Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,353,933) for a “self-actuating hinge mechanism.” It hints at a Mac laptop that would automatically adjust the angle of its screen based on how close, and where, the user’s face is.
About the patent
In the patent filing, Apple notes that devices such as laptops usually have a base coupled with a display that moves by a hinge mechanism or other flexible coupling. Users open, close, and adjust the angle of the display themselves.
But what if the laptop did it for them? In Apple’s patent, a laptop could sport an optical sensing system that could be configured to determine an angle between the gaze direction of the user and a plane defined by the display portion and adjust accordingly.
The patent also mentions that the display could be adjusted by a touch input system. This hints at either: a) a Mac laptop with a touchscreen; or b) the patent could refer to an iPad with an attached keyboard.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent:”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.”