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Apple patent filing is for reflection coatings on vehicle, building windows

This Apple Car concept is courtesy of Vanarama.

Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. Apple has filed for a patent (number US 20230406761 A1) for “Systems With Infrared Reflective Coating” that mentions a vehicle among other things. 

About the patent filing

The patent relates generally to structures that pass light, and, more particularly, to transparent structures. In the patent filing, Apple says that windows generally include transparent layers, such as glass layers and that, if care isn’t taken, the glass layers may pass an undesired amount of infrared light.

The tech giant notes that a window in a vehicle, a building, or an electronic device may separate an interior region from an exterior region, such as the interior and exterior regions of a vehicle. A window may have structural window layers such as an inner layer and an outer layer. The inner and outer glass layers may be separated by an air gap.

One or more infrared reflection coatings may be applied to the inner and/or outer glass layers. The infrared reflection coatings may include multiple optical resonators. Each of the optical resonators may include two half-mirrors sandwiching a loss-less dielectric. The half-mirrors may include an infrared reflection layer, such as a thin silver layer.

According to Apple’s patent filing to protect the silver layers in the half-mirrors while the other layers are deposited and to reduce the color shifting of high viewing angle light passing through the window, at least some of the optical resonators may include a “getter layer” adjacent and on top of each metal layer. The getter layer may be formed from a lossy dielectric material, such as an amorphous material, nanoparticles in a dielectric, or ink.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “transparent structure may have structural layers such as an inner layer and an outer layer, which may be formed from glass. The transparent structure may be curved. At least one of the inner layer and the outer layer may be coated with an infrared reflection coating. The infrared reflection coating may be formed from multiple optical resonators. 

“Each of the resonators may include two half-mirrors separated by a dielectric layer. The half-mirrors may include infrared reflective material, such as silver. At least some of the resonators may additionally include a getter layer. The getter layer may be formed from amorphous material, nanoparticles in dielectric material, or other desired material, and may protect the infrared reflective material while the infrared reflection coating is being deposited. Additionally, the getter layer may reduce the color shift exhibited by high angle light as it passes through the transparent structure.”

When might we see an Apple Car?

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that Apple’s work on the Apple Car has “lost all visibility at the current time. He has noted that if Apple does not adopt some kind of acquisition strategy to make inroads in the automotive market, it is unlikely that the ‌Apple Car‌ will be able to go into mass production “within the next few years.”

On. Nov. 18, 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple was accelerating development on its “Apple Car.” The article said that the electric vehicle will be self-driving and could roll out in 2025. However, this doesn’t look like a feasible scenario.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.