Apple patent application reveals slap bracelet ‘iWatch’ with flexible touchscreen display

“A patent application discovered by AppleInsider on Thursday reveals Apple is indeed investigating a wearable accessory device that not only boasts a full-length flexible touchscreen display, but conforms to a user’s body through the use of a ‘slap bracelet’ mechanism,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple first filed its application for a ‘Bi-stable spring with flexible display’ with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in August of 2011, describing a wearable accessory device that can be easily worn on a user’s wrist or other body part,” Campbell reports. “When active, the unit connects to a portable device via various communications protocols like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to show relevant information in real time on a flexible display that can wrap fully around a user’s wrist. While the device itself can conform to nearly any appendage, a suitable location would be a user’s wrist.”

USPTO: Apple patent application slap-bracelet "iWatch"

Campbell reports, “According to the filing, in its most simplest form, the proposed invention involves embedding a flexible display, along with the necessary electronic components, into a conventional slap bracelet.”

More info and more of Apple’s patent application illustrations in the full article here.

Jack Purcher reports for Ppatently Apple, “Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an advanced wearable computer in the form of a bracelet that could double as a watch”

“That’s the key, as the bracelet goes far beyond being a wristwatch,” Purcher reports. “Apple states that with a multitouch display, the user ‘can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, or 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.'”

USPTO: Apple patent application slap-bracelet "iWatch"

Purcher reports, “Apple’s contemplates utilizing a solar panel beneath the display as well as take advantage of kinetic energy.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Jax44” for the heads up.]

24 Comments

    1. iPad mini with cellular telephone capabilities
      – for me would be the new iPhone Big.

      If iWatch was the iPhone mini or inexpensive iPhone
      – holy crap – killer killer killer move Apple and very brave.

        1. And you can use VIBER (which is much better then Google Voice) too… but its over WIFI (when used on iPad / mini / iPod touch. Add a option to iPad mini so it is a PHONE with a cellular carrier like the iPhone is. Comprehend?

  1. One thing i must say from seeing these diagrams; they illustrate a deeper understanding that watches are not very comfortable items to wear. And that that would be one major hurdle to over come fi not designed properly.

    Ultra thin wrist band and flexible screens is not merely cool to look at but practical and non intrusive to the persons daily activities.
    It expresses that Apple has responsible designers and engineers who actually THINK and BETTER our lives – not rushing to market to sell us junk. Apple understands this issue for most consumers and wants US ALL TO accept such an item for daily use.

    I may come to love this device – I can not wait to see and try it.
    What it will do? Who knows but it should be amazing…
    because that is what Apple does.

    1. That may be true, but there is also a factor called “style” which often trumps functionality. For some reason, giant-sized men’s watches are currently in style, and I don’t think that it is because a lot of people suddenly experienced a drop in visual acuity. As a result, I believe that there are a lot of wearable form factors that could be profitably marketed, although the more functional and comfortable ones will tend to dominate sales in the long run.

      The slap bracelet idea sounds pretty cool. I hope that Apple follows up with a functional, marketable product.

      1. i must agree with your point on style and fashion; that presently big bad ass chunky watches are being force feed to those who believe they look great. But I disagree, if you are suggesting that fashion has any functionality at all. All that fashion does in terms of functionality is, express your wallet size or ones stupidity.

        I will question this. How well are these sales and who are theses buyers? Answering my own question; people who want to flaunt materialistic power purchases in a gangster-like style.

        Furthering my defence, fashion trends change fast – by next month slim could be the new rage once again – specially if Apple does this product right. Which I am extremely confident they will.

  2. Calm down, people. You may be seriously disappointed. There’s only so much they can cram into such a small device. I’m sure it will be very limited to start with, but expand in time…

  3. Apple’s Flexible Screen technology and a flex watch could be used as a straight phone against the ear and be put back on the wrist when finished the call. I am not sure how well it will keep a charge when it is that small but perhaps it has a very low powered processor and slow clock speed.

  4. Not sure how practical this will be for phone calls (unless you have bluetooth headset) and picture taking but definitely as an iPod with Bluetooth headphones. Replace the iPod nano and shuffle initially then go from there. Not sure if it would be an iPhone mini given that the screen tech is probably expensive.

    1. … electronic TV was conceived in 1909 and in Things to Come (circa early 30s) they showed an impressive rendition of a flat screen tv but don’t think that they are down as the inventor of that particular digital device, because they weren’t demonstrably REAL. For that matter Apple demonstrated a simulated iPad like device in the early 90s but again don’t think that represented the birth of the iPad itself. So when Nokia actually create one then they will be first… assuming that they aren’t second, third or even last.

      1. My point is that the media comes out with stuff like this and people mistakingly believe Apple to be the inventor of this. Apple also doesn’t have a product like this either so in terms of that, Nokia is 6 years earlier showing a prototype rendition of their ideas. These ideas cannot be discounted. And you should comb through Nokia’s patents… Of course the media doesn’t publish article after article everytime Nokia patents something.

        I look at this as disinformation. Apple is toying with ideas a lot of the time and people believe they’re all going to be products!

        The flexible display stuff has lots of real world practical problems. The big one is that it’s flimsy. Try holding something flimsy in your hand. It’s absurd.

        And a watch style smartphone is also an issue: holding it up to your face with your arm in an awkward position.

        Carry on guys.

        1. Nokia may have conceptualize this flexible phone first
          but that is where it stopped also.

          Creativity, without innovating with the latest technologies, is impossible to bring a product to market; as anything seen by the masses, as fresh and new.

          Apples war chest of money – buys them advance tickets to the latest technology breakthroughs. They buy in to the innovation so deeply that competitors can not compete with the same supplier. Hence cutting off the supply chain.

        2. Some really good points mentioned there Sdfg.

          I hope Nokia has patents on this concept… but I doubt they do.
          It is all computer animation and 6 years ago, they would have had to spend money to keep the patent alive and relevant today. Let us see.

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