If Apple Inc would readily adopt a patent it obtained, it could soon make MacBook laptops that are more environmentally friendly. The giant technology firm has revealed that it was awarded an approval for its patent filing for a solar-powered PC from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The patent agency granted the company’s patent filing on January 28. The patent, which was specifically for ‘Electronic device display module,’ indicated the use of a solar panel that can be built into the housing of the popular laptop.
The patent mentioned two-sided display for the portable PC’s lid. As specified, the front part of the lid that faces the user would have the screen display. Its rear would have the smart, switchable, or electrochromic glass. In a media release, the company said the patented back panel would be embedded with solar cells, which would be used for collecting more light from the surroundings.
If the interior of the display of MacBook is hidden from its exterior view, its rear panel would then appear translucent or opaque. That is described as the light-blocking state. On the other hand, on the opposite or the light-passing state, the laptop’s rear panel would then appear clear to allow images or other light source output from status light-emitting diodes.
Also included in the patent is the feature to indicate if the MacBook is close to a light source. If that is the case, the light rays would then pass through its electrochromic glass to form the rear plate. In that case, solar cells would take in light from a source and facilitate conversion of that into useful electrical power at about 10 mw.
In the proposal submitted by Apple to the USPTO, those solar cells would be able to produce 100 milliwatts to about 1 watt, or more. That would be necessary to charge the battery of the laptop or to provide power to the laptop while it is currently in use. Its rear smart glass would still be used to display the unique Apple logo. That is possible by incorporating additional light emitting diode layer and even backlighting.
Just like all the other approved patents of Apple, it is still not clear if the company would soon or eventually adopt the patent. In most technology firms, an approval of a patent does not mean it would soon be incorporated into the device. Some of those patents end up not being used.