Apple’s answer to crumb-jammed keyboards? Crush debris, then blast it out


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Apple introduced its butterfly mechanism keyboard in the 2015 12-inch MacBook to support a thinner style. Even though it manufactured critical journey a lot more compact for typing, some customers have had issues with trapped keys triggered by dust or crumbs slipping underneath the mechanism.

Apple’s possible remedy to this situation and other keyboard frailties is described in a newly granted patent called ‘Ingress avoidance for keyboards‘, which outlines a amount of strategies to quit spilled soda, crumbs, and dust from blocking critical motion and damaging the circuits beneath.

Apple indicates it could use gaskets or flaps that block the gaps about keys, as perfectly as funnels, skirts, and bands to block dust and liquids, or even bellows that “blast contaminants” away from keys with pressurized gas.

Some of the patterns could use a water-proof elastic material, this sort of as silicon, to make a membrane that shields the keys and circuitry.

Another remedy to dust and crumbs is simply just to crush them, so they don’t block critical presses. Apple notes that some “critical assembly motion mechanism may perhaps involve 1 or a lot more crushing factors, this sort of as knobs, spikes, and the like”.

“If contaminants this sort of as chip crumbs access internal parts of critical assemblies, the contaminants may perhaps be damaged down by the crushing factors throughout motion of the critical assemblies.”

Apple indicates these crumb crushers be combined with holes that the obliterated bits escape can by means of, or are blasted out by pressured gas.

Another supply of air stress could involve admirers built-in in the keyboard, whilst crumbs could be dislodged working with numerous vibrations from transducers, haptic actuators, or speaker membrane.

“Acoustic products may perhaps resonate at frequencies that split up lodged contaminants and/or travel contaminants away from critical assemblies,” Apple notes.

Apple’s states its resolution to dust and water in keyboards would be applicable both to its common scissors style keyboards as perfectly as its newer butterfly style.

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