By Keerthi Chandrashekar / ( | First Posted: Feb 03, 2013 10:07 AM EST

(Photo : Patently Apple)

The next-generation of handsets will bring us technologies such as 1080p Full HD displays as well as cameras with higher megapixel counts than ever before. A recent Apple patent spotting shows that laser keyboards are in the works, and there's a possibility this technology could find its way into the iPhone 6 and iPad 5.

Apple, it seems, is exploring depth perception technology that could allow for the cameras on its devices like the iPhone and iPad to gauge where the user's fingers are in order to properly sense which part of a laser panel they are touching.

"In this example [shown above], 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," writes Patently Apple.

"Remember, this could also apply to Apple's iPhone as well which would indicate that there would be some kind of associated smart cover or built-in stand so that the projected keyboard could function properly onto a surface."

Sounds quite exciting doesn't it? The patent lines up with an earlier concept video we came across in which the iPhone was able to project Mac OS X onto a wall and a keyboard in front of it - turning a small iPhone into a full fledged desktop experience.

There's no way to tell when these features will start being included in the iPhone and iPad lineups, but given the increasingly-aggressive mobile market, we could see this sooner rather than later.

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