For MacBook owners, eating in front of your laptop can be a terrible ordeal. You run the risk of stupid little crumbs getting lodged beneath or between those shallow keys, disabling the key switch so completely that typing a single sentence can become a Herculean task. You nearly break your finger while trying to shift to caps or do a command. And most depressing of all, there’s nothing but your bottomless appetite to blame.
There are workarounds for those of us who’d like to steel our keyboards against gnarly snack spoils, like films of rubber that you can overlay your keyboard with to prevent contact. But these these are flimsy bandages rather than solutions, and, honestly, who feels like spending the extra money?
The keyboard on a MacBook is a honeypot for all the trash you consume, a truth Apple understands—which is why it's been flirting with a solution for nearly two years now. In September 2016, the company filed a patent for a crumb-resistant keyboard, the Verge reported last week, though the company didn't make the patent public until last Thursday.
The patent floats a number of potential design upgrades to the MacBook's existing keyboard, like putting seals between the key-switches and keycaps to cover up the gaps between the two layers, or installing a membrane that releases air with each keystroke, chuting crumbs away from those nooks and crannies.
It’s worth looking at the sketches in the patent itself to get a more direct picture of what that fabled snack-impervious keyboard would hypothetically look like. Don't hold your breath, though: The mere existence of a patent doesn’t exactly guarantee that such a development will see the light of day.
Apple did not respond to immediate request for comment from MUNCHIES on Monday regarding the future of this design.
If you’re reading this, Apple, hear my plea: Please hurry.