Is Apple planning a laptop with a camera latch?

A patent application filed in the US hints at a new laptop feature from Apple

Apple has filed a patent for a laptop that has a camera build into the latch between the lid and the base, suggesting that it is working on such a feature in an upcoming laptop model.

The patent application, which was published by the US Patent Office last week, is for a portable computer that includes a camera in the housing that secures the lid to the base. The camera, which is integrated into the PC, includes an image sensor and a lens assembly, according to documents on the US patent office Web site.

The patent, which has not yet been granted, was filed by Apple in March 2004.

An Apple spokesperson declined to say whether the company is planning to include the feature in any forthcoming products, explaining that the company doesn't comment on 'rumour and speculation'.

An image of the proposed device is included on the front page of the patent application.