If a recent patent can be taken as any clue, Apple may be interested in a new location-based docking system for MacBooks that could change the interface (as well as settings) of a MacBook based on where you place them.
The new dock (patent partially pictured above) would allow the operating system to adapt itself depending on which dock it was placed in. The dock by the TV? Video player Mac! On your desk at work? Office Mac! The user could customize their Mac to automatically switch to a certain profile, load certain apps, etc automatically when placed in certain locations.
While the patent application pictures a laptop, the docking system could also possibly be used for other devices as well, like an iPhone or iPad. Each dock would control the device – Plugging your iPhone into your car could turn off notifications, and auto-load Maps or other navigation software, for instance.
Now, I’m well aware that patents don’t always equal products – in fact with Apple, patents rarely equal products. That does not prevent me, however, from finding this idea very fascinating and hoping it is some day produced and brought to market.
You can check out the patent in its full glory over at PatentlyApple.