The incredibly promising metal alloy from Liquidmetal has been around for a while, but no one’s really been able to figure out how to put the difficult-to-manufacture material to good use–until now.
According to a new patent uncovered by Electronista, Apple seems to think it's figured out the key. One day soon, you may very well find yourself tapping away on an iPhone made of cool, beautiful Liquidmetal. The problem with alloy is that, although it's easier to make (no quick cooling required), churning out large sheets of the stuff in a controllable thickness is a little more tricky. Prized as a stronger alternative to plastic and more flexible alternative to metal, Liquidmetal doesn't fit into any of our current methods of manufacturing; stretching and moulding the sheets like we do now just snaps them in half. All Liquidmetal really needs to take off, though, is a big backer willing to put in the effort to put it to work. And with Apple's patent that covers various production methods for large sheets of "metallic glass" in thicknesses between 0.1mm and 25mm, it looks like we've got ourselves a winner. And the patent is very clear about the fact that they'll be turning the stuff into iPhones, iPads, watches, and “any electronic device known the art.”
Of course, wild innovations often stay in patent purgatory never to become a reality, you know, just in case. But Apple’s already making its SIM ejector pin out of Liquidmetal, so it’s already well on their way. [Electronista via Engadget]