Repetitive strain injury, tight hip flexors, sore wrists and backs... the list of injuries sustained from a poor desk setup is endless, leaving desk-bound workers searching for an ergonomic solution. The problem is especially pronounced for laptop users, as the flat angle of the keyboard can be one of the main catalysts for aches and pains.
Apple has heard your cries of pain, and is on the case, filing a patent for a system that would make the MacBook (already one of our favourite laptops for graphic design) more posture-friendly by adding a hinge mechanism to the keyboard, allowing the user to raise it up to an angle. We're breathing a sigh of relief just thinking about it.
Apple's 'Linkage assembly for a portable electronic device (opens in new tab)' patent outlines different ways of making the device more ergonomically-friendly. The two ideas involve a linking mechanism – one would hinge and elevate the entire lower section of the laptop, including the trackpad (as in the above image). The other would leave the trackpad flat and only raise the keyboard section (see below). In both scenarios, the screen would be tilted up along with the lower section.
A third option depicts a table with a hinge mechanism (below). We wonder if Apple is planning to branch out into desks, or maybe a platform-like accessory to be sold alongside the devices. While this would mean the system could be used more flexibly, with a range of devices, it would also mean purchasing an extra accessory – not so easy on the wallet. If we know Apple, it'll probably be the latter.
Though desktop users can tinker with the angle of their keyboards, laptops make things more complicated. Awkwardly trying to prop up the laptop is, well, awkward, and not everyone wants to plug in an external keyboard and mouse – especially if they're not at their desk, so this solution could be just the thing.
Working from home has made desk workers all the more aware of creating an ergonomically-sound setup. While you're waiting for this patent to come to reality (if it ever does, of course), and you're still tinkering with your home office set up, see our guides to the best office chairs and best desks for your home office. And for more wild Apple patents, see the 8 game-changing ideas we wish would come true.
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