Apple's Attention To Detail – Breathing Status LED Indicator


Apple products always get recognition for their sleek aesthetics and breath-taking innovation. Their “curb appeal” is second to none. One can only image the amount of time and thought that is poured into each aspect of design.

Today, I can across an article on Flood Lite that further affirmed my love for Apple and their relentless appreciation of “the small things”.

I think this applies to a lot of what we do:

Apple Breathing Status LED Indicator

From the Flood Lite article:

In July 2002, Appled filed a patent for a “Breathing Status LED Indicator” (No. US 6,658,577 B2). They described it as a “blinking effect of the sleep-mode indicator in accordance with the present invention mimics the rhythm of breathing which is psychologically appealing.”

The average respiratory rate for adults is 12-20 breaths per minute, which is the rate that the sleep-indicator light fades in and out on most Apple laptops. Older models such as the Macintosh PowerBook, however, use a blinking LED indicator, with discrete pulses in one-second intervals.

The other day, I noticed that my friend’s Dell laptop had a similar feature but with a shorter fade-in-fade-out period. Its rate was around 40 blinks per second, or the average respiratory rate for adults during strenuous exercise—not very indicative of something in sleep-mode.

It’s interesting how a lot of companies try to copy Apple but never seem to get it right. This is yet another example of Apple’s obsessive attention to detail.

Until today, this was just one of those cool “Mac things” that you notice. From now on, I will hold it’s soothing pulse in a much higher regard!

Kudos to Flood Lite for the great investigative work!



I write both code and content for this team and I love every minute of it.

We have 3 comments...
Now let's hear from you!

  1. KV SRIDHAR says

    This is a new one ! As usual, they have excelled themselves. After ‘Retina’ display this is awesome. The fact that they are advancing Siri may mean that having taken the phone to a smartphone level, they are taking the touch out of the phone. Interesting to see what they do. Whatever they do, one thing is for sure…it will be beyond belief.

What would you like to say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *