iPad Pro 2021 could get this killer Apple Magic Keyboard upgrade

It looks like Apple might have a new set of keyboards in the pipeline. A newly-published patent offers a glimpse into what Cupertino’s finest have been beavering away on in their top-secret labs. 

The tech described is one designed to protect Apple keyboards from water and dust ingress, but the drawings show an entirely new kind of keyboard that could suggest the company is working on a keyboard with an integrated trackpad. This could be used with Macs, while docked or it could even suggest a new type of Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro.

The cut and thrust of the words in the patent describe a new membrane which could be used to catch liquids and particles before permeating into the sensitive electronics contained within. As is common in a patent, this is quite wide in its scope and there’s not one material named as being part of the design. Apple describes it as the following:

Apple's new patent suggests new tech on the horizon

(Image credit: Apple/USPTO )

“Flexible structure, such as, for example, a flexible membrane, fabric, mesh, woven material, knitted material, or composite layer, can provide flexible bridges or interkey supports between the keycaps that, in combination with the keycaps, make a substantially continuous, smoothed, consistent-visual-appearance, sound-muting, and ingress-resistant top surface and interkey covering for the input device.”

Drawings included show a number of different weave designs that the company is considering. There’s a fairly straightforward lattice design along with a more complicated interlocking mesh that appears far more intricate. The patent also mentions a sealing material that could be applied to these mesh designs to ensure a better seal against nasties getting inside. 

Apple's new key design includes a mesh to protect the electronics

(Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

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