In the future, Apple might deliver an intelligent window tinting system to block the sun or for privacy. Two filings published by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveal that Apple is working on a liquid crystal technology to automatically tint windows.
The new tinting technology might be used for car or building windows to control penetrating sunlight. However, the second filing makes it clear that Apple intends to use the new technology in vehicles. Apple states,
“A system includes a processor and a non-transitory computer-readable medium storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform operations including determining a current state of a vehicle, the current state determined based on information from sensors, receiving a tinting control signal based on the current state of the vehicle, and adjusting a voltage level of an adjustable tint film to control a tinting level of an exterior facing surface of the vehicle based on the tinting control signal.”
Patents Reveal Apple’s Automatic Windows Tinting Technology
Both listings describe the purpose and the design of the new shading technology. The first patent ‘system and method for dynamic privacy and window tinting’ details that a processor working on information from sensors would store instructions and perform operations like tinting the exterior of the windows and adjusting the intensity based on the location of the vehicle.
“The sensors comprise a global positioning system (GPS) hardware device, a thermometer, a barometer, a precipitation sensor, an ambient light sensor (ALS), a three dimensional camera, a two-dimensional camera, an iris camera, a weight sensor, a microphone, an electrocardiography (ECG) sensor, an infrared antenna, and a touch screen.
Adjusting the voltage level of the adjustable tint film to control the tinting level of the exterior facing surface further comprises: adjusting a first portion of the exterior facing surface to a first tinting level and adjusting a second portion of the exterior facing surface to a second tinting level, the first tinting level different than the second tinting level.”
Patent 2 ‘devices with guest-host liquid crystal modulators’ gives intricate details of the technology in the windows to adjust the light. It states that the window would be provided with a light modulator to control visible light transmission.
The window may also have layers that selectively block light with non-visible wavelengths. The light-blocking layers may block ultraviolet light, near infrared light such as light from solar radiation, and far infrared light such as heat produced due to the absorption of visible light by the light modulator.
The light modulator may be a guest-host liquid crystal light modulator. The guest-host liquid crystal light modulator may have a layer of liquid crystal material with dye that is interposed between polymer substrate layers. The polymer substrate layers may be thermoplastic layers that are moldable to conform to window shapes with compound curves.
As interesting as it sounds, it must be kept in mind that Apple files for several patents of alleged new technologies that do not necessarily materialize. A foldable iPhone, AR glasses, and several other products have been discovered in filings.