An Apple patent filed in August 2010 and published recently, called “Single Support Lever Keyboard Mechanism,” describes various ways to make a keyboard thinner without sacrificing stability and aesthetics. In particular, this would obviously allow the company to make thinner laptops.
AppleInsider found the filing and described its contents. Apple details the various keyboard types in use today and then describes two new methods it has patented, both of which use a single support lever.
One method proposes using glass, wood, stone, or even “polished meteorite” for key caps held in place by a support lever that would have to travel just 0.2 millimeters to register a response while providing the tactile feel users want.
In the other method, a support lever made of spring steel holds a key cap composed of flexible material, with an “elastomeric spacer” between them and a metal dome below. The spacer would consist of rubber or silicone, giving the user the proper feel while typing and allowing the keyboard to be as narrow as possible.
An image from Apple’s patent filing, courtesy of AppleInsider