tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Apple computer case patent

A story over at El Reg points out Apple have filed for a patent on 'chameleon' computer cases which have an array of lights inside to change the colour of the case to anything the owner wants.

As an extension to the current case mod scene this is OK. However, it becomes more interesting because it could become basic equipment in every Mac - no doubt there will be lots of people expecting it in the new iMac to be unveiled soon. The first things that occur would be people setting the colour to match that of their office. The next things that I thought of is: is the array of lights inside able to set different areas to different colours? So could I have a gradient across my computer's case?

But now, I'm more interested in what it means to games. If you're playing a first person shooter like Unreal Tournament, can the case flash red when you get shot? Can it match the colours to context-dependent music in RPGs so when you're safe it's green, but as you move around it goes black or red for danger?

I'd like to see a widget that lets you change the colour depending on something like a weather forecast: yellow for sunny tomorrow, blue for rain, or maybe green for rain (as in good for making the grass green), blue for cold, red for hot. Hmm, going to need a bit of finessing, that one. Or traffic reports - if you check your mail before work, a red Mac means the route to work is busy, green means you're fine to leave a bit late.

It'll be interesting to see what else comes from this. I hope they do fit it in the new iMac, getting a fancy case mod like this in to the mainstream could turn up all sorts of uses.
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