Apple Files New iPhone Patent to Hide Internal Components

Apple continues to dominate the world of technology by focusing their efforts on sleek design and a strong user experience.

After all, there are plenty of other computers, tablets and smartphones on the market that execute complex applications, take photographs with high-quality cameras, and allow users to connect to Wi-Fi networks and surf the internet from anywhere in the world.

But Apple puts itself over the top because their operating system works intuitively, without requiring almost any computing knowledge whatsoever, and its devices bring design to a whole new level.

And it seems that Apple is nowhere near done innovating. According to a new patent application Apple filed this week, the iPhone could be headed towards an even more streamlined future, with various elements hidden behind liquid crystal windows.

If they can deliver what they describe in the patent, it could lead to an entirely new approach in technology design. The goal, as detailed in a series of documents and complex images submitted to the U.S. Patent Office, is to make features of the iPhone literally disappear until the user needs to access them.

The vision is to add polymer-dispersed liquid crystal curtains to various areas of the phone. So when the camera and flash aren’t in use they would be hidden underneath these PDLC windows, just a seamless part of the phone’s body.

Apple expects that is possible even with the device’s touchscreen, meaning future iPhones and iPads could have a smooth, completely uncluttered look before they are unlocked.

The application, numbered 20120258773, takes the goals of Apple even one step further, into a world many thought might forever be relegated to science fiction.

While devices will continue to become even more sophisticated, Apple would like their personalization to the user to take a quantum leap forward. That means potential inclusion of identity verification steps far beyond the simple keycode employed today.

Biometric sensors could be incorporated, requiring users to submit to a fingerprint reader before the PDLC window would slide open and grant access to the device. A camera could also be used for facial recognition, both for unlocking the device and for potential identity confirmation during online transactions.

It’s certainly a unique approach, and quite possibly the evidence that Apple will never relinquish its hold on the computing and mobile markets. Samsung has been hot on Apple’s heels in recent years, taking the approach of increasing the functionality and complexity of its phones.

But the more Samsung adds in, the larger the smartphones become. Research has shown there is a limit to the phone size that users will comfortably carry. If it doesn’t easily fit in a pocket, most people will look elsewhere. And Apple has managed to continue adding functionality while maintaining the slim design of the iPhone.

The inclusion of an additional window would allow Apple to layer more functions over the same amount of real estate, while also giving the phone the solid, clean look when not in use that customers respond to.

If you stop to think about it, it’s actually a brilliant move on Apple’s part. There have consistently been detractors of various elements of the iOS and Apple’s line of mobile products. Some suggest the laptops are incredibly overpriced, with only a small difference between them and PC devices.

Others mock iPhone photography apps, claiming other phones offer far superior cameras. But with Apple continuing to focus on showing customers something they haven’t seen before while maintaining an aesthetic no other company offers, it is clear long lines and waiting lists will continue to form for Apple’s new releases for the foreseeable future.

Evan Fischer
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. He enjoys writing about the latest tech news for a variety of companies and discovering new and innovative gadgets.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.

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