The Pixelbook was shown off only around two months ago, but the tech industry is constantly evolving. That seems to be the case for this motorized Pixelbook lid that was spotted in a patent. This lid would ensure that you wouldn't have to exert as much physical force to use your laptop.
The patent was actually filed way back in Q4 2013, though it was only granted last week. One person credited on it is Ken Loo, a Senior Product Design Engineer who worked on the Pixel phone, Pixelbook, and as the lead engineer for Google's self-driving car's sensors.
The model looks slightly displeased.
In theory, here's how the laptop-opening procedure would go: You'd tap the touchpad (pictured in yellow above) with a certain level of pressure or duration of time, which would make the hinge motor open the lid. The front-facing camera (or even multiple cameras/sensors) would then track your face and make the hinge's angle optimal for your viewing pleasure. Depending on application, face unlocking could also be incorporated.
As you use the Pixelbook, the display angle might continue to adjust to your face's position, which could be useful for something like a video chat. The computer might even use a body part, an article of clothing, or an accessory to predict the location of your face. But if a face isn't detected after x seconds, it would close and lock itself. You'd also be able to close it via a certain motion on the touchpad. An ambient light sensor could be used to detect whether the laptop's auto-unlock feature should be disabled.
Everyone makes a big fuss about Apple's perfectly-weighted MacBook hinges that make them easy to open with one hand. But won't that be old news once we can open laptop lids with a single touch?
- Patently Mobile