Future iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches — and who knows?, perhaps Macs — may be more bendable. Apple has been granted a patent (number 20160260945) for a “flexible battery pack.”
In the patent filing, Apple notes that the form factors of modern electronic devices often require flexible battery arrangements, whereas conventional battery packs are often too rigid to flexibly conform to these form factors. In addition to flexibility problems, conventional battery packs also have drawbacks associated with reliability. For example, conventional batteries that include multiple cells may fail because moisture or dust enters the cavity of any one of the multiple cells.
Unfortunately, if one of the multiple cells within the battery fails, the entire battery often fails. Apple says that, accordingly, flexible battery packs that overcome one or more of the drawbacks of conventional battery packs are desirable.
Here’s a summary of the invention: “The flexible battery pack may include a plurality of cells, such as galvanic or photovoltaic cells. The battery pack also may include a plurality of laminate layers coupled to the cells that include a top laminate layer and a bottom laminate layer. An adhesive may be used to couple the top and bottom laminate layers together such that each of the plurality of cells is isolated from each other. This arrangement may allow the battery to be shaped to fit a form factor of the electronic device. This arrangement also may allow one or more of the cells to be selectively removed from the plurality, which may be desirable from a manufacturing perspective.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.