Apple patents all sorts of crazy things, mostly just concepts that never see the light of the day. We would have classed this one under the ” highly improbable” drawer had it not been for the company’s past patents which toy with various aspects of laser-based projection systems. This one surfaced in the United States Patent & Trademark Office database under the code 20110075055 and entitled “Display system having coherent and incoherent light sources”. What’s it all about?


It describes a hybrid laser projection technology that’s cheaper than traditional light projectors and without the speckle issue that leads to a grainy image on some laser projectors. “Speckling refers to an interference in the intensity of highly coherent light, such as laser light, which may result from the laser striking a rough surface,” the company explained in the patent application.

Apple is envisioning various uses of this technology. It could be used on a portable computer (read: a MacBook), but also embedded in portable devices such as iPods and iPhones.

What caught my attention was the mention of “rear projection applications such as televisions”. I know it’s a stretch, but given the talk of an Apple-branded television set it actually makes sense. If Apple television is in the works, this patent application could allude that the company  is thinking outside the box. An HD TV from Apple with rear laser projection – now that would be something.