The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 38 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's invention relating to fused glass device housings. As noted in cover graphic, the process could possibly cover a future Apple TV and/or a future iMac replacing today's long standing love affair with aluminum. The fused glass designs may also extend to future iDevices such as an iPhone. This is a rare invention outside of design patents where we see Jonathan Ive as one of the inventors.
Granted Patent: Glass Fusion Device Housings
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to electronic devices and, more particularly, to glass structures for electronic devices. The key to today's second granted patent for a fused glass housing patent as opposed to their first granted patent is that Apple abandons the feature whereby the glass is flexible or that the inside display is curved.
The glass housing structures may be used to cover a display and other internal electronic device components. The glass housing structures may cover a front face of an electronic device and, if desired, may cover additional device surfaces.
The glass housing structure may have multiple glass pieces that are joined using a glass fusing process. A peripheral glass member may be fused along the edge of a planar glass member to enhance the thickness of the edge. A rounded edge feature may be formed by machining the thickened edge. Raised fused glass features may surround openings in the planar glass member. Raised support structure ribs may be formed by fusing glass structures to the planar glass member.
Multiple planar glass members may be fused together to form a five-sided box in which electronic components may be mounted. Display structures and other internal components may be slid into place between opposing glass sides of the box.
Apple credits Senior Vice President of Design Jony Ives and team members Peter Russell-Clark, Michael Polliod as the inventors of granted patent 9,125,298 which was filed in Q1 2014 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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