The patent behind the USB-C Charging Port built into the Hinge of Apple's Smart Keyboard has come to light
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to their iPad Pro Smart Keyboard that comes with a charging USB-C port positioned on the hinge of the device.
The Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro comes with the USB-C port that allows you to charge your iPad Pro without having to plug your charging cable directly into the iPad Pro. This pass-through charging is great as you can charge your iPad Pro while also having another accessory connected to it at the same time, such as a hard drive or camera.
(Click on image to Enlarge)
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates a USB-C connector receptacle #140 that is positioned in the hinge (#130) of a device that is circular in design.
Click on image to Enlarge
For those interested in reviewing the details behind this Smart Keyboard feature, review patent application 20210098928. This is a patent fulfilled.
Whether Apple will extend the use this USB-C connector design on other devices with a hinge in the future, such as a dual iPad device or MacBook, is unknown at this time.