Apple Working on 'Living Hinge' for Laptops

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While one might think Apple should put all of its resources into the MacBook's keyboard, it appears that its focusing instead on the laptop's hinge.

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Patently Apple notes that the company has updated a 2013 patent that shows a device with a flexible hinge that would let the laptop be made of one solid piece of metal that the patent describes as a "Living Hinge."

"An enclosure for a laptop may be created from a rigid material having a flexible portion defined around approximately a midpoint of the material," the patent reads. "The flexible portion may allow the rigid material to be folded in half and thus acts as a laptop clamshell. A top portion may support a display screen and a bottom portion may support a keyboard, track pad, and the like, while an interior defined by sidewalls of the rigid material may house a variety of electronic components in accordance with conventional laptop computing devices. In this manner, the enclosure (or a portion thereof) may be created from a single rigid material, while still providing flexibility and bending for the enclosure."

While the most obvious use of this is for a laptop, the patent images describe a "clamshell for a MacBook, iPhone or other device."

The drawings look a lot like the dynamic fulcrum hinge on the Microsoft's Surface Book lineup, though that device has a detachable screen. Given Apple's current designs, it's unlikely that the company would be OK with the somewhat awkward gap that device has even when closed.

Ideas can take a long time to move from the patent stage to an actual product. Sometimes, that doesn't happen at all. So we're not expecting to see this hit a laptop anytime soon.

 

Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman, on
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