It seems that Apple is gearing up to gain traction in a field where it has been bested by Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG – the field of Flexible Displays. Samsung has recently unveiled its first device with a curved display – the Samsung Galaxy Round; whereas LG has launched the LG G Flex, also featuring curved displays. Samsung has also confirmed it will launch devices with wrap-around displays next year. In a recent update, Patent Apply has confirmed that Apple has been awarded a patent for manufacturing flexible Sapphire displays using liquid metal.
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The patent application for this killer patent was published in Europe, which states that Apple’s invention describes a flexible, wrap-around display technology which Apple will eventually use to create displays in the form of a hollow cylinder as well as an elongated rectangle. The patent further describes the process used to create these displays – which is basically an “alumina powder liquid-metal process“. The displays would be created by extracting a sapphire crystal seed from a crucible of molten liquid aluminum. The shape of the display would depend on the shape of the crystal seed and may include “a hollow cylinder, a hollow tube with an oval, triangular, or rectangular cross-sectional shape, or other hollow shapes.”
Sapphire glass, technically, is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide and is already available – in small tidbits – on the iPhone 5S. Apple uses Sapphire glass to cover the camera as well as the Touch ID sensor on their latest iPhone 5S. Sapphire glass tends to be more durable than other traditional forms of glass and is virtually scratch-proof. It was being speculated in tech circles that Sapphire displays would form a standard part of a smartphone in the future, which has been lent support by this latest patent application from Apple.
This kind of technology can be put to exceptionally innovative good use such as wrap-around smart watches and wrap-around bezel-free displays on mobile devices. Apple is rumored to be releasing a larger screen iPhone in the next year; rumors also abound regarding a Smartwatch which Apple is allegedly working on.
Though the technology patent is exciting in itself, we would not expect to see any real-world devices wearing this technology in the immediate future. However owning a Smartwatch which would be nothing more than a wrap-around screen would be a fantastic thing. Don’t you agree? Do let us know in the comments below.