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In 2016, Apple filed for a patent for keyboard that isn’t ruined by dust

Apple could be working on a fix for its ‘butterfly’ design keyboards.

When Apple first unveiled its 2015 MacBook, reviewers of the device quickly discovered that the keys on the keyboard were flatter than every, and have single-digit millimeters of travel between their pressed and unpressed state. Many speculated this to be Apple’s attempt to bring an even thinner laptop to the market, which the company accomplished. But everything was not good.

Apple’s new ‘butterfly’ switches that enabled the tiny travel distance had kept dirt out — until it got into the keys and had nowhere to go. Consequently, that mucked up the keys and would effectively disable keyboards, according to numerous reports. However, back in 2016, Apple filed for a patent for a containment-proof keyboard to help solve the issue.

According to the documentation for the patent, it was filed on September 8th, 2016. This was months after reviews for the second-gen MacBook were out. This one-page document doesn’t really tell us much about the new design, or the solutions Apple has worked on to fix the problem. But what this does tell us is that Apple took the issue seriously and is working to fix it. Though, it is possible this exact design doesn’t make it to the market, but at least it tells us that a solution to the problem is on the way. Perhaps it will be revealed at this year’s WWDC?

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Hamza Khalid

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