Washington [US]: American tech giant Apple is exploring the possibility of integrating a fully functioning Mac within a keyboard, reminiscent of home computers of the 80s, such as the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
As per Mac Rumours, the concept was revealed by the US Patent and Trademark Office in a new Apple patent application called ‘Computer in an input device,’ which describes a thicker Magic Keyboard-style chassis with “all the components of a high-performance computer” integrated under the hood.
Reportedly, the patent describes the premise for such a device, which could be plugged into a separate external display via a single I/O port designed to receive both data and power, and wirelessly paired with a trackpad or mouse for additional input.
By including the computing components in the keyboard, the company suggests this could allow a user to carry a single device that can provide a desktop computing experience at any location having one or more external displays.
In some embodiments, the device includes a trackpad “coupled” to the enclosure, while in others the device is foldable and the keyboard area includes an “accessory display” showing graphics or the keyboard itself is virtually displayed from a projector contained inside the enclosure.
As per Mac Rumours, the rest of the patent explores in detail various configurations of internal computer components within the space afforded by the keyboard chassis.
For the unversed, Apple has filed patents for keyboards in the past, including one that uses a touchscreen panel similar to the Touch Bar that extends to the entire keyboard layout, but this is the first patent to suggest actually incorporating a computer into the keyboard itself.
As with any filed patent, the technology is unlikely to appear in any product soon, if at all, but it does offer an interesting look at how Apple is considering Mac designs that could ultimately replace or be offered alongside the Mac mini, which allows users to bring their own display, keyboard, and mouse. (ANI)