Apple is working on a new hinge design for its MacBooks. The company was trying to refine the design since 2013 and the European Patent Office published Apple’s recently. The patent emphasises the usefulness of this flexible hinge design for MacBooks.
Patently Apple describes a flexible hinge which is being called “Living Hinge.” This leads to speculation that the future MacBooks will feature enclosures made of “a single rigid material.”
The hinge patent filed by Apple seems to be similar to the one introduced by Microsoft in 2015. The Surface Book released back then has a similar design which was named “dynamic fulcrum hinge.”
In the design, the hinge flexes on opening the laptop and it also lets the user remove the screen and place it in the opposite direction. This allows the user to use the laptop like a tablet.
Apple describes the new hinge as
“An enclosure for a laptop may be created from a rigid material having a flexible portion defined around approximately a midpoint of the material. The flexible portion may allow the rigid material to be folded in half and thus acts as a laptop clamshell.
A top portion may support a display screen and a bottom portion may support a keyboard, trackpad, and the like, while an interior defined by sidewalls of the rigid material may house a variety of electronic components in accordance with conventional laptop computing devices.
In this manner, the enclosure (or a portion thereof) may be created from a single rigid material, while still providing flexibility and bending for the enclosure.”
Apart from providing flexibility, the new hinge will also ease the manufacturing process as the whole chassis would be made from the same material.
Like all the patents filed by Apple, it isn’t clear how long will it take before Apple implements it in the MacBook.The fact that Apple is working on this feature since 2013 means that it has plans for implementing it in the near future.