For the most part, the hinges on our laptops are pretty standard and are designed to help the laptop open up. We don’t really think much about it, but could it be improved upon? That’s something that Apple seems to think that they can do, and in a patent spotted by Patently Apple (via 9to5Mac), it seems that Apple is working on something called the “living hinge”.
The patent description reads, “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, track pad, 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.”
Basically it sounds like Apple wants to make the entire chassis out of a single piece of material, with the hinge actually being part of the chassis itself. If this sounds familiar, it is because Microsoft has created something similar in the past with the Surface Book back in 2015. We’re not sure if there is an advantage to such a design, other than perhaps a more seamless look, but whether or not Apple will go through with it and turn the patent into a reality remains to be seen.