Not all butterflies are created equal.
WayTools patented TextBlade's butterfly design in 2012, and it is dramatically different from what Apple did in the new MacBook.
We'll post more details later, but some top line distinctions -
Key Travel Comparo and Timeline
MacBook Air 2010 - 1.6 mm
MacBook Pro Retina 2014 - 1.4 mm
MacBook 2015 - 1.1 mm
So the key travel for portables has steadily shrunk to make them thinner. By contrast, where space is not constrained, Apple has maintained good travel on the desktop, because it has superior feel.
Apple Aluminum desktop Keyboard 2007-2015 - 2.0 mm
TextBlade MagLever Butterfly 2015 - 2.0 mm
TextBlade exceeds the travel of all Apple Laptops, and equals the travel of Apple's own full size Aluminum corded desktop keyboard.
Apple's butterfly uses a single plastic part with a living hinge - a thin web of plastic that ties the two sides together. Similar to a shampoo bottle cap, it moves by bending the plastic. This butterfly is also a peripheral hoop design, with a hollow center to allow room for a spring to push the keycap up. Because of the thin living hinge, the north wing can move in response to offset load, without guaranteeing that the south wing moves down by the same amount. East-West parallelism is excellent, but North-South is not guaranteed by this architecture.
TextBlade's MagLever is a steel and resin composite structure, that is considerably stronger. Each wing is not a hoop, but instead a solid rectangular beam of material, running the full width of the structure, with no holes in the center to weaken the beams.
There is no bending plastic or spring in the center. Instead, stainless steel levers built into each butterfly are driven by magnetic fields, and each wing is joined to the other in the center by preloaded interleaved steel beams. It is a double-linked push-pull suspension, that forces the entire key to move in parallel, regardless of the location of load on the keytop.
TextBlade's ultra large keys are much larger than standard MacBook keys, so its higher performance butterfly suspension was an indispensable part of the invention.
Summary of comparo - 2X travel, smoother magnetic drive, and vastly better parallelism through a considerably stronger, push-pull structure.
These dramatic differences will become more apparent with time, as each product gets more widely used.