Apple has imagined a MacBook equipped with a keyboard capable of recharging the iPhone wirelessly. The brand has also studied the idea of swapping the physical keys for a virtual keypad, as on iOS.
A patent filed by Apple with the US Patent and Trademark Office has just been approved. Submitted in 2020, it describes a laptop with different types of keyboards.
According to the diagrams, Apple has studied the idea of replacing the physical keys with a virtual keyboard, similar to that found on iPhones and iPads. The MacBook keys are then displayed on a glass touch surface. This idea allows the user to customize the layout of the keyboard keys as they wish.
“ The second screen can be configured to display an image of a keyboard », details Apple in the patent. The firm adds thata haptic feedback system would also be part of it. True to its minimalist philosophy, Apple believes that this solution would improve the design of the MacBook. In this case, the entire frame would be covered with transparent glass.
This all-glass construction could make it possible to place the Touch ID fingerprint reader, or health sensors (heart monitor, oximeter, etc.), around the trackpad.
Also read: Next-gen OLED screens for MacBook and iPad Pro coming soon?
Charge iPhone by Dropping it on a MacBook
Other ideas slipped into the patent include the integration ofa wireless charging system directly on the keyboard. As several diagrams show, it would suffice to place the iPhone on the lower left part of the computer to recharge the battery by induction. Since the iPhone X, all iPhones are indeed compatible with Qi wireless charging.
Thanks to this charging device, the iPhone and the MacBook will work in perfect synergy. Similarly, Apple recently unveiled Continuity Camera, an option that lets you use the iPhone’s camera instead of a Mac’s webcam.
This is not the first time that Apple has come up with a keyboard with an innovative wireless charging system. In 2019, the Californian group filed a patent showing an external keyboard from iMac capable of recharging remotely. Concretely, the computer would be able to send electricity to the battery of the accessory at a maximum distance of 30 centimeters. The operation is reminiscent of Mi Air Charge, Xiaomi’s truly wireless charging.
Finally, we recall that Apple does not necessarily intend to launch a MacBook equipped with a wireless charging system. It is common for the company to apply for a patent without ever exploiting the technologies described. Like other firms, the Cupertino giant seeks to secure its innovations in order to prevent the competition from taking over.