A patent granted to Apple by the US Patent & Trademark Office describes a new technology that will power future MacBooks to automatically adjust the display’s tilt to suit the user’s viewing angle. Titled “Self-actuating hinge mechanism for electronic device”, explains a new hinge mechanism for laptops and tablets.
Apple to equip future MacBooks with an optical sensing system to automatically adjust the display
As per the filing, two parts of a device attached with a hinge make it flexible and portable by enabling users to open the display to expand and close to display to close and carry it anywhere. To improve the hinge mechanism further, the company will equip the display with a new optical sensing system to detect users’ position and eye gaze and adjust its tilt.
A notebook computer may include a display portion, a base portion, a hinge mechanism movably coupling the display portion to the base portion, an optical sensing system configured to capture an image of an object, an actuation system comprising a shape-memory alloy member coupled to the base portion and the display portion and configured to move the display portion relative to the base portion, and a processing system. The processing system may be configured to determine a target position for the display portion based at least in part on a location of the object in the image and cause the actuation system to actuate the hinge mechanism to move the display portion, relative to the base portion, from an initial position to the target position.
The notebook computer of claim 1, wherein the processing system is configured to determine the target position for the display portion by: determining a location of a user in the image captured by the optical sensing system; determining an offset between the location of the user in the image and a target user location; and determining the target position based at least in part on the offset. The notebook computer of claim 3, wherein determining the location of the user in the image comprises determining the location of the user’s eyes in the image.
It must be kept in mind that Apple files for several patents in a year and all of the described technologies might not be developed. Having said that, the Cupertino tech giant plans for future technologies several years ahead of launch. Therefore, it may be a while the new hinge mechanism is introduced.