Apple patent app reveals new backlit laser etching process for keyboards and future applications

“Apple’s design and engineering teams have come up with a new way of creating and manufacturing backlit keyboards using a variety of lasers including ultraviolet laser, a green laser, a YAG laser and others depending on the desired size and shape of the graphic that Apple is trying to achieve,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The process of creating the right effect will also employ the use of exotic paints such as titanium dioxide-loaded paint, a latex-based paint, a rubber-based paint, a plastic paint, and so on,” Purcher reports. “While Apple illustrates that the new backlit etchings could be used in creating a future desktop keyboard, they also make it clear that the process could be used to create designs, logos, borders and more on iOS devices, televisions, mice, home electronics and far beyond.”

Purcher reports, “I’m sure that this process could be used in creating a very cool TV remote – but that’s a story for another day.”

Much more in the full article, including Apple’s patent application illustrations, here.

14 Comments

  1. Is it just me or would it be cool and convenient to have a backlit iMac keyboard? I have my keyboard in a slide out desk tray and there’s times that I need to look at the keyboard and it’s just too dark. So you have to pull it out to look at it etc. I backlit keyboard is long over due.

    Then they hint at a border light on an iPad. That would be cool too, aesthetically speaking. Maybe they could use for extra bezel buttons that only come to light when you call up a certain app like a game. I’ll be Interesting to see how they apply it in the future.

    1. thinkgeek.com has or had lighted keyboards (I haven’t been there in awhile) for sale. Many cool ones including a holographic keyboard that projects directly on your desk.

  2. Apple and its whole design philosophy stand miles away from the rest of the boxmakers. It’s unimaginable to bring a thought of HP, for instance, actually managing such evolutionary product development.

  3. On my new Apple Television next year, I don’t want a big Apple icon glowing all the time. Every time the device wakes up, it will glow for a bit, then disappear. 😉

    1. Siri is cool. But there better be a backup should it refuse to understand an instruction. Have you ever had to deal with Apple’s service robot or voice robot. It’s hell if it doesn’t understand you and hangs up. I don’t need my TV shutting off my TV because it didn’t understand me.

      It’ll take a while before Siri is perfect enough to kill the remote. That’s for sure.

  4. Previously, I thought the backlit keyboards on the Pro models were just a silly extra expense, and so I always bought the iBooks and MacBooks, but now that I have had two Pro’s with the backlit keyboard, there is no going back!

  5. I rather fancy the idea of a keyless Air. I getting so used to the feel of a virtual keyboard on my iPhone and iPad. It’s also amazing that Apple gets three sales (and possibly four) because together it is one virtual computer.

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