New Apple 'iWatch' Patent Application Reveals Slap Bracelet with Wraparound Touch-Sensitive Display

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A newly-published patent application from Apple discovered by AppleInsider discloses a new "bracelet" accessory with a wraparound design where the screen would cover the entire outer surface. While the word "watch" is not used anywhere in the patent application, which was filed in August 2011, the "wearable video device" described in the document could clearly serve as an advanced wristwatch.

    The patent application describes a "bi-stable spring" design, where the watch strap would automatically curve snugly around any sized wrist, the two ends overlapping as required. The display itself would be flexible, and the patent describes a method by which any portion of the display covered by the overlap could be automatically switched off.

    The device's screen is described as having a "touch-sensitive user interface" overlaid on the flexible display, in contrast to the physical buttons used on existing smart watches like Pebble.

    The design comprises a thin flexible steel band within a fabric wrap, with the screen glued to the outer surface and the electronics and battery glued to the inner surface, though it also refers to the possibility of a more robust design with a fabric frame surrounding the display.

    The display appears to be made up of a series of flexible segments which would be flat when the watch is placed on a desk but which curve as much as needed to fit the wrist when the watch is worn.

    The patent application also gives clues as to the possible size of the watch, suggesting a width of one inch. though it should be noted that this refers only to the 'typical' width of such bracelets rather than any specific plan by Apple:
    The patent suggests that gyroscopes and accelerometers would be used to allow the watch to determine the orientation of the display, depending, for example, on whether it was worn on left or right wrist.

    The patent application also lends weight to speculation that the watch would be a partner device to an iPhone rather than a standalone product, as it refers to "a method for passing information between an accessory device disposed on one surface of a bi-stable spring substrate and a portable electronic device." The watch would act as an input device as well as a display, with reference to a virtual keyboard.

    While plugging in the watch to a power source appears to be the primary means of charging the battery, the patent also discusses options for solar power and kinetic charging of the battery, two technologies Apple has addressed in previous patent applications.

    Many of Apple's patent applications of course never come to fruition in the form of released products, with Apple instead seeking to control certain technologies or aspects of devices that may appear in completely different forms. As a result, it is unlikely that Apple has plans to launch such a slap bracelet watch accessory, but the patent application does give some insight into what Apple has been considering as it has worked on the project.

    Article Link: New Apple 'iWatch' Patent Application Reveals Slap Bracelet with Wraparound Touch-Sensitive Display
  2. macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    I wonder if it will be water resistant? That would be important IMO if they are targeting it to the average Joe.
  3. macrumors regular

    May 29, 2010
  4. macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009

    this has the potential to be back to the future level stuff. I have no doubt they will pull it off and while I think googles glasses are a good theory this looks like something I may actually wear
  5. macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    It's happening. Here comes another revolution from apple.
  6. macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    Time will never be the same.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2010
  8. macrumors 68040


    May 10, 2010
    Was thinking the same when we recently discussed the thick mockups ... Why not use the space to the display ?

    No color and style discussion: there is an app for it ...
  9. macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
    Samsung's response: The wearable screen sleeve. ;)
  10. macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    And it must be the best  TV remote thinkable!
  11. macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    LMAO - those slap bracelets were all the rage back in the late 80's!
  12. ironsienna, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2010
    This is the next big thing! I can't wait to call my automated Google car with one of these!

    Although I will definitely stay with my current hairstyle!

  13. macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    A slap on strap? They were a kids toy 20 years ago, it was a crap idea then, it won't have improved

    It'll soon loose it's ability to form a tight fit.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    Yawn... Another iDoubtIt

    As the article says, Apple uses a lot of patents in defensive territorial-establishment mode.

    I suspect this is designed to prevent small companies (but not big ones) bringing vaguely similar innovations to the market.

    Apple does have a truly exciting stash of patents - how many does it have on Augmented Reality goggles? I just wish they'd bring more of them to the market, or at least allow someone else to do so until they do.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    I'd like to see if they have any actual plans for a watch, but I think we can all safely assume any kind of slap bracelet type design is not gonna happen.
  16. macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2006
    close to perfection
    Can we please have a three month hiatus from all iWatch related stuff?! Please, yes. It really makes me avoiding the macrumors site, atm.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    Yep... I mentioned it before... Having young kids that resist bath time is a perfect example... I've lost my last watch like this... Might get a new watch when my youngest is able to take her damn bath by herself.
  18. macrumors demi-god


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    What happens if you have a small wrist. It says the overlapping portions would be if you had a small wrist only a small portion of the strap would function as a display.

    The only solution would be to gain a huge amount of weight so you would have a fatter wrist and therefore, a larger display area!!:p
  19. macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2011
  20. macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2012
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2011
    Can companies just patent whatever they think of or do they need the technology to back it up?
  22. macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
  23. macrumors 68040


    May 10, 2010
    You wear it wrong, put it on the upper arn ... ;)
  24. macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    A lot hype regarding this watch thing, so it must be real then, and I'm excited about it.
    the same hype when apple would introduce a smaller ipad, which some people dont believe its coming :rolleyes:
  25. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    it'll probably be sold in the US only ... problem solved :p jk

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