Dual-display laptop that features electrochromic glass could be Apple’s next generation.
Apple has made a name for itself with some of its recent solar initiatives, but the company’s most recent patent application could be one of the most interesting yet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a dual-display MacBook with solar-charging capabilities on Tuesday.
The patent describes a two-sided glass laptop display which houses the usual screen on its front face, but on the back, it can accommodate photovoltaic cells for solar charging, as well as a secondary display and sensors for touch input. One embodiment of rear display features electrochromic glass, a material that can change from translucent to transparent when a voltage is applied across its surface.
In the patent, Apple proposes a photovoltaic system which could be placed between the rear panel and front-facing LCD screen. When the electrochromic is set to transparent, it would mean that light could strike the photovoltaic cells and charge the laptop without the need for a physical charger.
Apple is no stranger to these dual-glass designs, which are already featured in many of their smaller devices such as the iPhone 4 and 4S. Whether or not they will be able to implement it successfully in a working MacBook is yet to be seen, but there isn’t really any other option but to wait and see.