The latest generation Apple keyboards include a Touch ID button which is very useful for unlocking Apple Silicon Macs and in many cases to do without a password. But if you prefer a different keyboard, Apple offers no solution except to have two keyboards on the desk, which is not very elegant. The developer Khaos Tian had the idea of removing the key from a keyboard to make it a dedicated Touch ID button, with success.
If you want to do the same, the developer has posted the instructions here. Dismantling Apple’s keyboard is unfortunately destructive, as the plastic back is glued on and you won’t be able to reposition it after opening. Apart from this inconvenience, the procedure seems quite simple to follow, just disconnect the battery, then remove the board which contains all the original components.
It will also be necessary to recover the Lightning connector for the power supply and of course the key with the Touch ID sensor. Once all the components are separated, all that remains is to reassemble them separately, check that everything works and place the assembly in a box for a cleaner result. The 3D model of the case used by Khaos Tian is not yet public, but it may come.
Even if the conversion operation is quite simple, it’s a shame that Apple does not offer a similar product to all those who do not want its keyboards, but would still like to benefit from the comfort of Touch ID.