Apple has just brought a new update to one of its patents filed in the year of grace 2013. This update concerns the hinge of future MacBooks and in particular mentions a “living hinge”. It would in fact be ultra flexible and could be similar, according to 9to5Mac , to the system adopted by Microsoft on its Surface Book in 2015.
As a reminder, this system, described at the time by the Redmond firm as “a dynamic pivot hinge”, allows the device to fold in on itself without needing a traditional “mechanical” hinge. Its system also allows it to release the screen on the fly and replace it upside down in order (for example) to use the laptop in tablet mode. Disadvantage of the latter, it does not allow the screen part to rest completely flat on the keyboard part.
Apple could therefore plan to do better than Microsoft by starting with a similar system, but perhaps even more sophisticated. At least that is what the development time granted to this famous project can lead to hope. Note, however, that Apple files – and sometimes “feeds” for years – many patents that do not necessarily see the light of day. Be careful not to take this information at face value.
A hinge made of a “ single rigid material ”?
If we are to believe the notes of the firm to the apple, the brand would not however intend to adopt, like Microsoft, a system based on four articulated pivots. A single and unique rigid material could be used here. Here is the description that Apple brings to its patent:
“ A laptop hinge can be made from a single rigid material with a flexible portion positioned in the center of the solid material. This flexible part would then allow this rigid material to be folded in half and thus behave like the cover of a laptop. The upper part could support the display, and the other part could embed the keyboard and trackpad. The interior of this material could accommodate all of the electronics employed on traditional laptops .
Taking a lot of tweezers, Apple's idea would therefore be to offer a new MacBook mounted in a single piece of metal. The result would promise to be aesthetic and also allow the brand to simplify its assembly process. Obviously, it remains to be seen whether this pretty project will one day see the immaculate light of the Apple Store or not …