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The rumors of the iWatch have been in the news for some time now and now it looks like Apple is definitely working on a watch.

A patent called “Bi-Stable Spring With Flexible Display” has been filed by Apple which describes the watch as “a wearable accessory device”  which “includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring. Coupling the display to the bi-stable spring allows the accessory device to be easily worn in a number of convenient locations. ”

The Apple patent shows off a flexible, touchscreen display worn on the wrist, paired with your phone over Bluetooth. You can use the iWatch to see recent calls and texts, edit playlists and view maps. Solar and kinetic power from your hand movements keep the watch ticking.

 

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FIG. 5B shows accessory device 400 in its curled state, attached to a user’s wrist. As can be seen the display wraps completely around the wrist in this state creating an uninterrupted screen. One sensor that could be added to the components illustrated is an inertial orientation sensor, such as a gyroscope, or accelerometer (not shown). By including an inertial orientation sensor displayed information could be arranged so that it always faces up, or directly towards the user. This conveniently allows a user to continue viewing information on the accessory device while maneuvering the extremity it is located on. In a power saving mode the inertial orientation sensor can be configured to only activate the display when the accessory device is rotated into a specific viewing orientation, thereby saving the user the hassle of having to push a button to activate the screen while still allowing for the power savings of a standby mode. In another aspect of the power saving mode the inertial orientation sensor could generate power savings by deactivating portions of the screen oriented away from the user. Because the flexible display technology uses an active matrix light emitting diode (AMOLED) display the deactivation of unused portions of the display helps significantly. This is due to the fact that AMOLED displays can activate individual pixels, and save energy when the number of illuminated pixels is reduced.

 

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