Hardware

Apple patents keyboard that resists liquid, dust, and crumbs

In a patent filing, Apple described a number of mechanisms that could be built into MacBook keyboards to prevent damage from contaminants.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Apple filed a patent for a notebook keyboard that prevents damage from liquids or dust.
  • Apple described in a patent various mechanisms to prevent machine damage, including structures such as brushes or wipers that block gaps around keyboard keys.

MacBook users, rejoice: On Thursday, Apple filed a patent for a notebook keyboard that prevents damage from liquid, dust, and crumbs.

The patent, titled "Ingress Prevention for Keyboards," describes how devices are often vulnerable to contaminants like dust or liquids entering through keyboard keys or connection ports to other devices.

As many professionals have experienced, liquids and solids like dust, dirt, or food crumbs that get lodged into the machine can cause serious damage, including corroding or blocking electrical contacts and preventing key movement. This has been a particular issue with the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, as many users have reported dirt, crumbs, and dust getting under keys and interfering with the delicate keyboard, as noted by our sister site CNET.

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

In the patent, Apple describes keyboards that include mechanisms to prevent these contaminants from damaging your machine. This might take the form of "membranes or gaskets that block contaminant ingress; structures such as brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps around key caps," the patent stated.

The barriers could also take the form of funnels or guard structures placed on the key caps that prevent contaminants from getting under them, or even a system that uses gas to blast dirt or liquid out, the patent noted.

However, it should be mentioned that this is only a patent application, and may never come to fruition. But if it does, it would surely be a benefit to professionals frustrated with wear and tear to their laptops.

Also see

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Image: CNET

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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