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Thread: Apple Patent Shows a New Way to Design Keyboards

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Phillip Swanson's Avatar
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    Default 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?

    Source: Wired

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    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.
    The lack of tactile feedback might be too annoying for many users, myself included.

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    i agree with Slingshot377, if it is down to .2mm it would be harder to realize when the key is pressed, especially because i look at the keyboard when i type :P I will have to learn to look at the screen when i type haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot377 View Post
    The lack of tactile feedback might be too annoying for many users, myself included.
    +1 on that. Short travel feels weird. I'm still not fond of typing on glass. Maybe in the 23rd/24th century ala Star Trek but not now.

    The top of the keyboard could be constructed of typical keyboard materials like wood, glass, and “polished meteorite.” Yes. Polished meteorite.
    I didn't realize that wood, glass or 'polished meteorite' were typical keyboard materials. Where can I find one of these keyboards?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slingshot377 View Post
    The lack of tactile feedback might be too annoying for many users, myself included.
    +1 but then again I said the same thing about a touch screen only phone a few years back and now I use one every day.

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    It looks to me that it'd be close enough to a regular keyboard as far as feel goes. Definitely much better than touch screens. Whatever happened to that shock touch screen tech from those Alpine car stereo units?

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    Default agreed ^
    Quote Originally Posted by Chamix View Post
    It looks to me that it'd be close enough to a regular keyboard as far as feel goes. Definitely much better than touch screens. Whatever happened to that shock touch screen tech from those Alpine car stereo units?
    those decks were great. I still have one in my busted down alero.

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    for you guys to get a good feel of how this might go down (no pun intended) if it were put into production, try this. Type a pretend message by only touching the tips of the keys, and not actually pressing them down. You will find that is feels fantastic to do so. You don't have to press as hard to get as result, but if it is made, you can still put as much pressure as you want.

    This is the future!

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    Would the buttons last as long as traditional keyboards? Will they crack? Are they replaceable? I need tactile feedback which ahs been mentioned many times already. I'd pass on it, but knowing apple, they will put it out and say tough, get used to it.

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    Lack of feedback would be hard for me as well. Using my Nexus keyboard or my iPad keyboard is always harder for me since the feedback is not there and sounds or vibration is not the same as the feel of the physical keyboard.
    What strikes me as odd is that this is such a big deal that it needs to be patented. Seems to me like a common sense item. And furthermore, why does it take a company as apple to design it? This is so basic and common sence that im just stunned that no one bothers designing things like that. I thought of different ways of building keyboards and many other items, down to motorcycle engines back in high school (90s) and huge corporations where people get top $$$ to come up with new designs cant think of these things?
    I got an idea for a keyboard that I bet even apple hasn’t though off… maybe I need a to find a way to produce it….. Hmmmm…… I think I’ll call my company…… Pineapple

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    Apple has innovative products but infamous for pushing limits of design is not true to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by malahhaor View Post
    Lack of feedback would be hard for me as well. Using my Nexus keyboard or my iPad keyboard is always harder for me since the feedback is not there and sounds or vibration is not the same as the feel of the physical keyboard.
    What strikes me as odd is that this is such a big deal that it needs to be patented. Seems to me like a common sense item. And furthermore, why does it take a company as apple to design it? This is so basic and common sence that im just stunned that no one bothers designing things like that. I thought of different ways of building keyboards and many other items, down to motorcycle engines back in high school (90s) and huge corporations where people get top $$$ to come up with new designs cant think of these things?
    I got an idea for a keyboard that I bet even apple hasn’t though off… maybe I need a to find a way to produce it….. Hmmmm…… I think I’ll call my company…… Pineapple
    That's because Apple actually give a sh!t about design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
    for you guys to get a good feel of how this might go down (no pun intended) if it were put into production, try this. Type a pretend message by only touching the tips of the keys, and not actually pressing them down. You will find that is feels fantastic to do so. You don't have to press as hard to get as result, but if it is made, you can still put as much pressure as you want.

    This is the future!
    Problem is that you can't rest your fingers on the keys like I always do now.

  15. #14
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    how is pushing the limits of design a bad thing to be famous for? id love to be famous for my innovation.

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