MacBook: Some of Apple’s patent filings appear to be a touch wild, while others appear to be a little more grounded. Apple just received a patent for a dual-screen MacBook that would replace the built-in keyboard with a virtual keyboard similar to the iPad’s. It would also be able to charge an iPhone wirelessly.
Three years ago, Apple filed a patent for a “integrated interface system,” and we were unconvinced that a dual-screen MacBook would work. However, now that the corporation has received the patent, we’ll have to wait and see what it does with it.
The dual-main screen’s purpose is to provide you the freedom to alter the interface whenever you want. Multiple keyboard configurations, for example, could be used to reflect different languages or regional layouts. Depending on the user’s preferences, the keyboard’s position and size may be altered. It’s all pretty comparable to the capabilities of the current iPad virtual keyboard.
Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t stop at keyboard layouts. One of the illustrations depicts the ability to interface with external devices such as a joystick for gaming or a 3D modeling tool. Apple also plans to integrate multiple biometric sensors inside the screen, such as Touch ID.
The inclusion of a wireless charging area for the iPhone or any other smartphone (provided it uses the Qi standard) may pique the interest of Apple devotees. This would be far more convenient than buying a separate wireless charger, and it would also help to clear up your desk.
A dual-screen tablet is obviously not a novel notion. Lenovo announced the Yoga Book C930 in 2018, which features an e-ink display. The Thinkpad X1 Fold, a laptop with no physical keyboard but an actual folding screen, was released shortly after. Of course, we can’t discuss dual-screen laptops without addressing Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Windows 10X, which have been delayed.
Apple has been urged to include a touchscreen on Macs for some time, but especially since the company began using its own ARM technology in its laptops and desktops. Because the M1 chip can run iOS apps natively on a Mac, adding touchscreen capability makes sense. However, we’ve already stated that Apple will very certainly never release a touchscreen Mac, and Steve Jobs was famously opposed to the notion due to the ergonomics.
This newly awarded patent solves the ergonomic problem by allowing Apple to change the screens as it sees fit. “…transparent dielectric material may produce a continuous or seamless input surface that may improve the look and feel of the device without having the limitations of some existing device constructions,” according to the patent.
To modify the look and feel, Apple doesn’t have to physically redesign the keyboard or build new MacBook designs. Everything can be done with ease using the software. This would save Apple a significant amount of time and money in hardware design, and it might be Apple’s ultimate vision of integrating the Mac and iPad into a single product.
Regardless of which patents are eventually implemented, they should not be as divisive as the Touch Bar.