Apple patented rollable display tech that can be used for anything from watches to TVs

Apple patented rollable display tech that can be used for anything from watches to TVs
In a few years, the Apple Watch 4 might look like a relic

Patents are cool because they reveal where technology is headed further into the future than the usual leaks and renders. And while not every patented tech makes it into a commercially available device, if a company is patenting something it’s usually considering it for its products.

The latest patent coming from Apple reveals where the Apple Watch might be headed. Reaching us thanks to Foldable.News, is the patent titled “Display module and system applications”, describing an LED display meant to be used for wearable, rollable and foldable devices.

The drawings depict a device that looks like a watch, hinting towards the technology’s most likely use. The bigger display will not only add functionality but if it spans throughout the whole band, it can be used for styling as well, allowing users to change the color of their Apple Watch on the go.

The idea of folding a display around your wrist is nothing new, we’ve already seen the first wearable phone concept in the form of Nubia Alpha. However, the text of the patent also has clues that Apple might be planning something bigger to put its rollable displays into:

One of the drawings shows a schematic that includes external ports such as an HDMI and a Displayport. We’ve already seen a rollable TV prototype from LG, but it seems Apple is working on similar tech as well. Will it be put into a separate product, like a true Apple TV set, or incorporated into its current lineup of products? It will likely depend on how good those displays are since iPads and Mac computers are notorious with their quality screens. We've seen that all the major tech manufacturers are working towards flexible displays in one form or another, so it's no surprise Apple is doing its part. 

Don’t expect anything “rollable” to show up in the Apple Store near you anytime soon, however, such developments are likely at least a couple of years away from hitting the market.



1. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Every company has a patent doing the exact same thing... Except most of those companies actually make displays...

2. murali_v_2000

Posts: 36; Member since: Jan 31, 2012

Such a patent coming from a company that is "Actually" making displays makes sense. Not from Apple, who is just an integrator. Drawing boxes for "processor", "I/O" etc will get a patent, but not a product !

4. nepalisherpa

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

A company can patent a design and have another company manufacture it.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17387; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

These kinds of patents are the problem - very general and nebulous. No specific designs, just explaining something that sci-fi came up with 20 years ago.

5. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Talk about a SCRATCHED UP display. Considering how people treat their phones, this thing would be unreadable in about 3 months.

6. Wazupmrg

Posts: 186; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Of course it'll actually be available 2 years after several others launch it

7. gigicoaste

Posts: 457; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

For Apple couple of years while we already seen prototype this year and we might see a release later same year.. of course different manufacturer. Still, Apple is the one and almighty, the best and the last. Competition, innovation is bad! I still don't understand why consumers are so excited and here at "consumers" I place PA as well since they cannot be objective in creating "articles".

8. cheetah2k

Posts: 2266; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

LG just released their first rollable TV. Looks fantastic. Screw you Apple

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