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Home / Technology / Apple may use glass to make future MacBook keyboards, I am concerned about this

Apple may use glass to make future MacBook keyboards, I am concerned about this



The illustration titled

photo: apple

When I saw that Apple recently submitted a copy Patent application for transparent keycap I am very interested in the glass made of glass, which may be used in future Bluetooth desktop or MacBook keyboards. This may be Apple’s solution for making more durable and reliable keyboards, something the company has been working on for years.

Found in its file Apple InsiderApple pointed out that the design of the keyboard allows people to “physically” participate in the selected material hundreds of thousands of times (even if not millions of times) during the life of the device. Many beautiful solutions lack the durability of this extended function. “

“This is especially true when electronic devices and/or related input devices are made smaller, thinner or reduced in size,” the application continued. “For example, reducing the size of the keycap may result in the keycap being structurally less robust and having a shorter service life than thicker keycaps made of the same material.”

However, there is a major problem with using glass to make keycaps: Imagine the keys breaking under your fingertips, painting the keyboard with blood, and becoming your own crime scene. (No? Only me?)

Based on the patent application alone, it is unclear which glass Apple will use for its transparent keyboard, or whether the company will use another glass for the MacBook and MacBook. Apple may choose three main types of glass:

  • Annealed glass Yes Glass that undergoes heat treatment and then slowly cools to relieve internal stress. This is a piece of soft glass, which means it breaks easily, and when it breaks, it grows into long, jagged pieces. I hope that when they die in the Unreal Tournament or knock their fists through the keyboard, no one will frantically smash the glass keyboard towards their table, but I still want to take it away: I used to accidentally break it A test tube made during my seventh grade science glass, this glass is in my hand a lot of blood. The MacBook’s keycap is 1.5mm thick. Test tube that stabbed my hand? About 1.2mm thick.
  • Tempered glass It is heat-treated annealed glass, making it harder, stronger and more expensive. Many modern PC cases are equipped with tempered glass side panels, and you can easily see all these sweet and sweet RGB components. However, if it is dropped, it will break into many small pieces, which is different from the way annealed glass breaks. (I may or may not have ordered or ordered spare side panels for my PC chassis in the past.)
  • Laminated glass Is an A safety glass made by bonding two pieces of annealed glass with vinyl. If the glass breaks, vinyl can bond it together, but it is not scratch resistant. I doubt that Apple will use this glass for this reason, but it is safer than the first two.

But I cannot see that these types of glass are being used. It does not matter, these glass materials will increase the cost of Mac desktops and laptops, and the risk of personal injury and damage is too high. The keycap is plastic The reason is: a lot of It’s hard to break.

Now, Apple does use The tempered glass on the iPhone, so it may decide to use it as a keycap. Corning’s Gorilla Glass is annealed glass. Chemical treatment can increase the strength, which makes it six to eight times stronger than ordinary annealed glass. But anyone who ever lost the iPhone just to break the screen knows that it is not indestructible. Gorilla Glass is also not safety glass and will break into pieces like annealed glass, so if you drop a laptop with a Gorilla Glass keycap, Apple God (or AppleCare+) may be able to help you.

Another important note about the gorilla glass strengthening process is that it is not heat-treated like tempered glass and therefore cannot be warped. According to Apple’s patent, the company hopes to “define a key defined top surface through curvature, texture, ridges, or other external structural features” for its keycaps, which may exclude Gorilla Glass.

However, according to a patent filed by Apple, the company is considering using glass or “transparent polymer materials” (including acrylic, resin, and other plastics) to make keycaps. This may mean that Apple is actually considering making transparent keycaps, regardless of the material used. Its patent application is called “Transparent Key Caps.” Given our knowledge of the three main types of glass, I highly doubt that Apple will produce scalable transparent glass key caps in the future. They can complete some tasks at once, such as XPG Gold-plated keyboard At CES 2019, although it cost $10,000 (but considering Apple’s tendency to overcharge its products, its all-glass keyboard may cost so much).

However, if the keyboards produced by Apple have transparent keycaps, we (in the end) can welcome the company into the wonderful world of custom-made PC keyboard keycaps. Over the years, many independent artists have been demonstrating their skills. A simple search It shows beautiful, clear resin bottle caps with cherry blossoms, mountains, and even Pokémon. When you pair them with an RGB keyboard, it will make them that Cooler. Apple didn’t invent anything new here. Invent something new for the Mac product line, which may prevent independent artists from making custom Mac keycaps? of course. However, the transparent keycap It is already one thing.

It is relatively cheap to mass-produce plastic keyboards, and if you have ever bought an RGB gaming keyboard for $200, I believe you will appreciate how cost-effective and durable it is. In addition, Apple’s patent includes the process of including “shading material that defines the shape of the glyph” in the keycap, which means that the glyph will be embedded in the key itself, rather than printed on the top. Once again, welcome to the wonderful world of gaming keyboards, Apple. of ASUS ROG Strix Flare The glyph I entered now is embedded in the button-unless some of the wording of the patent application is expressed in words, but the glyph itself seems to be an opaque part, rather than letting light shine directly. Either way, the embedded glyphs are already and still in progress.

Glass keycaps do sound cool, but when you learn more about the main types of glass and their main characteristics (transparency, heat resistance, breakage resistance, etc.), they are not only safe but also economically infeasible. If the keys are low-key enough, maybe they will do it, but I still doubt that Apple claims that changing the material of its keycap will extend the life of its keyboard. This is the key switch you need to worry about when using the keyboard, not the keycap.

In this regard, at least Apple finally got rid of Annoying butterfly keyboard.


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