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The patent application is for a "Bi-stable spring with flexible display"

A patent application filed by Apple indicates that it certainly is working on a wearable device, but it will work much like a "slap bracelet."

The patent application, discovered Thursday, was for a "Bi-stable spring with flexible display." It was filed in August 2011.

According to the application, the bi-stable spring would be made out of thin steel and wrapped in fabric covering, then heat-sealed. The display would be located on one side of the bracelet (overlaid with an adhesive) and the logic board and battery would be placed on the other side. Another idea shows that display mounted right to the bracelet and framed by a thicker fabric.

It is made for universal fit of any wrist (or other body part where the user wishes to wear it). The patent described sensors for "end-detection," which means these sensors can turn off an unused portion of the bracelet (for smaller wrists) that is covered by the bracelet overlap.

Other on-board sensors, like gyroscopes and accelerometers, can be used while the bracelet is in curved form (around the wrist) to detect when it is being worn and provide an uninterrupted screen. This would also make sure the screen's information is in the right position for the user to see it.

As far as the information provided on the display, the patent says this:

"With a touch screen user input a user can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, and reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display."

Further, the battery could be powered by solar panels and kinetic energy to increase efficiency. It will also likely feature wireless charging for the internal battery.

Just last week, it was reported that Apple was working on a smart watch device. The tech giant is already in talks with manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., and Hon Hai has been working on new technologies for wearable devices, such as more efficient displays and chips at that size.

Source: Apple Insider

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RE: Watches are never coming back
By FaaR on 2/21/2013 12:27:41 PM , Rating: 1
As someone who lives in a place where winters are cold, really cold, today's smartphones aren't really all that suited to such climates. A more accessible way to do simple input would be much desired by me, without having to open up my jacket to haul out the phone itself and start fiddling when the temps may be -20C.

If you have no desire in such a device as this, fine. Everybody's entitled to their opinion, but don't presume you speak for everyone, everywhere.

RE: Watches are never coming back
By CZroe on 2/21/2013 8:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
As a motorcycle rider often wearing gloves, I've been demanding this for years. My Sony-Ericsson MBW-150's display didn't last long and the LiveView/SmartWatch they make today has no physical controls. Most smart watches either stupidly try to cram limited smartphone hardware into your wrist (why when you can be a remote display for the unused power in your pocket?) or have no physical input (touch sensors only). The Pebble is the closest though I'd prefer the MBW-150 with a functional display (can't tell it's not a watch).

Other than physical controls, Caller ID and remote call rejection is important. Vibration while on silent with disconnect notification is also.

RE: Watches are never coming back
By Shamefoot on 2/23/2013 7:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Lumia 920 works just fine with gloves on. You should give it a try.

RE: Watches are never coming back
By Flunk on 2/25/2013 12:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you ride bikes but you can't really hold and use a touchscreen phone while riding without crashing into things*.

*A lot of car drivers are not capable of this either.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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