Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11693279) for adjustable windows for vehicles and buildings.
About the patent
The patent involves windows for an Apple Car or buildings with adjustable layers that can change the opacity of the windows via a light modulator. When an Apple Car driver or passengers wants to block light transmission through the window, the opacity of the light modulator may be increased. When it is desired to allow light to pass through the window, the opacity of the light modulator may be decreased.
When an adjustable light modulator is provided in a vehicle window, the light modulator may be controlled to adjust the vehicle window between transparent and opaque states. The window may be opaque, may be completely transparent, or may be characterized by an intermediate level of light transmission.
In a transparent state, a vehicle occupant in the interior of a vehicle can view the environment surrounding the vehicle through the window. In an opaque state, privacy is enhanced because people surrounding the vehicle will not be able to view occupants in the vehicle interior through the window. Ambient light such as sunlight may also be blocked and prevented from reaching the vehicle interior when the window is opaque.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A system may have windows. The window may have first and second window layers and a layer of material such as guest-host liquid crystal material between the first and second window layers. Electrodes on the window layers may be used to apply electric fields to the guest-host liquid crystal material to adjust the light transmission properties of the window.
“To ensure that a desired gap between the first and second window layers is maintained, spacers may be formed between the first and second window layers. The spacers may include key-and-lock spacers that have interlocking portions located, respectively, on the first and second window layers. Spacers such as photoresist posts can be attached using adhesive. Hybrid arrangements may also be used in which key-and-lock spacer structures are attached using adhesive bonds.
When might we see an Apple Car?
On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple is accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article says the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025.
What’s more, in a note to clients — as noted by AppleInsider — investment bank Wedbush says Apple is likely to announce a strategic electric vehicle partnership in 2022 to lay the groundwork for an “Apple Car” release in 2025.