the system could also arrive on future iPhones.

All of this sounds very exciting. In fact, it sounds a lot like a feature a certain Fox Five New York reporter thought had arrived with the iPhone 5 in September.

Take a look:

As usual, we will keep you updated.

Source: Patently Apple