Apple patent hints at an AR screen for future Macs

Currently, Apple’s augmented reality (AR) efforts focus on the iPad and iPhone. But a newly granted patent (number 9,830,844) hints that those efforts will expand to the Mac.

The patent is for a method and system for displaying images on a transparent display of an electronic device. In other words, one display would overlay another with an AR interface that interacts with real world objects. The display may include one or more display screens as well as a flexible circuit for connecting the display screens with internal circuitry of the electronic device. 

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What’s more, the display screens may allow for overlaying of images over real world viewable objects, as well as a visible window to be present on an otherwise opaque display screen. Additionally, the display may include active and passive display screens that may be utilized based on images to be displayed.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices increasingly include display screens as part of the user interface of the device. The described mentions desktop computer (for rendering “graphical data”) and notebooks, as well as handheld computing devices. If the invention ever comes to fruition, it might also bring touch screens to some Macs.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.