Apple Granted Patents for Liquid Metal iPhone Parts and iDevices or MacBooks integrating Sidewall Displays
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 59 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover patents for liquid metal being used in the iPhone and beyond and another for device sidewall displays for iDevices and/or MacBooks.
Granted Patent: Devices with Sidewall Displays
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to flexible displays may include one or more flexible layers and may be mounted under a transparent display cover layer such as a layer of clear glass or plastic. For example, a flexible display may be mounted on the underside of a cover layer. Flexible displays may include a touch-sensitive layer that allows a user to provide touch input to an electronic device. Display pixels on a flexible display may be used to display visual information to the user.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted above is a perspective view of an illustrative electronic device with a flexible display having portions on multiple surfaces of a device.
Patently Apple covered the original patent application back in Q2 2013. Apple tweaked their patent in February of this year and today Apple was granted patent 10,055,039 covering this invention.
The additions made to the invention are noted in Apple's patent claims. Most notably, Apple introduced force touch to the sidewall displays along with haptics.
More importantly, the original patents focused on the "sidewalls" being for a "cellular telephone," whereas in Apple's latest granted patent, no such description is in the patent claims. Other devices listed in the body of the invention include a MacBook. Now that could be interesting.
Apple's granted patent 10,055,039 published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Granted Patent: Liquid Metal used in iPhone
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to methods of constructing a part using metallic glass alloys, layer by layer, as well as metallic glass-forming materials designed for use therewith. Metallic glass meshes, metallic glass actuators, three dimensional metallic glass thermal history sensors and more.
Liquid metal is considered a metallic glass.
Apple's patent FIG. 5C presented above depicts a metallic glass mesh formed within the housing a device.
Apple further notes that in certain embodiments, parts and or structures are made using metallic glass alloys, constructed layer by layer. In accordance with certain aspects, a layer of metallic glass-forming alloy, including powders, wires (threads), or sheets, is deposited to selected positions and then fused to a layer below by suitable methods such as laser heating or electron beam heating. The deposition and fusing are then repeated as need to construct the part, layer by layer. In various aspects, the metallic glass-forming alloy is an atomized metallic glass-forming powder. In certain aspects, the metallic glass-forming powder is a homogenous atomized metallic glass-forming powder. For instance, an amorphous alloy may be atomized during cooling to form an atomized metallic glass-forming powder, and the atomized metallic glass-forming powder may be mixed to provide a homogenous atomized metallic glass-forming powder.
Apple notes that the metal glass (liquid metal) could be used for an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, TV monitor and used in the housing of a laptop, a keyboard, trackpad, mouse or speaker.
Apple's granted patent 10,056,541 titled "Metallic glass meshes, actuators, sensors, and methods for constructing the same," was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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