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The Chameleonic Mac

From MacCentral, a story on the so-called "chameleonic Mac."

The shape of things to come perhaps: An iMac that glows in a variety of different colors depending on what you like or what's happening in the box. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has noted Apple's application for a patent for something the company calls an Active enclosure for computing device. As described, the technology might make future Macs change their appearance using a light effect...

This patent could lead the way for Apple to provide iMacs or other computers tinted using light itself -- either in a single color or "a plurality of colors."

Through dense technical and legal language, the requested patent apparently calls for what Apple calls "chameleonic" computers to be built using "an illuminable housing," using a light source comprising Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The housing would also contain "a light pipe" used to distribute illumination to spots within the computer's chassis.

The invention goes beyond just changing your iMac's color to suit its surroundings, however. Apple also describes a potentially useful application for its "active enclosure:" Showing you what's going on inside the box. Apple said that its technology could adapt to display input and output, for example. Or, the chameleon Mac could change color to let you know that a specific task or event was taking place.

It's more than just colors, too. Apple said that "dynamic light effects," are possible too, like rainbows, stripes, dots, and flowers, for example. You could turn your Mac into a lava lamp.

This could be just an interesting idea that has been patented as a precaution, or it could be indicative of Apple's future plans in chassis design. If the latter, one can imagine some pretty cool effects.

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