Apple patent is for a ceiling lighting system for its retail stores

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,217,247) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “ceiling system” — a ceiling fan that will presumably pop up in the next iteration of the company’s brick-and-mortar retails stores. The design basically turns an entire ceiling into a diffused light system.

The patent is for a ceiling system that includes a support structure configured to be installed in a ceiling area of a variety of room types. A ceiling supported by the support structure may cover the majority of the ceiling area and may include light sources to light the room. 

FIG. 23 illustrates a perspective view of a section of a trough including a linear trough light.

According to the patent filing, the ceiling may be defined entirely by panels extending continuously from one end of the ceiling to an opposite end of the ceiling, arranged side-by-side with troughs in between. The panels may themselves be the light sources. Alternatively or additionally light sourced may be disposed within the troughs and provide even light throughout an entire room.

To maintain a consistent and aesthetically-pleasing look to the ceiling the panels may cover the majority of the ceiling, may each have the same width, and may be evenly spaced apart. Apple says that “the panels may present a clean visual appearance, and the troughs may provide a clear visual interruption between the panels.”