A Slap Wrap for the new millennium?
The last few weeks have seen an influx of rumors relating to Apple's supposed plans for a smartwatch. Whether planted or not, now a patent has emerged that directly points to such a device.
First discovered by AppleInsider, the patent was filed way back in August of 2011, and details a wearable accessory that can be worn on the wrist or elsewhere on the body. The patent even highlights the flexible display that has cropped up in recent rumors.
"The wearable accessory device includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring," the patent abstract reads. "Coupling the display to the bi-stable spring allows the accessory device to be easily worn in a number of convenient locations."
The patent goes on to describe a device that features a flexible substrate that can conform to the end-users body and is capable of displaying information in real time. The description mentions Slap Wrap bracelets as the most recent widespread use of bi-stable spring. This mechanism would allow the iWatch (or whatever Apple is developing) to hold two distinct configurations. One of the illustrations included in the patent application shows the device's display wrapping completely around the wrist to create an uninterrupted screen.
Rumors about Apple's wearable watch have been ramping up as of late, and more recent reports suggest that this is no coincidence. Forbes this week called Apple out, claiming that the fruity iPhone maker is deliberately planting iWatch leaks now that photos of Samsung's own "smartwatch" have begun to surface. The fact that sources spoke directly with three major news organizations seemingly back-to-back, and not with the typical Asian news sources, paints a big bulls-eye on Apple's PR department. Then again, Samsung isn't the first company to produce a smartwatch. There were a few at CES 2013 last month and at CES 2009, LG showed off its own Dick Tracy-esque creation.