Apple has been granted a patent that could enable the Cupertino giant to make water-resistant keyboards for its upcoming iMacs and MacBook devices. This breakthrough innovation will allow Apple keyboards to withstand the occasional spill of coffee, tea, water, and many other common liquids used in an everyday work scenario. The latest Apple patent filing states that "the platform is configured to prevent ingress of liquid and debris that may enter the set of apertures."
Apple World Today details the patent in its report but has no information on whether Apple is looking to integrate this innovation into its future products. Apple is known to file lots of patents, but not all of them trickle down into consumer products. The report also published the summary of Apple's invention: "keyboard device includes a shell having a set of aperture formed into a top surface. A group of keys are disposed in the set of apertures. A platform is disposed under the group of keys and substantially fills an interior of the shell. The platform has a cavity formed in a lower surface of the platform. A circuit board, which is operable to control the keyboard is disposed within the cavity. The platform is configured to prevent ingress of liquid and debris that may enter the set of apertures."
While repair and replacement of keyboards due to liquid spill aren't that costly in general, out of warranty Apple keyboard replacement in MacBooks and iMacs do burn a huge hole pockets. If this patent filing makes it to keyboards in Apple devices, it will be a huge selling point in future iMacs, MacBook, and MacBook Pro devices.
The patent (number 10,082,880) also says that the, "keyboard shell could also sport a rear aperture formed into a side wall that may be configured as an antenna, that is tuned to transmit wireless signals at a frequency."
Apple has refreshed the MacBook Pro line-up this year, and the models comes with a new keyboard that fixes the dust issue that Apple had acknowledged earlier this year. With dust-resistance in place, and the addition of liquid resistance, Apple keyboards may well be the most lucrative offering in the market in the future.