Apple tries for a patent on detachable displays with wireless charging, and other unlikely feats

We're all in favor of advancing the state of the art, but there are times when we suspect that research is more about "what if" explorations than anything else. Exhibit A: Apple's new patent application for a wireless display. The concept would let a touchscreen detach from its laptop base through a 60GHz ultrawideband format (such as WiGig) and keep its battery powered up through at least some form of wireless charging located in the laptop's hinge. It sounds viable when others have experimented with wireless displays before, but we'd note that both technical realities and corporate philosophies might stand in its way. Along with the usual challenges of battery life and wireless range, Apple has so far argued that touchscreen laptops are unwieldy and isn't exactly in a rush to supplement booming iPad sales -- even if granted, the patent may just be a matter of covering the bases rather than any kind of roadmap for a two-piece MacBook Pro. Still, we won't completely rule it out when many also thought Apple wouldn't make a phone.