Say what you will about the possibility of touchscreen MacBooks and "Macbook Tablets," but this recently unearthed Apple patent application also hints at what kind of technology we could be putting our fingers on in the near future.
As Patently Apple puts it, "Apple's patent generally relates to displays having pixels that include capacitive elements, and more particularly to displays in which capacitive elements of the pixels that form part of the display system that generates an image on the display also form part of a touch sensing system that senses touch events on or near the display."
The patent also focuses on displays including pixels with dual-function capacitive elements that translate into fewer moving parts and/or processor steps that could deliver thinner, brighter displays. It involves use of the super-fast LTPS (Low Temperature Crystalline Silicon) screen technology.
UPDATE: The NYT spoke with an Apple engineer regarding the significance of the patent, and he went in depth about how the technology could lead to thinner, less expensive devices.