Apple patents solar-powered, dual-screened MacBook

A new patent granted to Apple today introduces a concept that shows how it might go about introducing touch-based input to its notebook line. The patent describes a special notebook display that has two sides, as well as photovoltaic cells for charging, and touch input sensors on its outward shell. The design is quite different from anything Apple currently puts out, and has an almost sci-fi style top surface that features glass which can be triggered via electrical sensor to appear either solid and opaque or transparent.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a laptop with a unique display unit that not only serves as a solar power supply, but also an external screen and secondary means of touch input. Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,638,549 for an “Electronic device display module” describes a two-sided glass laptop display housing which carries the usual screen on its front face. On the rear, however, the module holds photovoltaic cells for solar charging, a secondary display and sensors for touch input. As noted in the patent, the two-sided display may be manufactured using a variety of materials, including metal, ceramic, fiber composites and glass. In some embodiments, the rear of the display can be composed of electrochromic glass that allows light to pass through only when desired. 

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