Apple Patent Shows a New Way to Design Keyboards
Apple is infamous for pushing the limits of design, and a new patent
could help the company push their minimalistic influences further.
The patent in question is called “Single Support Lever Keyboard Mechanism,” and describes multiple ways Apple could continue to trim down their already svelte products. According to the patent application the new designs come from a need to create products that continue to be “attractive, smaller, lighter, and thinner while maintaining user functionality.”
Most notebook keyboards use a scissor switch design, with support levers that slide out when pressed down or a rubber dome mechanism beneath the key, that when pushed connects two circuit-board traces to register a keystroke.
One of Apple’s solutions would use a single rigid support lever (made out of stainless steel or aluminum) to hold of a keyboard key cap in place. In order to register a keystroke Apple could use a single lever rotating downward when the key is pressed or uses a more flexible material that would bend downward slightly when pressed. The top of the keyboard could be constructed of typical keyboard materials like wood, glass, and “polished meteorite.” Yes. Polished meteorite.
This innovation would bring the minimum travel distance a key moves when pressed from between 2mm a 4mm down to .2mm. The new implementation would allow Apple to shave off more millimeters from their product designs.
Really though, I’m excited to have a meteorite infused laptop. First-world problems, am I right?