This story comes to you via a circuitous route: We noted it on Slashdot, which cited MacDailyNews -- which, having been slashdotted, is inaccessible for the nonce -- who we think noted it from Ars Technicais forums, as that siteis thread on the subject was started on Saturday.
The story itself is that Apple has apparently filed for a new patent that has everyone all worked up. The title of the patent, according to the folks on the Ars Technica boards, is "Computing device with dynamic ornamental appearance." The idea submitted in the patent is for the casing for an electronic device be able to change colors according to dynamic conditions. As Apple put it in the patent application, "For example, the light may be used to exhibit a housing behavior that reflects the desires or moods of the user, that reflects inputs or outputs for the electronic device, or that reacts to tasks or events associated with operation of the electronic device."
The link to the patent [Link changed to one that functions properly], so we offer the quoted information provided by Ars Technica forum poster:
The invention pertains to electronic devices capable of dynamically changing their ornamental or decorative appearance, i.e., the outer appearance as seen by a user. The electronic devices generally include an illuminable housing. The illuminable housing, which includes at least one wall configured for the passage of light, is configured to enclose, cover and protect a light arrangement as well as functional components of the electronic device. The light arrangement, which generally includes one or more light sources, is configured to produce light for transmission through the light passing wall(s) of the illuminable housing. The transmitted light illuminates the wall(s) thus giving the wall a new appearance. That is, the transmitted light effectively alters the ornamental or decorative appearance of the electronic device. In most cases, the light is controlled so as to produce a light effect having specific characteristics or attributes. As such, the electronic device may be configured to provide additional feedback to the user of the electronic device and to give users the ability to personalize or change the look of their electronic device on an on-going basis. That is, a housing of the electronic device is active rather than passive, i.e., the housing has the ability to adapt and change. For example, the light may be used to exhibit a housing behavior that reflects the desires or moods of the user, that reflects inputs or outputs for the electronic device, or that reacts to tasks or events associated with operation of the electronic device.
You can find the Ars Technica post at that siteis forums.