New Apple Patent Shows Off MacBook Design With A Bendable Hinge

Future MacBook or MacBook Pro models may utilize a one-piece design, equipped with a seamless and flexible hinge mechanism, allowing Apple to build them from a single piece of material. It might unfold like a traditional MacBook Pro, but this potential design will include a bendable hinge.

Post filing over several patents for flexible and even scrollable iPhone and iPad screens, Apple is now researching how the MacBook Pro would benefit from a flexible screen. U.S. Patent No. 10,642,318, an Apple patent called "Planar hinge assembly", reveals how such a design would be implemented to MacBook Pro-style devices.

The patent notes that a personal computer device incorporates a monolithic body with a seamless overall appearance. The monolithic body includes a bendable portion that could have a smooth curved shape. The first part of the single-chip body encompasses a display device capable of displaying visual content, and the second part capable of carrying input actions and input devices.
A personal computing device comprises a single piece body having a seamless overall appearance and that includes a bendable portion that is capable of having a smoothly curved shape. The single piece body includes a first part capable of carrying a display suitable for presenting visual content, and a second part that is capable of carrying an input device suitable for accepting an input action. The personal computing device also includes a multi-state bending assembly carried by the single piece body at the bendable portion and positioned between and in mechanical communication with the first part and the second part. The multi-state bending assembly includes a planar assembly that, in a first state, is characterized as having a first thickness and allows relative movement of the first and second parts with respect to each other. In a second state, the planar assembly is characterized as having a second thickness, less than the first thickness, that is capable of maintaining a fixed angular displacement between the first and second parts.
Apple's patented concept is that MacBook Pro, or other devices, can be built on a flat surface, and this single-chip microcomputer has a bendable component. The bendable portion also needs to be adapted to the electronic components currently attached to the display and the keyboard. For mechanical communication capabilities, Apple's solution is to allow the bendable structure to be made up of layers that can shift from a compressed state to a compressed state.

This device is similar to Apple's previous device plan. The device doesn't include a regular screen and keyboard but presents two screens, one of which can be displayed, and the other can simulate an input device, as noted by AppleInsider.

As such, patents do not necessarily guarantee that Apple is working on the invention, let alone that it will be used for future products.

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