Apple has been acquiring a number of patents for the past couple of weeks for its MacBook lineup. It appears the tech giant will be trying a range of new features for its upcoming line of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. According to recent patent filings and applications, Apple's 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be featuring solar panels including touch controls on the bezel, frame and the chassis.
There are no clear dates yet for the release but analysts point out that the next line of notebooks from the tech giant may be one of the most interesting releases to date.
According to the patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Apple, the company has been working on a unique display unit that functions as an external screen and a solar power supply. The display also features a touch input. This means users may have control over the device just by touching the screen.
As noted in the U.S. Patent No. 8,638,549 named "Electronic device display module" under Apple, the company will have two-sided glass laptop display houses that sports the standard screen on the front face. The back, on the other hand, features a module with photovoltaic cells for solar charging. There is a secondary display that sports sensors allowing touch input.
The two-sided display will be comprised of a range of materials including ceramic, metal, glass and fiber composites. For a range of embodiments, the display's back may feature electrochromic glass allowing users to control light passing through.
Likewise, Apple Insider also reported another patent that Apple got. The patent features a touch-sensitive MacBook chassis. The technology described in the patent will allow the device to recognize a touch input from the user even throughout the entire bezel of the laptop. If Apple can pull this off then the company can take away the physical buttons. This will provide users with a enhanced intuitive computing experience.
Apple has been looking into touch controls and expansion of such controls for quite some time already. The "Housing as an I/O device," U.S. Patent No. 8,654,524 under Apple recently features a laptop housing that can protect internal parts and function as an input/output device. This will let users touch the chassis and control the device.
It can be interesting to find a MacBook responding to user controls just through touch. According to reports, Apple plans on releasing the devices later this year. People will have to wait for the announcements.