Everyone loves mysterious patents, and Apple's newly acquired rights to "Interlocking Flexible Segments Formed From A Rigid Material" is most certainly strange enough to qualify. As the patent's summary puts it, "The method includes providing a substantially rigid material, such as, but not limited to, metals, alloys, hard plastics and the like, and selectively removing portions of the rigid material defining a geometric pattern in the rigid material." In other words, it's way to add a hinge to a solid piece of material by cutting it a fancy way.
So what could Apple possibly want to use such a technology for? Well, several things, apparently. The patent application shows the nifty folding technique used on everything from a notebook to what appears to be a rollable Smart Cover for the iPad.
Of course, as with all patents, there's a decent chance that we'll never see this feature implemented in any retail product, though the possibilities are certainly intriguing.
[via Ars Technica]
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16