Print 48 comment(s) - last by Fritzr.. on Feb 27 at 10:27 AM

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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Just a slap bracelet?
By woody1 on 2/22/2013 12:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, this patent just addresses the bracelet, but the fact that Apple is patenting this suggests that they are indeed working on some kind of wearable device. To say that they're introducing just "a slap bracelet" is like describing the iPhone as a little metal box. The bracelet is trivial, but the device may not be.

Since it's Apple and they have a good history of creating game-changing devices, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Still, a wrist controller for your smartphone seems pretty nerdy and not very necessary. I would not expect the market for this to be huge, but I could be very wrong.

RE: Just a slap bracelet?
By Fritzr on 2/27/2013 10:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
Immediately under diagram 5A (which appears to show a 'screen' you will find the part of the patent claim that declares this to be a "smart device". Mentioned are a touch screen to modify playlists or list of phone numbers.

With that short excerpt, Apple is claiming any device which has iPod Touch/iPhone capabilities without demonstrating a working device. That last part by the way is supposedly a violation of the patent application requirements unless Apple had working prototypes at the time of filing.

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