Tech

Apple Granted Patent For Solar-Powered, Dual-Screen Laptop

The hypothetical device would look like a regular laptop, but its display would be dual-sided - with the back covered in solar cells.

Apple Granted Patent For Solar-Powered, Dual-Screen Laptop
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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If there's been one gripe with Apple recently it's that the company hasn't come up with a game changing product in a while. But,  if a new patent is anything to go by, it's not for lack of ideas.

In a patent granted to the Cupertino company on Tuesday, the company outlines what — if it were to be made, of course — would essentially be a dual-screen, touch-friendly, solar-powered Macbook. (Via U. S. Patent and Trademark Office

As Patently Apple reports, the hypothetical device would look like a regular laptop, but its display would be dual-sided — with the back covered in solar cells meant to charge the device.

It’s a feature at least one writer over at Motherboard is fairly excited about. He writes, “I’m pretty pumped at the prospect of solar panels on my laptop, if only to prolong battery life. It could also reduce the need for big heavy batteries in the laptop body, making them ever slimmer, and ever more portable.”

According to The Register, that rear-facing display could also be switched from opaque to clear with the touch of a button, and all the displays would be touch sensitive — kind of like an iPad or iPhone.

Sounds exciting, right? Well, there’s only one problem. It doesn’t currently exist. And as a Time writer points out — it may never exist.

In a piece aptly-called "Friendly Reminder: Apple Patents Do Not Indicate Future Products," he provides a few other products that Apple has patented, but never made — like “an activity monitor for skis and snowboards,” “clothes that tell you when to buy new clothes,” and “touch-sensitive gloves.”

But a writer for Gizmodo points out, just because the product as a whole may never see the light of day doesn't mean all of its features are doomed.

He notes the solar idea has come up before, writing: “The one thing about this unicorn of a MacBook design that does seem tangible is the solar-powered detail. Apple has actually been awarded five different patents for solar-power-related products, including one for an ‘integrated touch sensor and solar assembly’ for the iPhone.” (Via Gizmodo)

According to ReadWrite Apple was also granted 31 other patents on Tuesday — those reportedly included patents for the original iPhone and OS X’s magnifying dock.