What you need to know
- Rumors of an Apple Car won't go away and a new patent isn't helping.
- The patent is for a new lighting system that could illuminate doors and seats.
- Those lights could appear as button labels or instructions.
Most modern cars come with some sort of interior lighting setup these days, and it all looks rather lovely. But Apple has been granted a new patent that would take things to a whole new level. According to Apple Insider the patent could lead to car doors and seats that can be illuminated to act as button labels or instructions.
The patent was granted today and is titled "Lighting systems of vehicle seats," which seems pretty self explanatory. But how it all works? Not so much.
According to the report it's possible Apple could use LEDs or OLEDs to light fibers within a structure, such as a seat or door panel. Special lighting ducts could be used to transport the light where it needs to be, with the light source hidden away.
Ultimately this could lead to a label-free car interior, with buttons only being illuminated once a finger or hand is detected nearby. Similar to how an iPhone doesn't light its display when it's near an ear, but in reverse.
Just like all Apple patents it's important to remember that none of this guarentees that we will see such things ship. And when Apple Car and Project Titan are involved things become even more unlikely. We've heard such conflicting reports about Apple's work on an autonomous vehicle and associated systems that this might be one product that I won't believe until I see it on-stage one day.
Or just as likely, not at all.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
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