Apple now holds the right for a dual-display MacBook, in what may be a flashback of an old tiff with Microsoft Windows and Google Chrome OS, or a new way to view laptops going forward. The patent was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
According to Patently Apple, the patent includes an Apple-designed dual-display laptop that removes the keyboard as we know it, replacing it with a virtual one that is not unlike what you use on an iPad. However, it has multiple possible arrangements that fit into specific tasks like gaming or work.
The device has biometric sensors, a fingerprint sensor, and a wireless charger.
Just a patent
The patent does not necessarily mean that the iPhone maker will try and make one of these. However, it raises the possibility that MacBooks could receive the touch features of iPads and iPhones and a camera setup that supports Face ID.
Another interesting thing to consider is that the MacBook could be converted into a wireless charger for other iOS-based devices like the Apple Watch or iPhone. The details of this capability are included in the granted patent.
Three years ago, Microsoft’s hardware team showed its Centaurus dual-screen prototype, just in time for Apple’s WWDC conference.
During that time, Apple was filing a new patent for a dual-screen MacBook that took out the keyboard for a touch interface with soft buttons to avoid a disaster on par with the 2015 butterfly switch keyboard debacle.
Google and Microsoft are working on similar products that include wireless charging (which would be tricky to engineer on the Aluminum-made Macbooks), which may lead to disagreements in the future over some things. Until then, we wait and see if anyone feels slighted enough to sue.