Apple Thinks Car Windows Could at One Point Become Full Smart Displays

Apple is already working on an Apple Car, and while this project has never received official confirmation, everybody expects this EV to see the daylight by 2024 or 2025.
Apple's patent describes several layers, including one holding the LEDs and the control unit 1 photo
Photo: USPTO
In the meantime, it looks like the Cupertino-based tech giant is also exploring all kinds of new-generation ideas that could change the traditional car concept as we know it. The patent we’re highlighting today is the living proof in this regard.

While at first glance the patent called “transparent structure with controllable lighting” sounds like rocket science, it all comes down to smart car windows that can automatically control the tint level while also doubling as smart displays for other new-gen stuff.

In other words, Apple describes a technology that can be used on the sunroof and all windows except for the windshield, all with the purpose of controlling the tint level but also to display various information. That could include maybe news, live TV, and other content, thus pushing the concept of infotainment to a completely new level.

How Apple thinks this is doable sounds simple at first but is a lot more complex in practice. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker says the transparent glass used for the windows can embed an OLED panel similar to the ones used on today’s smart devices to display information.

When the tint level is adjusted, and the glass is no longer transparent, the activated LEDs in the display panel can thus show various content that is easily visible for the car's passengers.

Needless to say, it’s important to keep in mind this idea is still in the patent stage, so it’s by no means a confirmation such technology is ready to enter mass production. On the other hand, with Apple very close to launching its very own EV, this type of patents provides us with an early look at how Cupertino sees the future of the car industry it wants to be part of.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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