In recent years, smartphone display technology has advanced rapidly. Foldable or dual-screen design is a new trend that the world’s biggest IT companies have already introduced, while others are in the focus of doing so. But, in the laptop display market, there have been no significant improvements. The advances mostly focus on touch screens and greater resolutions. However, Apple seems to be working on a revolutionary MacBook design that will reform laptop displays!
The latest Apple patent shows a significant change in the Mackbook design; The main change in the new design is the absence of a physical keyboard and touch bar, that is being replaced by a second display. This dual-display based on the user’s requirement can be converted into a number of virtual keyboard layouts. The typing experience on such a keyboard should be similar to that of a smartphone keyboard.
It should be noted that Secondary displays on laptops aren’t really new. The Asus Zenbook Duo has been including a secondary screen for a while, and it is capable of assisting the tasks on the main display with, say a calculator, while being versatile enough to be an independent screen on its own. However, the functions that the new Apple patent reveals, are totally beyond the Zenbook operations!
According to the patent, two different versions of the dual-screen system are used: In one, the displays would be attached by a hinge, making it very similar to a traditional laptop. Another option would allow the two screens to separate entirely, making it more of a two-in-one device. It should be noted here that if Apple plans a 180-degree hinge, the implementation could also turn the MacBook into a larger Surface Duo, apart from with more Apple flavor!
As reveals in the patent specification, the bottom panel would have a variety of functions, including a virtual keyboard and a game-supporting interface. In fact, the entire bottom half being a display allows it to turn into anything from a keyboard to a gamepad or even a really big trackpad.
Regarding its innovative design, the secondary display will operate as a dedicated input unit. This situation requires the use of a keyboard. The virtual screen will replace all of the keys and options found on a current laptop’s physical keypad.
Another function of this virtual device is providing biometric confirmation in addition to the keyboard layout. Touch ID, gesture controls, and a spinning dial are some of the other marginals that may be added to the virtual display.
According to the patent, there is an integrated wireless charger. This charger can charge your iPhone or AirPods directly from the MacBook and could be extremely convenient, even though it may not be the fastest.
Apple's granted patent 9,904,502 was originally filed in Q3 2015. As is true with many patents, this one too may end up never being a real product. However, based on recent patent activities of Apple on designing touch bars. We can predict observing this new Mackbook on Apple Shelve would not last long. Moreover, the brand is likely focusing on its next-gen MacBooks with the new M1X processor.