Apple is working on a new dual-display stand that can mount a pair of Pro Display XDR monitors, a patent application published Thursday suggests.
The Pro Display XDR is a professional monitor for users who need the highest available color accuracy and resolution. Users can opt for a VESA mount or a $999 stand that caused a stir when it was announced in June 2019.
Of course, the issue with that stand is that it only supports a single Pro Display XDR. In a patent application published Dec. 3 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple details a dual display stand presumably meant for the Pro Display XDR or a similar future monitor.
The patent, titled "Dual display stand" and first spotted by Patently Apple, details a unobtrusive mounting solution that can provide "vertical, horizontal, and center pivot degrees of freedom for multiple displays."
Apple first notes that existing display stands often come "at the expense of being convenient and natural to use."
"Many require the user to deal with significant friction or hysteresis that makes adjustment difficult, awkward, and time consuming. Such issues impede the stand from having a high quality, satisfying user experience. These issues are compounded when the display stand must support more than one display. There is, therefore, a constant need for improvements to stands and supports for electronic devices," the patent reads.
Additionally, the patent notes that multiple display workplaces often use stands that are unnecessarily large, overly complicated, are aesthetically unpleasing, and have "inefficient redundant mechanisms."
The solution that the patent envisions is a mounting system with a single horizontal bar that a display could attach to. The bar itself, and its bar, could be positioned in a straight or angled configuration. From there, a display mount could provide additional viewing angles through various pivot options.
"A display stand has two spaced apart legs connected by a horizontal support bar that is attachable to multiple displays. Carriage assemblies allow the stand to adjust the vertical position of the displays, shuttles and rails allow the stand to adjust the horizontal positions of the displays, and a central joint on the support bar allows the stand to adjust the angle between the displays," the patent reads.
Much of the patent shares similar design philosophies to another patent application that was published on Thursday titled "Display lift arm."
That patent, filed on the same day as Apple's dual display system, essentially details Apple's existing Pro Display XDR stand, suggesting that Apple has been developing both the currently available stand and a dual-monitor option at the same time. Both patent applications also share much of the same background information.
Although not much different from existing VESA mounting systems, Apple's patent describes a multi-monitor stand that offers the ease of use and adjustability of the existing Pro Display XDR stand.
The patent list Michael E. Leclerc; Brett W. Degner; Danny L. McBroom; David H. Narajowski; Denis H. Endisch; Kristopher P. Laurent; and Simon J. Trivett as inventors. Most of those were also named in the patent application covering the existing Pro Display XDR stand.
Of course, Apple files numerous patents on a weekly basis, so there's no guarantee that an Apple dual-monitor stand is coming and no indication of when it might arrive.