It's been a week of Apple Patent news this week on the wires. First it was rumours of a new handheld computer that looked like an iBook screen minus the body of the computer. Rudimentary designs accompanied the patent filed in the UK, which further fuelled rumours that Apple long awaited Tablet PC maybe back on the cards.
Originally filed back in May this year the filling lists Apple CEO Steve Jobs and the company's industrial design chief, Jonathan Ive. It also refers to a bunch of other design bigwigs at Apple involved in the patent.
The second patent, orignally sourced by The Mac Observer, to make the headlines has been one that has come to light at the US Patent and Trademark Office on the 12 August. Originally filed in May, but dated back to 1999 rather than a new design for a new computer the patent is an application for an “Active enclosure for computer device”. In real terms, a sort of Chameleon case that you'll be able to change the colour of dependent on your mood.
It seems the basic premise is to use red, green and blue LED's under a translucent case and light them up at different intensities to produce various colours. A similar idea can be found in the Philips Ambi-light system recently introduced to its top of the range LCD television. The Philips system changes dynamically with the content on the screen and it wouldn't be plausible to conceive that you could easily do the same to a computer casing.
Of course Apple are refusing to comment on the issue and like many stories to do with Apple you can never be certain what will become real and what stays on the drawing board. Only recently at the launch of the iTunes Europe did Steve Jobs confess that Apple had been working on a PDA only for the project to be stopped at the last minute.
We will keep you posted.