It was only a matter of time before we saw something equivalent to the Microsoft Surface. A new patent has been revealed showcasing Apple’s attempt a creating a hybrid notebook/tablet device and it looks similar to the Microsoft Surface. Or does the Surface look like this new Apple device?
According to the patent filing, Apple claims this invention takes the form of a computing device that comes with a base and a display, which can be removed. The touchscreen display is connected to the base via two retractable magnetic mechanisms. The display can also communicate with the base wirelessly and data/power can be transmitted to and from the base and the display without any wires, via a 60GHz chip and WiFi/Bluetooth.
Interestingly enough, the concept of having a magnetic snap-on feature connecting the display to the base is just like what the Surface has. “The switch may have a magnetic polarization or other magnetized force and may interact with another element, such as an electromagnet, to mechanically pull the support members into or out of the enclosure,” the patent states.
According to Apple, this hybrid convertible device can be used as a singly operable connected device or two separate communicating devices. Apple has been wanting to release a tablet/notebook hybrid since 2008. While this is not a design patent and the design has most likely changed, the patent simply showcases the mechanisms for the proposed device.
This patent was filed back in 2011 and while the design might have changed, it makes us wonder who copied who. Did Apple copy the Surface or did Microsoft copy Apple’s idea? It is great to see two companies share the same ideas, especially when it comes to designing the next big device. While there are no specifics on if Microsoft even knew about Apple’s idea, it makes us wonder if Microsoft got lucky with its Surface device by being the first one to release the idea in product form. If Apple beat Microsoft to the punch, would the Surface be as successful as it is today?
Apple, Microsoft, Surface