Apple applies for 5 patents tied to Liquidmetal, 3D printing

Company describes how it would integrate Liquidmetal into a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
Liquidmetal Technologies

Apple has applied for five new patents, all related to Liquidmetal technology.

The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published five patent applications Apple has filed on the process by which it would use Liquidmetal to build next-generation products. The patents are heavily technical, discussing the process for incorporating the technology into devices, but indicate that the company is at least thinking about incorporating Liquidmetal into several products, including smartphones, tablets, and digital displays.

Patently Apple reported on the applications earlier Thursday.

Interestingly, Apple's patent applications also tie in 3D printing and how the technology could be used to build certain devices with Liquidmetal.

Liquidmetal has been rumored to be coming to Apple devices for years. The technology is a special "metallic glass" that aims at becoming commonplace in next-generation products. That refrain has been heard for years, though, which means that speculation of Liquidmetal coming to Apple products should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.