Patent round-up, wraparound iPhone displays, the Apple Watch, more

We could one day see an iPhone with a flexible, wraparound display. Apple has been granted a patent (number 20160021227) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for “electronic devices with convex displays.”

Apple says that, in conventional arrangements, most electronic device’s displays are flat, so only the portions of the device other than the display have a convex shape. Apple says that this may limit the internal volume of the device and may detract from its appearance and “it would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices.”

According to the patent filing, convex displays may be formed from one or more flexible layers. A flexible display layer may be mounted to a rigid support structure or a rigid cover layer. Flexible display layers that conform to the curved shape of a rigid structure may provide additional internal volume in which internal components of the device may be positioned.

Another granted Apple patent (number 20160018898) involves the Apple Watch. It’s for a wearable computing device that can detect device-raising gestures. For example, onboard motion sensors of the device can detect movement of the device in real time and infer information about the spatial orientation of the device. Based on analysis of signals from the motion sensors, the device can detect a raise gesture, which can be a motion pattern consistent with the user moving the device's display into his line of sight. 

In response to detecting a raise gesture, the device can activate its display and/or other components. Detection of a raise gesture can occur in stages, and activation of different components can occur at different stages.

Finally, Apple has been granted a patent (number 20160019787) for a “method for locating a vehicle.” It allows an iPhone or iPad to be used to locate an automobile in a parking structure. 

In particular, the iDevice can communicate with a parking system that manages the parking structure and/or with a vehicle in order to locate the vehicle. Communications between the portable computing device, parking system and vehicle can be based on one or more wireless connections, such as Bluetooth and/or Bluetooth LE connections.