It’s likely that the most used tool in America, at least from 9 to 5 on an average weekday, is the keyboard. We pound on them, play video games with them, and, very often, eat over them. That, in turn, means we get crumbs all over our keyboards, crunching them into the works and wearing out our computers faster than needs be. And Apple has a few ideas about how to stop it.
The Verge looked at a patent Apple filed a while back for an “intrusion-proof” keyboard. The idea, though, isn’t that complicated. Your keyboard is a row of contact switches; press down the button, and the switch completes a circuit, telling your computer what letter you want. Apple’s plan is simple: Seal that bad boy off and use that seal to blast out crumbs. The patent puts a membrane around the contact switch and when you press down, the compressed air forces out crumbs and dust. Or, at least, keeps them from entering the switch and gumming up the works.
It’s not clear what, if anything, Apple plans to do with the patent. Tech companies try to patent anything they can grab, after all, even if they have no intent to use it. But don’t be surprised if, when Apple gets around to making a new laptop, if the crumbs go flying out in a puff of air as you type.
(via The Verge)