Feeds

Apple files 'iWatch' patent application

Flexible video display to slap onto your 'appendage'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent application that juices rumors Apple is working on a bit of wrist-wearable kit that hardware hypothesizers have dubbed the "iWatch".

"Bi-stable Spring with Flexible Display" was revealed in the USPTO's weekly Thursday-morning application dump, and describes a snap-on device much like the iWatch that The Wall Street Journal reported that Cupertino was developing with its manufacturing partner, Foxconn.

The application, however, makes no mention of the device as being a timepiece – it is described, more generally, as a "wearable video device arranged to be worn by an end-user" on said user's wrist. Like a watch.

Well, not the user's wrist, per se. The device is described as having "a flat state and a curled state," that latter of which "conforms to an appendage of the end-user."

Remember those slap wristbands you played with as a kid? The ones that snapped onto your wrist – or, for that matter, any other appendage – when you slapped them against it? That's the idea.

Of course, not all of our wrists appendages are of equal girth, and so the flexible display as described in the application is described as being able to adjust the amount of information that it presents to the user based on how much of the display is viewable when worn.

Apple 'Bi-stable Spring with Flexible Display' patent illustration

No matter how petite or buff your appendage might be, the display will adjust to the area that's visible

But it's also usable when not wrapped around your choice of appendage, and in that flat-state usage model, the entire display can be lit up and usable.

The display itself is described as being touch-controllable, and the device has "a wireless communications antenna; a battery; an integrated circuit for driving the flexible display; and a data and power connector."

Apple 'Bi-stable Spring with Flexible Display' patent illustration

When flat, you can see the battery (504), connector (508), antenna (506), and kinetic-energy gatherer (502)

Interestingly, no mention is made of a processor being onboard the device. Instead, a "bi-directional communication link" is established between the device and a "portable electronic device" – which we can only assume would be an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – and information is passed between them, displayed on either device.

Another nice touch is that the device is described as being self-powered by "a kinetic energy gathering component, wherein the battery can be trickle charged" or "ambient light energy collectors disposed on at least one edge of the accessory device" – a self-winding wristwatch for the ultra–low power digital age, it appears. ®

Bootnote

Slap wristbands are not entirely new to the iDevice world. Griffin Technology, for example, offers the appropriately named Slap, which turns the sixth-generation iPod Nano into a somewhat clunky wristwatch.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.