The air conditioning in the rumored Apple Car might offer some surprises for users, with the unit perhaps being able to sniff the air, as well as the ability to be hidden from view.
Air conditioning systems in vehicles are a relatively familiar quantity to users and have not undergone many design changes over the years of their inclusion in vehicles. However, Apple believes it can improve on what has already been done with its own unusual design.
The patent for an “air conditioning system with slot fluid distribution”, issued Tuesday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, describes a low profile air conditioning system for vehicles. The design is where the fins used to control airflow and direction are moved away from the point of exit, with the air being channeled to pass through a narrow but wide slot.
The design is presumably intended to be one that spans most of the width of the vehicle’s dashboard, with a relatively narrow visible opening. While the use of fins to cut the air and change the way it moves is not a new idea, nor to downplay the appearance in that way, Apple is making some interesting changes to the design, namely the incorporation of odors.
Typical car air conditioning and ventilation systems do not offer controllable odors, although aftermarket options are available, consisting of bottles containing perfume that attach to externally visible fins or to the air freshener. usual suspended.
The main addition is the use of a “fluid flow path” inside the housing, just before it reaches the passenger. Indeed, it is a small hollow under the path of the air, just after it has passed the set of fins.
Naturally, the fluid is scented, and being positioned at the very end of the air conditioning system, this means that the smell will come out more immediately and fill the cabin.
As part of the design of the finned unit, there is a steep slope between the fluid flow path and the actual outlet, just enough slope that anyone looking into the vent cannot see the trough. herself.
The fluid flow path consists of a delivery module and a fluidic controller, the latter being movable to adjust the direction of the fluid flow within the housing. Thermal passages can also be incorporated to heat or cool the liquid, adjusting the efficiency of the odor in the air by increasing or reducing it.
A hollow at the bottom of the vent would contain an odor-producing liquid.
A transverse fluidic control device made up of airfoil shaped fins could provide a fine level of directional control, while vertical fluidic control between the inlet and the transverse control device could provide a coarser level of directional control. . Control units may also be able to adjust fluid flow to a number of different profiles, including sinusoidal oscillating direction changes.
This control can also be adjusted by other factors monitored for each profile the user has selected, such as scent or fluid dispensed, speed, temperature and humidity.
While much of the patent offer with the smell, it also includes elements in which it explains how to minimize the visible appearance of the vent. In addition to taking a very low profile, the backrest suggests that it can be hidden in various ways, such as a cover made of porous material, a shutter or a lighting element.
A “roller blind” type blanket, flexible fabric with openings, and “ferromagnetic fabric with controllable chains” are also suggested as means of masking the vent.
The patent lists its inventors as John M. Kearney, Clarisse Mazuir, Arthur Y. Zhang and Samuel B. Schaevitz. It was originally filed on May 26, 2017.
Apple files many patent applications on a weekly basis, but while the existence of a filing indicates areas of interest to Apple’s research and development efforts, they do not guarantee the idea will emerge. in future products or services.
The long-awaited and rumored Apple Car is associated with many patent filings and covers a lot of different areas, including some that rethink conventional functionality.