Apple may be interested in embedding future computers with their own projectors, If a recent patent application is any indication.

The application, filed in September 2009, describes a low-power projector design that would be cheaper to manufacture than current versions.

The patent notes that while traditional laser projectors create better images, they are far more power-intensive. As a result, using a less conventional light emitting diode-based projector would be a better way to address concerns over energy consumption and cost.

To solve the problems, Apple is working on methods that would combine the two projection technologies. By combining light from the incoherent light source with the light from the coherent light source, the overall power level of the coherent light source in the combined light beam may be reduced while still perceiving a crisp, clear image, writes the inventor, Brett Bilbrey.

Applications for the technology include rear-projection televisions, and traditional, screen-based projection methods. The low-cost technology would also enable Apple to create computers with their own projectors built in, eliminating the need for a television.