Let’s just get this out of the way, this is in no way the material that covers the terminator in the second Terminator movie. It’s not even a liquid. But it’s a pretty sweet material, and we can expect to see it in future Apple products. Apple has acquired the company that owns and makes this magical material, and they’ve got grand plans for it. Imagine a mixture between a metal and glass. It’s a bit more brittle, like glass, but it’s an alloy. It looks and feels like metal, and is pretty hard to distinguish from it. However, it differs from metal, and excels in many ways where metal fails. What makes this so exciting is how this can be used, and how it will improve Apple products.
Drop your iPhone. No wait, don’t. If you do, it might shatter. Even the iPhone 4 with a steel band around it will transfer the shock of the landing to the glass, which could shatter it. Now, replace that steel band with liquid metal, and something entirely different will happen. The phone will bounce.
… a lot.
This is because unlike a metal, liquid metal isn’t malleable. This means that if you bend it, it snaps back. If you made a paperclip out of liquid metal, it would cut your fingers before holding a shape. This means that when a phone with a liquid metal band is dropped, the material will bend slightly, then snaps back, transferring much less of the shock to the screen. Not only that, but the signal wouldn’t even drop a single bar if your skin came in contact with it.
Currently, MacBook Pros are made of aluminum. Would Apple replace aluminum with liquid metal? Maybe, if they could retain their green rating. It would help protect the internals from shock if dropped, which is a good thing.
While at first glance I didn’t think Apple purchasing the company that makes liquid metal was a big deal, after learning more about how it will greatly improve their products, I’m starting to come around. The only question in my mind is: why hasn’t Apple considered this before? Liquid Metal has been around since 2003. You can find it in drills, new armor piercing rounds, tennis rackets, baseball bats, in skis, at NASA, and in many other places. And in case you’re wondering, this doesn’t mean Apple owns LiquidMetal. They just have an exclusive deal with them. LiquidMetal will continue to make all those other fantastic products. But now Apple’s got an exclusive deal for their amazing material in their technology.
Apple may have taken a while to catch on, but this is going to be a great new advancement for Apple.