Apple Patent Reimagines MacBook With Apple Pencil Replacing Function Row

Apple has reportedly utilized for a revamped patent that might assist an Apple Pencil mounted above the MacBook keyboard. The claims embrace the flexibility to magnetically retain or safe the Pencil when it’s positioned the storage space and use the pencil as operate keys whereas housed within the chassis. The patent, which the corporate first utilized for final yr, imagines the Pencil as a substitute for the operate keys row. There isn’t any phrase from Apple on plans to include the know-how in upcoming MacBook fashions.

In response to a report by Patently Apple, the Cupertino big has added 20 new patent claims to the invention, as a part of continuation patent quantity 20220171474. The patent explains that the enter device may very well be saved in a recess of the keyboard housing or the chassis, and that the applying is a continuation of Apple’s 2020 patent utility for a “mountable device pc enter”.

apple macbook pencil patent 20220171474 patentlyapple apple macbook apple pencil

Apple’s patent utility suggests the compant may use the Pencil as an enter device when it’s housed within the chassis
Picture Credit score: Patently Apple

With the newly filed patent continuation utility, Apple has illustrated a system the place the Apple Pencil might be stowed away in a retainer, or alongside the chassis of the MacBook. Whereas the corporate’s newest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Professional fashions removed the Contact Bar in favor of operate keys, the applying says that the retainer can assist a high-end lighting system, to permit the Pencil to switch the function- key row on the MacBook.

In its patent utility, the Cupertino firm has envisioned an enter device whose rotation might be measured and tracked as consumer enter. For instance, rolling the enter device (like an Apple Pencil) may carry out actions like scrolling, zooming or adjusting measurement. That is proven within the third determine in Apple’s utility. In the meantime, determine 11 suggests the Apple Pencil may very well be illuminated when positioned within the recess to indicate operate keys, system operate controls, utility settings, and extra.

Whereas Apple releases tablets with touchscreen and Apple Pencil assist, there isn’t any phrase on whether or not the Cupertino firm will truly add touchscreen or Apple Pencil assist on the MacBook. As is the case with many patents filed by firms like Google and Apple, there is no such thing as a assure that the stylus-centric design for enter on will make its solution to Apple’s MacBook fashions sooner or later.


This week on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast, we focus on iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Sequence 7 — and what they imply to the Indian market. Orbital is offered on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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