A patent that AppleInsider.com has unearthed sheds interesting new light on the idea that Apple is investigating a smartwatch. The patent was first filed back in August 2011, and is for a “Bi-stable spring with flexible display.” This is essentially the same mechanics as a slap-bracelet, married to digital circuitry and a flexible wrap-around display. There’s also mention of a kinetic charging system, which means that like old self-winding watches the natural motion of your arm would keep it charged.
When snapped around the wearer’s wrist, the screen forms a continuous display, with the device sensing which way the arm is pointing so the display can be easily read. The “watch” would communicate wirelessly with a companion device like a smartphone or tablet, and relevant info would be shown on the display.
Previously this year we’ve heard rumors that Apple has a 100-strong steam working on the “iWatch” project, and there’s also been mention of a “curved” display. Apple’s patent indicates that the company is definitely interested in exploring this technology, and the concepts in the patent show that Apple has already come up with smart ways to side-step the problems of limited battery life and small displays that the current crop of smartwatches suffer.
Can Apple inject some life into the digital smartwatch sector? Do you like this somewhat Tron-like design?