Apple files patent for ‘button mechanism  for a stabilizing dome’ on a Mac laptop

Apple has filed for a patent for a “button mechanism for a stabilizing dome” on a Mac laptop.

Apple has filed for a patent (number US 20240105400 A1) for a “button mechanism for a stabilizing dome” on a Mac laptop. 

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what it’s for. However, it seems to be hinting at a keyboard button that could be tilted and/or maneuvered to perform special tasks as Apple says that, in a “partially depressed state,  the keycap can be tilted.

About the patent filing

The patent filing relates generally to a switch assembly for an electronic device and, more particularly, “to a switch assembly having a dome that acts as a parallel motion mechanism.” In the filing, Apple notes that electronic devices typically include one or more input devices such as keyboards, touchpads, mice, or touchscreens to enable a user to interact with the device. 

These input devices can be integrated into an electronic device or can stand alone as discrete devices that can transmit signals to another device or to a processor via wired or wireless connection. For example, a keyboard can be integrated into the casing or housing of a laptop computer, and can transmit signals or otherwise provide inputs to a processor of the laptop computer.

Of course, keyboards typically include multiple individual keys. Each individual key may include multiple components, such as a keycap or other input surface for receiving physical input from a user, mechanisms for supporting the keycap, and electrical components that allow the electronic device to detect when a key has been pressed. 

However, Apple says there’s “a constant need for improvements and refinements to keyboards and related input mechanisms.”

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A computing device can include a housing defining an opening, a base layer, and a button mechanism positioned in the opening. The button mechanism can include a keycap movable relative to the base layer between an undepressed state and a depressed state, and a dome contacting the keycap, the dome including a first surface and a second surface, opposite the first surface. In the undepressed state, the first surface can be concave and the second surface can be convex. 

“In a partially depressed state, a first portion of the first surface can be convex and a second portion of the first surface can be concave. In the depressed state, the first surface can be convex and the second surface can be concave.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.