The world patent office gives us a glimpse at Apple’s future plans for its smartwatch. A patent for a smartwatch with flexible display was awarded to Apple this week, Foldable.News discovered. The World Intellectual Property Organisation published the patent yesterday. The curved display spans the entire watch face and band, turning it into one large OLED or MicroLED surface, which can be used to display additional information.
Apple describes the invention as follows:
In accordance with embodiments of the invention the display module can be incorporated into a wearable electronic device, for example, a smartwatch. In such an embodiment, the display area of the display substrate spans a watch face and a band of the smartwatch. In another embodiment, the display substrate is secured to a spool. In such an embodiment, the spool can include the one or more driver circuits in electrical contact with the plurality of interconnects.
The patent explains how MicroLEDs could be used to change the design of the wristband. Apple acquired a company specialising in microLED technology in 2014.
There are no signs that this new Apple Watch will hit the store shelves anytime soon. The Cupertino company has not announced any plans to bring devices with flexible screens to market. In contrast to Chinese and Korean manufacturers who are expected to announce a range of devices in the coming week during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Apple was awarded with another foldable phone patent on Thursday. WIPO published a patent for a flip-phone with flexible screen that bends in the middle.
Read also: Why do we need a foldable phone anyway?