2014 Apple MacBook Air: Top 3 Killer Features Based on Patents

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By Precious Silva | February 24, 2014 12:39 PM EST

Apple's 2014 MacBook Air appears to be interesting by the day. According to recent patents acquired under Apple, the new MacBook line may feature a two-sided display, trackpad with tactile feedback and touch controls on the bezel, frame and chassis. Throughout the years, the MacBook Air line has gone through improvements but not as drastic or considerable as the mentioned features. What should people expect from the 2014 MacBook Air?

REUTERS
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Apple Insider reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a range of patents to Apple indicating some interesting and never-before-seen features on the MacBook line. It appears the tech giant has been experimenting on extending touch controls and display technology.

Two-Sided Display with Rear Touch Inputs 

Apple got a patent grant featuring a notebook with a unique or two-sided display. The display sports a solar power function including an external screen allowing touch input. Specifically, Apple got the grant for U.S. Patent No. 8,638,549 "Electronic device display module." The patent features a two-sided glass laptop display. The display has the standard screen on the front while the back carries photovoltaic cells. It allows solar charging including sensors for touch controls.

The two-sided display will feature a range of materials like glass, fiber composites, ceramic and metal.

TrackPad with Tactile Feedback 

Another patent Apple received features a touch pad without the standard "clickable" integrated button. Instead, the device features at least four sensors including an actuator for tactile feedback. The patent goes by U.S. Patent No. 8,633,916 "Touch pad with force sensors and actuator feedback." The patent describes use of force sensors to make the trackpad work. This is similar to the integrated switch-type button mechanism used on previous models.

Touch Controls on Bezel, Frame and Chassis 

Apple not only wants to extend the touch controls of the MacBook on the back but has also secured a patent for illuminated touch controls on the bezel, frame and chassis. The patent describes a touch-sensitive MacBook chassis giving users touch control access throughout the entire bezel of the device. This will allow Apple to remove the physical buttons on the device. This can provide a whole new user experience.

The patent went by U.S. Patent No. 8,654,524 "Housing as an I/O device."

Apple will reportedly release the MacBook Air line later this year.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Robert Galbraith)
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook speaks on stage during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.
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