Going through patent application and refinement could take well into 2013 for Synaptics but their ThinTouch keyboard technology could help shave more from the thickness of an Ultrabook.
Current Ultrabook keyboards are still based on the ‘scissor’ action mechanics that have been around for years but those keyboard below 3.5mm in thickness is proving to be a challenge.
ThinTouch has a key travel of 0.75 mm vertically but includes a horizontal movement too. Total keyboard thickness is 2.5mm which could enable a 12mm thin Ultrabook design.
ThinTouch can also detect pressure which can be used to generate, for example, capital letters without using the Shift key.
I tried a typing test but the spacebar was broken so that didn’t go too well but I can say that the feel of the key is pretty good for one with such limited vertical travel. This may not be the typists choice but for a stylish keyboard, really not bad at all. Expect this in Ultrabook designs in 2013.