The amorphous metal alloys developed by Liquidmetal Technologies may be used in the design and development of Apple’s next generation wireless antenna, according to Liquidmetal founder Dr. Atakan Peker. In an interview with Cult of Mac, Dr. Peker notes that the properties of Liquidmetal make is an excellent substrate for usage as an antenna and could be one of many reasons Apple signed a broad licensing deal with the California company.
Described as a metallic glass, the various alloys used in Liquidmetal offer a high strength to weight ratio, high wear resistance, and a low softening temperature that allows it to be molded into complex shapes and designs. Liquidmetal technology is already used in a wide variety of consumer products including sports equipment like golf clubs and skis, jewelry, and in electronics where it makes its appearance in the casings of USB thumb drives, MP3 players, and mobile phones. It is also used in the antenna of the Verizon USB727 wireless modem, which is known for its excellent reception. Surprise, surprise, Apple already uses this novel technology in its newly released Magic Trackpad.
In addition to a simple antenna, Apple may be eyeing Liquidmetal for its usage in complex and seamless casings for the iPhone, iPod or the iPad. It could also be used to develop novel casings that are constructed of an alloy capable of receiving radio signals. Rather than the bezel antenna used in the iPhone 4, the whole outer casing could be one big metal alloy antenna. The properties of these amorphous metal alloys also allow it to bend without fatigue or crimping so you could theoretically build one-piece hinges or even foldable devices.
One thing is for sure- with the creative mind of Jony Ive and the interesting properties of Liquidmetal technology, we are bound to see some exciting and radical industrial design from Apple in the upcoming years. We are excited by the possibilities of this technology, how about you?
[Via Cult of Mac]