The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of thirty-seven newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the more notables published today relates to a method for harnessing external sunlight to illuminate a MacBook's display. This is Apple's seventh solar related patent in the last two years.
Apple Granted Their Seventh Solar Power Centric Patent
Apple has received a Granted Patent relating to apparatus and methods for harnessing external light to illuminate a display screen of an electronic device, most notably a MacBook.
Apple's granted patent, which Patently Apple originally covered in March 2010, focuses on a light harness that could either be an accessory that magnetically attaches to the backside of a future MacBook or simply engineered right into the MacBook using a translucent component. The idea is simple enough in that with this harness, you'll be able to draw power from the sun and cut down on draining your battery. Apple is also considering using solar cells. This isn't a design patent, so don't get caught up in how it's illustrated.
The first patent claim reads as follows:
An electronic device comprising: a display screen; an internal light source; a translucent layer; and a reflector, wherein: at least a first portion of the reflector is operative to be moved from a first position to a second position; when the at least the first portion of the reflector is in the first position, the reflector is operative to reflect light from the internal light source through the translucent layer and towards the display screen for illuminating the display screen; and when the at least the first portion of the reflector is in the second position, the protective layer is operative to pass a first portion of light from an external light source through the translucent layer and towards the display screen for illuminating the display screen.
Apple credits Peter Mahowald the sole inventor of today's granted patent entitled "External Light Illumination of Display Screens."
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