Saturday, 4 October 2008

9to5Mac brick clues point to laser-cut aluminum enclosure

It's going to be another big weekend for the Mac rumor community - since, we can expect invites to be despatched next week for the much-anticipated October 14 Apple event.

You've got to love 9to5Mac - a relatively new entrant onto the scene who has led the blogging community over the past 12 months with a series of accurate scoops.

But they're playing with their fans' affections right now with this whole brick clue business - drip-feeding us with a series of tantalizing clues over this weekend. I only hope they come up with the goods in the end, or there will be tears.

What can we make of the clues so far? A brick, an image of a laser and a lump of aluminum.

Popular speculation point to one of four theories:
  • Blu-Ray in some form (BRick could be an acronym)
  • Fancy power adapter (see previous post)
  • Aluminum enclosure made from a solid block of metal (sounds unlikely)
  • Induction charging (takes me back to the heady days of the last time 9to5Mac linked to this blog)
The reference in one clue to author Neal Stephenson might suggest that this is something to do with his latest book, Anathem - which I'm currently ploughing through. More than any book I've read before, it resembles a brick. There's also a bit in the book involving lasers, but they're red, rather than green...

My best guess is that 9to5Mac's new info concern laser cutting aluminum. Apple has a track record of devising innovative uses for this technique in their enclosures. For example, this is used to allow the green light to be seen through solid aluminum on the wireless keyboard and the MacBook Pro's/Air's iSight light. You can also see it in the mike grills on the MacBook Air. 

The advantages of laser cutting aluminum is precision - perhaps they'll use it for fancy new speaker grills, or a real aluminum keyboard? Perhaps they'll make tiny perforations in the entire wrist-rest in order to introduce multi-touch to the entire surface, eliminating the requirement for a trackpad.

Update: Looks like this is where 9to5Mac got their laser image from. It's the forth result on Google Images for the keyword "laser". From this, we can probably conclude that "laser" is the only significance to be inferred from the image (sadly it seems this has nothing to do with the hylean theoric world.)

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