The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent today relating to a dual-display based MacBook with advanced virtual keyboard and wireless charging capabilities.
First spotted by Patently Apple, this particular patent was submitted three years ago and only just now has Apple been awarded the patent.
With swirling rumors about Apple eliminating MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar from its upcoming MacBook Pro models, this new patent sounds quite interesting. The latest Apple granted patent paints a picture of a MacBook without ANY tactile keys…at all.
“Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a dual-display based MacBook with an advanced interface system allowing the traditional keyboard area to be replaced with a morphing virtual interface for various keyboard configurations or to switch the virtual interface to support gaming and various virtual buttons and glyphs that aren’t associated with traditional mechanical keyboards and many other features.”– Patently Apple
Patently Apple continues with figures from the patent I’ve also included below and states “In today’s patent application, we see an overview of the morphing virtual interfaces on a notebook-like device as presented in patent FIGS. 16A to 16C.”
Uh…”of the morphing virtual interfaces on a NOTEBOOK-LIKE DEVICE,” So an iPad?Imagine a MacBook with an iPad as a keyboard lol.
Patently Apple reports this new virtual keyboard and trackpad interface could be rearranged by swapping the keyboard with the trackpad. The figure shows alternative virtual UI’s for different scenarios like gaming or ergonomics. If Apple ever brings a virtual keyboard to a MacBook, I’d be willing to bet they’d bring similar gestures as in iPadOS and iOS such as zoom, pinch, swipe for left and right, and many more.
“With a virtual keyboard new functions or feature could be introduced. Apple explains patent FIG. 48 below by noting that key 4844e (shown as a space bar) may be capable of receiving traditional key inputs as well as gesture inputs.”– Patently Apple
Patently Apple describes the figure above that even depicts wireless charging and biometric authentication capabilities such as Touch ID “& far beyond” ????
“Apple’s patent FIG. 49A above depicts an example computing device #4900a (Notebook) that interfaces with external objects through a top case. The notebook may include various components within the base portion #4903a that are configured to interact with external objects through the top case of the base portion. For example, the Notebook includes biometric sensors #4912a, fingerprint sensor #4910a, and wireless charger #4914a.”– Patently Apple
“As noted, the biometric sensors #4912a may also use any suitable sensing techniques, such as optical sensors (e.g., photoplethysmographs, cameras, etc.), capacitive sensors, or the like. The biometric sensors may also include facial-recognition sensors, which may include cameras, lenses, projectors (e.g., microdot projectors), infrared sensors, and the like, which may also communicate through the top case to provide facial recognition functionality. Of course, Apple is describing Face ID technology.”
While all of this sounds pretty [email protected] and futuristic af, keep in mind that Apple files many patents every year and even gets awarded most of them that never see the public light of day.
As of right now, we can expect a redesigned MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, a mini-LED display, and more ports anytime between now and late October/early November.
For more details about Apple’s latest dual-display MacBook Pro patent check out Patently Apple’s full article here.