Apple has attempted to patent the concept of the chameleonic computer - a machine whose shell changes colour at the user's whim.
The patent, number 20040156192 was filed in February 2004 and updated on 12 August.
Describing an "active enclosure for computing device [sic]", the patent covers "a computing device [which] includes a housing having an illuminable portion. The computing device also includes a light device disposed inside the housing. The light device is configured to illuminate the illuminable portion".
Web site The Mac Observer has piccies from the filing here.
The light source is a collection of red, green and blue LEDs, capable of being used to generate any colour entered as an RGB value.
Might this be a feature of the next generation of iMac? At this stage, it's too early to say. Having maintained a single colour scheme - white and chrome - for its consumer computers, Apple may now be looking at returning to the iMac's most successful period, when the machine shipped in a range of bright colours.
This time, however, one machine can yield as many colours as Apple chooses to offer, saving all that trouble with punters demanding too many blue and red models and too few green and yellow.
It also opens the way for colours unique to each user, whether selected during the purchasing process or through a control panel within the shipped system's OS.
And, suggests Reg reader Alex Poole, how about an iPod that pulses in tune to the music, a physical manifestation of iTunes 'visualiser' facility? ®
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