What if the Touch Bar was the whole keyboard?
In other words, Apple’s patent answers the unasked question, “What if the Touch Bar was the entire keyboard?”
The patent (first spotted by Patently Apple) is officially for a “dual display equipment with enhanced visibility and suppressed reflections,” and describes two versions of what a final device could look like. One sounds more like a MacBook, where the two screens are part of a single device, connected by a hinge, while the other describes the second keyboard-screen as an accessory for a device (like an iPad keyboard accessory, for instance.)
The patent also describes use of polarizers in order to minimize reflections from the two screens onto each other, which is a clever addition to solve that problem should Apple actually look to build this as a real device.
Of course, for now this is just a patent, which doesn’t actually mean we’ll see it on any hardware in the future. (Given the somewhat lackluster reaction to the Touch Bar, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.)