Apple patented a keyboard that can’t be defeated by crumbs

Credit: Apple

Apple filed a patent made public yesterday for a keyboard that resists crumbs. The patent describes two different ways that a keyboard can keep dirt out, either by sealing gaps off or having a membrane beneath each key that would blow out air every time a key is pressed, pushing out unwanted debris.

From the figures shown in the patent, it’s clear that Apple is considering many different approaches and alternatives to create a crumb-resistant keyboard. The patent was filed on September 8th, 2016, just a day after the company officially announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

As background for the patent, Apple noted that the moving keys of a keyboard can get damaged by liquid or solid particles. In particular, it noted that “residues from such liquids, such as sugar, may corrode or block electrical contacts [and] prevent key movement by bonding moving parts.”

Although we now know the 2016 patent exists, it’s no guarantee that the technology will actually make its way to market.


Arent there already water resistant and waterproof keyboards that already resist crumbs?

There is no perfect design. You can always find a better way for doing things.

IBM Model M says hi

I disagree. We still can’t run Crysis at max settings and we never will. That is a perfect design.

I didn’t see a /s.

Crysis can be ran at max settings, 144FPS, 1440P. It looks like an old game by todays standards. The game has been soundly defeated. There is no perfect design.

Google Bing next time to learn more

1440p? What is this, 2005? Come back to me when you can handle 16K at 240fps.

Given current GPU prices, very few people might be willing to try that

0K dude… no HDR. No thanks.

Why is this even "news"? For years Apple has survived on designs that lack use replaceable parts and now it lacks parts that can be replaced in stores it owns because it is cheaper to manufacture disposable devices which lack upgrade paths.

Who knows what hardware reqirements Mac OS 11 will need. But chances are that soldered components inside Macs will limit upgradability.

A keyboard that "blows air" seems like just another thing that will wear out.

Mac OS 11, lol, good one

Not by the world’s leasing tech company, so now it’s "news" that they imagined one with black lines on a piece of paper.

With the current trend that Apple is going with the keyboards on MacBooks, they will soon be travel-less and gapless anyway.

Use the Magic Keyboard in the laptops..

I think the steel dome Butterfly mechanism isn’t the problem itself – the key travel is. Butterfly with the Magic Keyboard 2’s key travel would be a dream.

But then how will they force their consumers to buy new laptops when a key stops working because the keyboard replacement is $700?

I thought compressed gas dealt with the issue? (not that that’s a good solution)

Apple (smartly) says "sugar" is corrosive.

However, it seems the real problem beverage is wine, which actually is corrosive if it’s not cleaned off. And also has an ability to stains the colored backlighting.

I have met many ladies whom have run into issues with MacBooks with soldered-on components that spill a few ounces of wine into a MacBook. Wine is in a MacBook is some serious stuff and if it happens outside of Apple "Genius Bar" hours, it can be an expensive repair. Replacement PCs are often 1/4 the cost of a comperable Mac.

That’s almost as dumb as a $549 replacement glass back.

Since the warranty resets for replaced parts, I am currently on my 5th keyboard and didn’t pay a cent. If they can’t get them to last more than a year, I don’t think they will make any additional money (even if you ignore the cost of lack of customer trust).

Whoa!? 5th replacement, and of the keyboard no less?

It came with a broken keyboard, but I was abroad when it arrived, so they were no longer willing to just replace the whole laptop when I noticed the flaw (they usually just give you a new laptop if it is broken on arrival). The new (second) keyboard had the same problem with other keys. The 3rd keyboard worked for about 10 months, when it started missing spaces and doubling b’s. They messed up the repair (put on the wrong keyboard layout and apparently broke the screen in the process because I also got a new one of those). Then the 5th keyboard I have now. They were always super friendly, but because I need my laptop to work and can’t just not have it for 4-5 days, I basically had to keep my old laptop instead of selling it on ebay, just for the few weeks a year when my main one is in the shop.

The upside is that a keyboard replacement requires a whole new top case which also includes the battery. So, free new battery, I guess

Again, holy sh!t :S

Can we get some beverage-proof keyboards?

Oh yeah? Hold my beer.

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