Apple is hard at work on a new patent that could help keep crumbs out of your MacBook.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday (March 8) published an Apple patent application describing "ingress prevention for keyboards." The application describes a method by which a keyboard is redesigned with a guard of sorts that will stop particles, including the crumbs from your chips and cookies, from getting under the keys and wreaking havoc.
According to the patent application, which was earlier reported on by Digital Trends, the keyboard design will have a key cap, a movement mechanism allowing you to type on it, and a "guard structure" that's attached to the key. When you press in on a key, the guard structure covers the gaps that would be created to allow for particles to get underneath.
In other cases, according to the patent, Apple's technology would allow for a "gasket" that would attach to the keys and "block passage of contaminants into the apertures."
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Water, dust, and other particles that infiltrate a standalone keyboard will only do some damage to the keyboard itself. But in a notebook in which valuable components sit below the keyboard, any kind of particle intrusion could wreak havoc on the machine. And that's where Apple's patent application comes in.
In addition to keeping things out of your MacBook keyboard, the Apple patent application also describes how it could remove particles that have slipped past its defenses. In fact, each keypress could create what Apple calls a "bellows" to eject any of the particles that have seeped into the keyboard.
Of course, like other major companies, Apple files for patents all the time. And many of those patents don't find their ways to its products. So, while it's possible this could come to a future MacBook, it's not a guarantee.