Future Apple Watches may be flexible and/or sport a magnetic wristband, according to two recently granted Apple patents.
The first (number 20190043845) is for a “display module and system applications.” In the filing, Apple says demand is increasing for thinner, lighter weight, and lower cost smart electronic devices, with higher resolution and larger touch screens. Apple is eyeing a smartwatch with first display area for the watch face itself and a second display area extending to the watch band.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A display module and system applications including a display module are described. The display module may include a display substrate including a front surface, a back surface, and a display area on the front surface. A plurality of interconnects extend through the display substrate from the front surface to the back surface. An array of light emitting diodes (LEDs) are in the display area and electrically connected with the plurality of interconnects, and one or more driver circuits are on the back surface of the display substrate. Exemplary system applications include wearable, rollable, and foldable displays.”
The second patent (number 10,205,463) for a magnetic wristband with a number of configurations. In one configuration the wristband is magnetically coupled around a user's wrist.
In another configuration the magnetic wristband can be magnetically coupled around an electronic device to which it is attached. In this second described configuration the magnetic wristband acts as a protective cover for the electronic device to which the wristband is attached. Apple says that, in this way, a user can reduce the likelihood of damage being inflicted upon the electronic device while it is not being worn.
What’s more, as shown in the patent drawings, the Apple Watch could be magnetically attached to your Mac.
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.