Future MacBooks Could Be Even Thinner, Have Surround Sound

While having a reliable source inside Apple is a good way to learn about the company’s plans for the future, another simpler way is following their patent applications. According to an application published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, Apple appears to have plans to add a surround sound audio system into MacBook-like devices, and this system might help them to make even thinner products.

To enable surround sound configurations, the system will include audio transducers along with multiple speakers. And from the looks of things, Apple is planning to improve audio quality while decreasing the sizes of speakers so that they fit into smaller and thinner form factors. When this detail is combined with the info about thinner keyboards, it’s safe to believe that the future Apple machines will be the thinnest ever.

So, how does this system work? The system includes a few speakers and an audio transducer below the device’s keyboard. The configuration would allow speakers on either side of the screen to handle high range frequencies, while mid-range frequencies will come out through the lower speakers and the audio transducer would handle the low-range. According to Apple, the transducer could provide low and mid-range frequencies.

“…the transducer may output both low and mid-range frequencies, essentially performing as a “subtweeter.” In such embodiments, the speaker may output not only bass range frequencies (e.g., about 20-500 Hz), but also mid-frequencies (e.g., about 500-1500 Hz or higher)… The audio transducer may be combined with other speakers in an electronic device such as a laptop, tablet or handheld computing device 10. For example, in one embodiment, two tweeters and one woofer may be combined with the audio transducer. The transducer may output the bass channel and, optionally, the middle ranges, while the tweeters handle high frequency outputs. The woofer may output its standard range of frequencies. Through the combination of the woofer and the audio transducer, more decibels per watt may be outputted, especially in bass frequencies”.

They are also saying that the transducer, which could be a gel speaker or surface transducer, can be placed inside a chair, keyboard, or a touch-based input device to provide tactile feedback for a better “home theater experience”.

So, what do you think about this?


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One Comment

  1.  This is way cool. I’m curious about the patent though and how that effects PC manufacturers like Dell and HP. I’m a PC guy and would love to have surround sound in my Dell laptops.

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