Apple attempting patents again – the shape of a MacBook Air
Laurence Howe / 5 years ago
Apple is attempting to patent the shape of the MacBook Air, and a new way of adjusting OLED brightness.
The application for this patent passed through USPTO, on Thursday. The application describes claims over “wedge shaped top case”, with a lid hinged to a base. The wedge-shape contributes to the user’s impression of a device, its lightness, and its durability. Apple’s MacBook Air bears this design, and reports indicate that so will the upcoming MacBook Pro series. Wired.com opines that the move is to block out partners of Intel’s Ultrabook ecosystem from imitating the design.
Another more interesting patent application for a technique to adjust brightness of OLED displays. None of Apple’s products, not even the iPod Nano, feature an OLED screen, yet Apple is frantically applying for the patent.
While conventional LCD panels use an augmented illumination source (such as LED or CCFL), in OLED displays, there is no external illumination, and hence adjusting brightness is very tricky from a technical standpoint. The method Apple described in its patent claim consists of converting an image (frame) on a logarithmic scale along the palette, dimming it, and then displaying that dimmed frame. This patent could prove valuable for Apple, as the industry is beginning to transition from TFT-LCD to OLED flat-panel displays.