Apple invents a new Magnetic System to Improve the MacBook's Hinge Assembly for Superior Performance
Last January Patently Apple posted a patent report titled "Apple Patent Reveals New MacBook Hinge System with Torsion Bar to Provide Variable Cover Resistance." Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to advancing a MacBook hinge system by using a new magnetic system. The design is to eliminate the current hinge system that causes internal strain, or Apple describes as "non-trivial bending" that results in a non-uniform gap between the base and the base portion in the secured and closed configuration.
Apple notes that their invention, relating to a MacBook hinge, can include a shaft coupled with a torque component engagement feature that provides a frictional engagement with the shaft. The torque component engagement feature can magnetically couple with a magnet, or magnets.
The MacBook can also include a magnetic assembly configured to magnetically couple with the shaft engagement. The magnetic assembly can provide a first magnetic field that magnetically couples the torque component engagement feature with the magnetic assembly.
However, the magnetic assembly can change to a second, reduced magnetic field less than the first magnetic field. When the display assembly is rotated toward the base, the magnetic assembly changes to the second magnetic field, and the torque component engagement feature magnetically decouples from the magnetic assembly based on the reduced magnetic field.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 illustrates an isometric view of an embodiment of a magnetic assembly; FIG. 5 illustrates an isometric view of an alternate embodiment of a magnetic assembly; FIG. 9 illustrates a partial cross sectional view of the electronic device shown in FIG. 8, showing the torque component engagement feature magnetically decoupled from the magnetic assembly; FIG. 10 illustrates a partial cross sectional view of the electronic device in the closed configuration, showing the base separated from the base portion by a gap;
Apple's FIG. 11 noted below illustrates a flowchart showing a method for assembling a portable electronic device having a base and a base portion.
Apple's patent application was filed back in Q3 2016 and published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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