Future MacBooks Could Feature Glowing Apple Logo

According to an Apple patent filing published last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the glowing Apple logo featured on the lids of older Mac notebooks could make a comeback in future MacBooks (via MacRumors).

Apple logo

As spotted first by Patently Apple, the document titled “Electronic Devices With Backlit Partial Mirror Structures” summarizes various implementations of backlit structures, with one illustrated example leaving readers in little doubt about the specific use case Apple has in mind.

The publication highlights that three of the engineers listed on the patent joined Apple in 2018, nearly 3 years after the backlit logo was removed from MacBooks, indicating that a different methodology is being described.

Here’s how Apple details the process:

An electronic device such as a laptop computer or other device may have a housing. Components such as a display and keyboard may be mounted in the housing. The rear of the housing may be provided with a logo. The logo or other structures in the device may be provided with a backlit partially reflective mirror. The mirror may provide the logo or other structures with a shiny appearance while blocking interior components from view. At the same time, the partial transparency of the mirror allows backlight illumination from within the device to pass through the mirror.”

“One or more thin-film layers may be configured to provide the partially reflective mirror with desired visible light reflection spectrum, a desired visible light transmission spectrum, and a desired visible light absorption spectrum. The reflectivity of the mirror may be configured so that the mirror serves as a one-way mirror for the logo or other structure. The mirror may have a neutral color such as light gray or may have a non-neutral color such as gold.”

The first Mac laptop with a lit-up Apple logo was the third-generation PowerBook G3 launched in 1999, but Apple decided to replace it with a polished metal logo in the 12-inch MacBook released in 2015.