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Apple granted patent for eliminating display burn-in on Apple Watches, TVs

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,983,482) for “electronic devices with display burn-in mitigation” for eliminating burn-in on devices with “always-on” displays such as Apple Watches and TVs.

I’m pretty sure that Apple isn’t planning to introduce its own branded TV, but,  hey, in the patent data, the company notes that electronic devices such as televisions with displays such as plasma displays and organic light-emitting diode displays may be subject to burn-in effects. Burn-in may result when a static image is displayed on a display for an extended period of time.

Apple says this can cause uneven wear on the pixels of the display. If care is not taken, burn-in effects can lead to the creation of undesired ghost images on a display. 

However, the patent likely refers to the Apple Watch as it mentions that an electronic device such as a wristwatch has a display may be used to display information such as watch face information. For example, a watch face image may be displayed continuously on the display during operation of the wristwatch device. 

The watch face image on the display may contain watch face elements such as watch face hands, watch face indices (tick marks), and watch face complications. Apple wants to help  avoid burn-in effects associated with displaying the watch face elements. How? Control circuitry in the electronic device may impose burn-in constraints on attributes of the watch face elements. In response to these constraints, the control circuitry may perform burn-in mitigation operations that help reduce burn-in effects. 

Here’s the summary of the patent: “An electronic device such as a wristwatch device or other device may have a display. The display may be used to continuously display information such as watch face information. A watch face image on the display may contain watch face elements such as watch face hands, watch face indices, and complications. 

“To reduce burn-in risk for watch face elements, control circuitry in the electronic device may impose burn-in constraints on attributes of the watch face elements such as peak luminance constraints, dwell time constraints, color constraints, constraints on the shape of each element, and constraints on element style. These constraints may help avoid situations in which static elements such as watch face indices create more burn-in than dynamic elements such as watch face hands.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.