Apple Inc. may have plans on making its MacBooks thinner. The recent patent the giant tech company filed with USPTO which hints at a new retractable keyboard design, suggests that the tech company might be planning on making its MacBooks thinner. The device that was mentioned in the patent will have an enclosure inside which might be the space to hold the device’s keyboard. This kind of technology has never been done or patented before. Experts suggests that Apple might be going for a touch-based keyboard which will enable the company to make slimmer MacBooks since the space physical keyboard take might no longer be there. Concerning this, the patent reads, “the additional height requirements of the movable keys lead to a larger overall device size”. This goes to show that the tech company is trying to reduce the space that the keyboard takes with the imminent device.
“An electronic device includes an enclosure and a keyboard positioned within the enclosure. The keyboard includes a substrate and a key mechanism. The key mechanism includes a keycap support mechanism, a keycap supported by the keycap support mechanism and movable relative to the substrate, a ferromagnetic component attached to the keycap support mechanism, and a selectively magnetizable magnet. The selectively magnetizable magnet system may include a magnetizable material and a coil configured to selectively magnetize and demagnetize the magnetizable material. The key mechanism may include a collapsible dome biasing the keycap towards the extended position”, the abstract for the patent filing read.
The type of keyboard that Apple is working on for this device is one that will use a ferromagnetic material that using a “selectively magnetizable” material can be magnetized and can attract or repel a keycap. The material will be held inside the device after closing it and when demagnetized, the keyboard comes out of the chassis. One advantage that this technology might have, we do not know for sure, is that constant flow of electricity will not be required for the magnetism process to work. This could work because the patent says that “…the selectively magnetizable material may maintain a persistent magnetic field without continuous electric input”.
For now nobody knows what this device will look like, or what the exact specifications will be but we can be sure that this device will be one of Apple’s thinnest MacBook if not the thinnest MacBook.