Apple Invents Material That Looks Like Metal and Could Rid iPhone of Unsightly Antenna Bands

Apple Invents Material That Looks Like Metal and Could Rid iPhone of Unsightly Antenna Bands

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Apple has filed a patent application for a non-capacitive or radio frequency-transparent material with an anodized metal appearance. Most notably if used for the casing of the iPhone, this type of material would let Apple get rid of the 'unsightly' antenna bands.

Apple says that "one design challenge associated with computing devices is maintaining a sleek and consistent appearance of a metallic outer enclosure for housing the various complex internal components."

Since metal is not radio frequency transparent, portions of the housings that cover antennas and touch sensors are made out of non-metallic materials such as plastic or glass. "Unfortunately, plastic surfaces and glass surfaces have different visual qualities than metallic surfaces, which result in a visible break in the metallic surface of the housing. This visible break can detract from the smooth and continuous look of the metallic housing."

Fortunately, Apple has found a method of forming a composite structure that is substantially non-electrically capacitive and having an anodized metal appearance.

The method includes converting a portion of a metal layer to a metal oxide layer that overlays an unconverted portion of the metal layer at a first surface of the metal oxide layer. The unconverted portion of the metal layer is viewable through the metal oxide layer. The method also involves exposing the first surface of the metal oxide layer by removing the unconverted portion of the metal layer. The method further involves forming the composite structure by applying an optically reflective layer that is substantially non-electrically capacitive on the exposed first surface of the metal oxide layer. The composite structure has the appearance of the anodized metal when viewed from a second surface of the metal oxide layer opposite the first surface.

Check out a mockup of what the iPhone 6 would look like without antenna bands below. Let us know which look you prefer in the comments.

You can hit the link below for more details on the material.

Read More [via BI]


Apple Invents Material That Looks Like Metal and Could Rid iPhone of Unsightly Antenna Bands
Bigjiba - June 22, 2015 at 12:39am
I'm agreeing. Nice that they can figure this out but that blank back is super ugly. Apple needs some design. Not just vanilla looks front and back.
5c - June 22, 2015 at 1:15am
so that means I should have this look to?
as if - June 21, 2015 at 3:14pm
Making the rear camera lens flush so it doesn't protrude, would be a nice addition as well...
Flozz - June 21, 2015 at 3:36pm
I'm sure the acquisition of the Israel camera company can do that since Apple did it a while back.
Final Answer - June 21, 2015 at 11:47am
I think the iPhone 6 is one of the most beautiful examples of industrial designs I've ever seen. I was not a big fan of prior iPhone designs (I really hated the sharp edges of the 4 and 5, for example). I find the antenna lines in the 6 pleasing and an integral part of the design.
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