Apple has filed a patent application which seems to hint not only at the future of the much-anticipated iPhone, but at the possibility of a Wi-Fi capable iPod.
The patent application addresses devices that would be "encased in a tube-like main body that is extruded in its entirety with the ceramic material" .
The main purpose of the design would be to allow for wireless communications to be transmitted with minimal interference.
Apple's patent listing includes references to mobile phones and portable computing devices, suggesting that the technology could also be used to provide iPods with Wi-Fi functionality similar to Microsoft's Zune media player.
Two possible materials for the device are listed as zirconia and alumina, which would be used to build a "seamless tube" that is flat on one side to allow for the placement of buttons and displays.
Zirconia, the material most notable for its use as a fake diamond, is also deployed in thermal barrier coatings in jet and diesel engines. It has electrical engineering capabilities, including the ability to let radio signals pass through easily.
Apple files for 'ceramic tube' patent
By Shaun Nichols on Dec 5, 2006 9:37AM