Earlier this week, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a series of 60 freshly granted patents that cover Apple products. We’re talking about MacBook-related technologies, laser texturing and more. Some of them are detailed below.
The most interesting is patent 9,629,271, related to surface finishes for electronic enclosures like Apple’s MacBook and other aluminum iDevices. It involves laser etching, that removes material from a solid surface in a controlled fashion, via an ablation process, or some other material removal technique. Laser etching is useful to create a textured surface on a plurality of materials, like aluminum for example.
Ablation uses laser pulses with short duration, so the laser could be used to remove material quickly. This is a gentler process than the abrasive ones, so even the carbon fiber materials can be subjected to it. One the process is applied reflectivity, brightness, color and texture will change. It remains to be seen if iPads will be treated to the same laser treatment, although I have a feeling that it could be the case.