You read that correctly. Google has apparently patented a new laptop design based on the image you see above. Many are calling this the next-generation Pixel C. What it truly is remains a mystery.
What could it be?
While others are pointing towards the rebirth of the Pixel C, we here at Chrome Unboxed immediately thought “Eve!” – the highly anticipated Chromebook we believe to be #madebygoogle.
Let’s look at some details from the Patent papers and see what lines up.
You can see from the images above this new device has what appears to be a trackpad that is set on a hinge. The touchpad and the panel it rests in seems to fold over to conceal the keyboard. In Fig. 3 you can clearly see the reference to a fingerprint sensor as well as a wireless transceiver.
Chris Burns from SlashGear reported that;
The Wireless Transceiver is mentioned in the patent as a possible NFC implementation – one in which NFC would notify the laptop of the position of the hingedly attached panel – keyboard covering or not.
Now, we haven’t found NFC functions added to the Chromebook we know as ‘Eve’, but I have come across a recent commit that mentions NFC in reference to U2F authentication. You’ll never guess what device it was being tested on.
That’s right: Eve!
All that being said, we’re not saying this recent patent approval is without a doubt ‘Eve’. We’re only saying it considerably fits the bill. There is nothing in these diagrams that couldn’t be a plausible design for the upcoming Chromebook.
What It Is Not
As I stated earlier, many are already branding this new thing the Pixel C. Who knows? Google may very well carry on the namesake in a never-before-seen laptop. But don’t hold your breath if you were thinking this could be another Android tablet.
The market for Android tablets and PCs may not be dead, but it is definitely on life support.
Google knows this. Resources would be much better spent pursuing just about anything else.
An After Thought
As I was preparing this article, a little thought crept into my brain and, as much as I doubt its validity, it is worth the mention.
Yeah, you probably haven’t heard that one in a while. The in-house OS that Google has been quietly working on is still plugging away. Development is slow based on what research I have done and I don’t honestly see a consumer product carrying this operating system in the very near future.
But, who knows? Maybe Google wanted their own hardware to test out some of their own software. I seriously don’t think so, though.
What I firmly believe is that we are looking at a Chromebook or at least a device that may become a Chromebook. My hopes are high that this is ‘Eve’ and the fact that it’s a Google patent puts the nail in the coffin that we will see the rebirth of a Chrome device #madebygoogle.
The only question that really remains is: how are they going to make this thing appealing? These sketches point to an awkward and janky-looking product. Granted, they are two-dimensional and as Robby so eloquently put it, “That’s for the industrial design experts to figure out, not us bloggers.”
So, what do you think? Could this be the Chromebook ‘Eve’ or does Google have something else up their sleeves? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.