“On September 15, 2005, the US Patent & Trademark Office revealed Apple’s patent application 20050201047 entitled Camera Latch. The inventor listed is Christoph H. Krah for serial number 800166, originally filed March 12, 2004. In this report: Background and Summary of the Invention along with special sections entitled Specific Points of Interest and Symbol Illumination System,” Macsimum News reports. “The following Apple invention relates to a unique Camera that’s built right into a Laptop computer via a new latch. The patent states: The portable computer includes a base. The portable computer also includes a lid that pivots relative to the base. 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.”

Macsimum News writes, “Having a camera for stills or video conferencing built right into a laptop is long over due. In order for iChat AV to be ubiquitous, Apple has to provide this built-in feature on all their laptops. In addition, the fact that the camera will also be considered for other applications is very interesting, especially for the iPod, standard monitors and yes even televisions. The unit’s ability to use a functional illumination system to provide users with various status conditions could be interesting. When the unit is closed, the latch could be assigned a color LED scheme that could notify you that that new email has arrived or that someone is urgently trying to reach you via iChat AV for a work related brainstorming session or urgent problem. I’m sure that you could think of other unique applications here.”

Full article, along with links to the patent application here.