Apple's latest patent sounds like a game changer for DJs

A diagram from an Apple patent
(Image credit: Apple)

It's been an interesting week for Apple patent developments. Just after filing a concept for brain-reading AirPods, it's won a patent for a kind of modular laptop that sounds like it could be incredible if it ever makes it into development.

The patent describes a modular laptop that can be attached to various screens, keyboards and more, either physically or wirelessly. Most intriguing of all, the patent documentation shows a diagram including a turntable (see our pick of the best laptops for music production for current options).

A diagram from an Apple patent

Apple's patent describes modular computing and input devices (Image credit: Apple)

Just recently former Apple design chief Jony Ive designed a £50,000 turntable for the British luxury hi-fi brand Linn. With its sleek minimal design, we thought the product resembled what an Apple turntable might look like if the brand ever made one. Now the Cupertino tech giant has won a patent for a modular laptop that could, it seems, be attached to a turntable.

We reported on Apple's application to patent Modularized Computing and Input Devices last year. The patent has now been granted. The documentation submitted to the US Patent & Trademark Office describes an "input device" that could combine displays, a dock, keyboards and other peripherals, including what looks like the classic DJ's favourite, the Technics SL-1200 turntable.

A diagram from an Apple patent

A tablet screen could be attached to form a device that functions as both a laptop and a drawing tablet (Image credit: Apple)

The documentation reads: "The computing device can be utilized by a music producer, a disc jockey, an audio engineer, or the like to generate music in one configuration while also being modular to permit the user to remove the input device and removably attach a keyboard or second display to the base to provide traditional laptop functionality. Thus the computing device [can] be reconfigurable or modular to efficiently accommodate users in various operational applications (e.g., music productions, document preparation, online shopping, video conferencing and so on).

It sounds intriguing but also baffling, making us wonder if Apple is filing bizarre, apparently nonsensical patents to confuse and mislead competitors. Unlike another patent filed this week for what seem to be AirPods that can read brain signals, this sounds much less concrete and is harder to envision as a finished product, so we're not holding out for this anytime soon (see our pick of the best Apple deals for bargains on Apple's current product lineup).

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.