Future Macs, iPhones, iPads could have wraparound, flexible displays

Future Macs, iPhones, and iPads could have wraparound, flexible displays if a newly granted Apple patent (number 9,921,608) ever reaches fruition. In the patent, the tech giant notes that an electronic device may have a front surface on which a display is mounted, but that conventional display configurations “such as these may be satisfactory in certain situations, but can be unnecessarily limiting.”

Apple’s idea for a wraparound display could include a screen with a touch sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and other sensors for gathering input such as user input (which, of course, seems more geared toward an iOS device rather than a Mac laptop or desktop). Whatever the device, it would use one or more sensors to gather information on rotational motion of the device about the longitudinal axis, tilt events, and other motion of the electronic device. In response to detection of these device motions, the electronic device can display content on the flexible display layer. 

Wrapped display.jpeg

The device may display content that moves or that remains at a fixed location on the surface of the flexible display layer. For example, the electronic device may display pages of content on the display layer in response to tilt events or other motions of the device. The electronic gadget may also adjust scrolling activity and other on-screen content motions based on detected device rotation and other measured movement of the device. 

If desired, content can be displayed in synchronization with the rotation of the electronic device about the longitudinal axis so that the displayed content remains at a fixed location relative to a user. Content may be simultaneously displayed at a fixed location on the surface of the display. In response to detection of a vertical device orientation in which the longitudinal axis is vertical, the device may automatically scroll content on the display around the longitudinal axis. 

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.