The US Patent Office today announced a patent filed by Apple Computer, covering, amongst other things, a camera built into the latch of a portable computer. “The portable computer further includes a latch including a data capture device such as a camera that is configured to secure the lid to the base.,” states the application. A full breakdown of the patent can be found at Macsimum News, who seem to be the go-to site for Apple patents as of late.
A camera included in a notebook computer is nothing new; Sony was doing it 5 years ago with their Crusoe based sub-laptops. However, until Panther, there was no one integrated way to use such a feature. With iChat AV being shipped with every Apple machine, a camera built in could give a huge boost to the usage of the video chat feature.