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Friday, September 29, 2006

September 29 - Multicolour Apple

Apple are still filing their patents thick and fast. So are Microsoft, but Apple's are just so much more interesting. Apple has been granted tonnes of patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently, including one for a 'computing device with dynamic ornamental appearance.' Aka. a colour changing device.

The patent in question, number 7,113,196 is for a 'computing device with dynamic ornamental appearance.' It pertains to electronic devices capable of dynamically changing their ornamental or decorative appearance. In other words, it's like a changable iPod case, except forget sleeves, the device change colour itself! At one point, it was rumored that Apple was working on an iMac (or some sort of Mac) that could actually change colors at the user’s wish. This patent apparently involves such a device, meaning that the possibilty of a colour changing Mac should not be completely ruled out. Of course, this might just be to do with ambient lighting on an LCD screen. Who knows. Here’s an abstract from the highly interesting patent. 'The electronic devices generally include an illuminable housing. The illuminable housing, which includes at least one wall configured for the passage of light, is configured to enclose, cover and protect a light arrangement as well as functional components of the electronic device. The light arrangement, which generally includes one or more light sources, is configured to produce light for transmission through the light passing wall(s) of the illuminable housing. The transmitted light illuminates the wall(s) thus giving the wall a new appearance. That is, the transmitted light effectively alters the ornamental or decorative appearance of the electronic device. In most cases, the light is controlled so as to produce a light effect having specific characteristics or attributes. As such, the electronic device may be configured to provide additional feedback to the user of the electronic device and to give users the ability to personalize or change the look of their electronic device on an on-going basis. That is, a housing of the electronic device is active rather than passive, i.e., the housing has the ability to adapt and change. For example, the light may be used to exhibit a housing behavior that reflects the desires or moods of the user, that reflects inputs or outputs for the electronic device, or that reacts to tasks or events associated with operation of the electronic device.' This patent was first filed ages back on February 13, 2002. Its inventor is Duncan Kerr.

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