We’ve seen patents before that have Apple considering creating some sort of keyboard that replaces physical keys with a glass surface, similar to that of an iPad. But now there’s a new patent that goes one step further by making the iPad a keyboard. Two iPads, one screen, one keyboard, one kind-of-notebook, sort of.

The patent, called “Modular multiple display electronic devices,” appeared today and includes two iPads that are connected via some sort of hinge. That hinge could be removed as required but also has connectors built-in that would allow the transfer of data between the devices.

The idea of having a device that’s essentially two screens connected isn’t a new one and Microsoft has been exploring it for years. But Apple has yet to go that route, instead preferring to focus on offering traditional accessories that connect to screens and devices like iPads.

Interestingly, as AppleInsider notes, it doesn’t seem to be a requirement that both devices be the same size. That could potentially suggest the potential for an iPad to be used as an iPhone keyboard and vice-versa.

The concept does not necessarily rely on using two similarly-sized mobile devices, as it is feasible to use a smaller display of an iPhone as the main screen while an iPad could be the secondary lower device. Such an orientation would be required as it would be easier to type on a larger surface like an iPad with both hands, as well as the weight of the device itself reducing any unsteadiness of reversing the two positions.

As ever, it’s important to remember that Apple patents a whole ton of things – pretty much anything that its engineers can think up – and not everything turns into a viable product. Whether this patent will ever appear as a product in an Apple Store remains to be seen, but it does definitely sound interesting.

(Source: USPTO)

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