Darkest Of Them All
Apple patents techniques for extremely matte black gadgets

When it was developed and released by UK company NanoSystems a few years back, Vantablack was the darkest shade of black to ever be produced. British artist Anish Kapoor even managed to obtain the exclusive rights to paint in Vantablack, which made quite a stir among the art scene back then. Today there are various different technologies producing similar or even better results for obtaining the blackest black, and plenty of everyday items from cars to watches are now seen in Vantablack. Apple is one such company that has shown interest in this technology, having already filed a patent that could lead to the birth of matte black MacBooks.

Submitted by Apple in May last year, the patent focuses on an anodised part including a metal substrate, which could potentially be used as the surface for a new MacBook. When the surface features a series of irregularities and variations in height, even just by a couple of micrometres, it becomes capable of “absorbing generally all visible light incident upon the external surface such as to impart a black appearance.” While NanoSystems has already patented the use of aligned carbon nanotubes in generating the darkest shade of black, this doesn’t stop Apple from using other techniques for etching an external surface of the anodised layer to create a similar effect. Further details are available to view on the patent application.

At this stage, it’s uncertain whether Apple is still pursuing the idea of producing MacBooks and iPhones darker than the usual Space Grey, but we’ll just have to wait and see.