Apple Continues to Think Thin when it comes to MacBook Designs and a new granted Patent illustrates a Flatter Keyboard Concept
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In our third and last granted patent report we briefly touch on a new keyboard design with the goal of yet making a future MacBook even thinner than any in Apple's line up by today.
According to Apple, the proposed MacBook design will include a keyboard assembly having a reduced stack-up, and particularly having one or more dome switches directly connected to one or more membrane layers or pads that, in turn, may be connected directly to a printed circuit board.
Rumors persist that a 16" MacBook to adopt a revised keyboard design starting this fall. This new keyboard design will be much like the scissor switch keyboard design from older MacBooks. Today's granted patent may or may not provide us with information about this redesign.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below depicts an illustrative view of an Apple MacBook with a keyboard assembly; FIGS. 3 and depict different illustrative cross-section views of the key assembly; FIG. 7 depicts an illustrative enlarged cross-section view of a portion of the key assembly of FIG. 6.
According to Apple, the hinge mechanism doesn't have to be a butterfly hinge. The hinge system used for the thinner keyboard could be a V-shaped hinge mechanism, a scissor hinge mechanism, a telescoping hinge mechanism or a sliding hinge mechanism.
Check out Apple's granted patent 10,424,446 for the finer details of this MacBook related invention. Apple originally filed for this patent back in Q2 2016 that was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Some of the Inventors
Dinesh Mathew: director of product design who worked on a series of MacBooks including the MacBook Air.
Craig Leong: Product Design in Technology Advancement Group
Brad Zercoe: Product Design Engineer - Special Projects Group
Alex Lehmann, PE: Product Design Engineer - Finite Element Analyst