Apple hires carbon fiber specialist

Even the most ardent Apple critics have to admit that the aluminum unibody enclosures that encase MacBook Pro laptops are all kinds of sexy. Industrial design has long been a strong suit of the Mac maker, and it looks like the future could hold less metal and more woven carbon. Kevin Kenney, former president of carbon fiber bicycle specialist Kestrel, is now a "senior composites engineer at Apple," according to his LinkedIn profile.

Engadget notes that Kenney has worked with Apple before. Back in 2010, Kenney and Apple filed for a patent on carbon-reinforced housings for electronics devices.

Carbon fiber has already been used by at least a couple of notebook makers—Acer with the Ferrari series and VoodooPC with it Envy laptops—so Apple wouldn't be the first to encase electronics with a weave. The material certainly has an attractive strength-to-weight ratio. Carbon fiber can also be molded into a variety of shapes, and the weave itself creates an attractive-looking texture. Even more good news: the clear coats on my carbon bike wheels and kayak paddle appear to be impervious to fingerprints and smudges.

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