Thursday, March 1, 2018

Apple MacBook with OLED screen keyboard? See Apple's dual-display designs

Apple's patent is chiefly about techniques to enhance visibility and suppress reflections in a dual-screen set-up.

Apple has already replaced some keys with the OLED display Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, but a newly granted patent imagines an OLED display expanding to cover all the keys.

The patent, spotted by Patently Apple, details Apple's "dual display equipment with enhanced visibility and suppressed reflections" invention.

Apple engineers have drawn up two designs, including one with a permanently connected hinge to open and shut like a MacBook, while another has a tablet attached via magnet to a tablet accessory such as a keyboard with a display.

AppleInsider notes this invention isn't meant to offer a way to pair two iPads with one acting as the keyboard.

As the patent's title suggests, it's chiefly about techniques to enhance visibility and suppress reflections in a dual-screen set-up, where light from one display can cause reflections on the other.

To address this problem, the Apple optical design and display engineers behind the invention suggest a combination of polarizers and wave plates that let light from the displays pass through.

The inventors also wanted to configure the dual-screen arrangement to improve the visibility of the display when the user is wearing sunglasses, which can be achieved with different types of wave plates that change the direction of polarized light.

Apple filed for this patent in 2015 but it was only granted it last week. As Patently Apple notes, Apple was recently granted another similar patent for 'Dual Display Equipment with Enhanced Visibility and Suppressed Reflections', which described optimizations for improved compatibility with sunglasses.

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