Apple wins patent on illumination across devices

The technology describes a method for lighting up a portion of a device.

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
2 min read

Another day, another round of Apple patents.

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple a patent for "Microperforation Illumination." According to the patent, which Apple applied for in 2010, the technology handles how light can pass through a device through minute perforations built into the product.

It was one of 29 patents that Apple was awarded today.

If "Microperforation Illumination" seems rather technical (and it is), think of it this way: Apple has been awarded a patent that describes how light could be used to illuminate its iconic logo on the top panel of a MacBook Pro, along with other areas of a device.

So, how does it work? According to the patent, Apple's technology requires a light source that can pass through a layer built into a computer or touch-based device that has extremely small perforations. Depending on how the light source hits the apparatus, the perforations could be smaller or larger to ensure uniformity of the light passing through a product.

Apple already has a technology in place that allows it to send light through a screen on the back of its laptops to illuminate its logo. However, the new patent provides for greater control over the light source and the way in which it passes through the device. In addition, this patent would allow for the lighting source to go completely blank when turned off, effectively eliminating any view of what is being illuminated unless the device is on.

As with all other Apple patents, there's no telling if this one might eventually make its way to the company's devices. Today's patents follow several dozen Apple has won in the last several months, including 34 last month that ranged from Apple TV to 3D.

(Via AppleInsider)