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Apple Issues New Patent Dealing with Convertible Laptops

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 03-04-2013

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Apple OS XEven though CEO Tim Cook has shot down the idea of a convertible MacBook-iPad hybrid, that hasn’t stopped Apple from filing a patent application for that precise thing. The suggested patent, which is titled “Wireless display for electronic devices”, was just published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent describes a computer display that is able to be removed from its base, essentially referring to a convertible laptop. The main difference between this idea and the idea of other convertible laptops is the addition of wireless display technology. This means that the device could be charged wirelessly.

Apple describes it as this:

The base includes a processor, a base wireless chip and a power source. The display includes a screen for displaying a video output, a display wireless chip in communicating with the base wireless chip, and a power wireless chip in communication with with the power source. The base wireless chip transmits data from the processor to the display. Also, when the display is at least in one position with respect to the base, the power source transmits power to the power transition member of the display.

Convertible devices are nothing new, though they have failed to catch on with consumers. Tim Cook was cited mocking convertible tablets last year, stating that such a device is a “compromise to the end user.”

Cook also stated, “Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

It is entirely possible that Apple will never develop a device under the new patent, though it is also possible that Apple thinks it can one-up the current line of convertibles.

Apple has shown a slight interest in wireless technology since 2011. A lot of the interest involves wireless charging, like the patent the company claimed in 2011 that would allow you to wirelessly charge an iOS device by keeping it close to the computer. However, it is still unclear how Apple will, or even if it will, use this patent.

Source: CNET – Apple patent envisions wireless charging on convertible laptop