Looks like "Contamination Shields" are back, this time with Apple

Fans of Beam Spring keyboards will be familiar with the "Contamination Shield" - a rubber or plastic sheet covering the switches to prevent dust from getting into the mechanisms.

As some folks may know, Apple's latest keyboards have a problem with dust getting into the 'butterly' switch mechanism, and not escaping due to the switch's compactness. This ends up leading to a situation where most of the bottom half of the laptop has to be replaced due the fact that the keyboard is glued to a whole bunch of other things inside the laptop[*]. Queue angry customers, class action lawsuits, etc.

It seems Apple has come up with a solution to this which involves, you guessed it, wrapping around the switch mechanisms in a thin silicone film.

Image



US Patent

[*] I have had this problem with my work-issued Macbook Pro. Fortunately, it seems I have been able to mash the affected keys enough to make the dust go away :)
daedalus
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Buckler Of Springs

Unread post14 Jul 2018, 09:07

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daedalus
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That whole keyboard has been such a disaster. For the company with such a fondness for thinness at all costs, and who already make billions of capacitive touch screens, you’d really think they’d move to capsense by now. If not a full on touchscreen keyboard, then alternatively a physical keyboard but with capsense pads instead of contact switches. I like to think they could sense their way around some of the “contamination” issues with software seeing analogue levels from the keys. But I suppose the problem really is quite mechanical: so little travel that a single flake of finger spooge will jam the whole damn key. Ugh!

Yeah, just go touchscreen already. So long as I can pop my HHKB right there on top of it to type.
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Unread post14 Jul 2018, 09:31

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