Apple has always been at the forefront of great design and the use of glass, as material of choice of loved by people the world over. Interestingly, it has come to light that the technology giant is interested in the possibility of using only glass for the future of their mobile devices such as iPhones. Maybe even bigger gadgets like an iMac the fabled “iTV” television.
A report form AppleInsider says that Apple, on Tuesday of last week, was awarded a patent that described ways of building an electronic device using something called “glass housing structures” which are fused at the edges. This is a step forward form using metal components to hold them in place. Apple have described different ways to ensure “satisfactory robustness” when creating a device structures purely out of glass, whilst not harming the device aesthetics or adding any unnecessary weight to the product.
The images are hand-drawn, which is a rare sighting for Apple’s patents as they usually include sketches that are generated on a computer. The images feature several products, which could have glass housings in the future. Included in these are Phones and monitors/TVs. Various parts of these devices are shown in the images. Interestingly they reveal that in addition to the external glass cover, glass elements could also be used inside the devices to separate certain components.
The company have also said the glass housings, which won’t cover the actual display of the product, may be painted in a certain colour to mask the internal components, although they may also be left transparent. The, now iconic, iMac G3 had a translucent curved back cover, but it was engineered from plastic not glass.
The patent also features an image, which portrays a device like an iPod but with curved front and back panels, which would be made of glass that is fused at the edges. This gives credence to the ideas that Apple is considering flexible displays for some devices. Interesting to note that Apple already have at another patent describing an electronic device, an iPhone, with a wraparound glass display.
Both of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models have front and back panels made of glass, with an aluminium chassis in the middle. Apple has replaced this in the newer versions of the iPhone, but the upcoming iPhone 6 is still very much under wraps. But some recent leaks have revealed that Apple’s sapphire glass may be able to offer increased resistance to shocks. It is these strong glass materials, which, one day, may be used in Apple’s glass-only devices.
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