Apple Patents Convertible iPad/MacBook Hybrid

Apple Patents Convertible iPad/MacBook Hybrid

Steve Jobs has made no bones about being skeptical in regards to multitouch displays on desktop and notebook Macs, observing that multitouch works best when a display is horizontal: anything else just leads to gorilla arm.

Right now, that means that Macs’ multitouch options are limited to accessories like the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, but given the iPad’s success, it’s natural Apple is trying to find a more directly interactive approach to horizontal multitouch, in which the display can convert flush with a lap or a desk when it’s in touch mode.

Now a bevy of new patents have been awarded to Apple, most interestingly in a convertible MacBook-to-iPad-like device, spotted by Patently Apple.

This actually isn’t too futuristically far out as a concept: Dell’s new hybrid tablet/notebook, the Inspiron Duo, accomplishes multitouch in much the same way. Imagine, though, a future MacBook Air capable of switching between iOS and OS X just by the orientation of the display… that’s where iOS integration with notebooks is headed.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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