Wraparound iPhone Screen – Apple Gets A Patent!
With a new patent that Apple has been granted, it is likely that we will see an iPhone in the near future that technically speaking has no ‘back’, because the display completely wraps around the device. This will make for a 360-degree view, with the front, rear and sides also covered, and only tiny bezels at the top and bottom. Interesting!
As per the patent, with an electronic device that will have a ‘transparent housing and flexible display’, it will be possible to provide visual content on virtually any portion of the phone. The patent further states that the folded flexible display can unwind when placed within the enclosure, which will be moulded out of either glass or plastic. This will result in an illusion of depth, closely mirroring a 3D experience, a novel first. What this means is that users can watch videos or play games using either side of the phone.
The patent does not necessarily refer to a specific new screen technology, but is related to the manufacturing process by which a flexible OLED display will be embedded underneath a seamless piece of glass which will wrap all the way around the iPhone. This would mean a shift from Apple’s current LCD screens (which are too thick and rigid to support a wraparound display) however, bringing much cheer to users waiting for the switch to OLED on an iPhone.
With no separate home button or other external controls on this wraparound screen as is the case with the iPhone today, it is likely that the Touch ID sensor will be embedded into the display. All buttons and switches that are currently along the sides of the iPhone will be virtual instead, making the device smooth and seamless. These buttons could be expanded in size onscreen, depending upon the functionality, such as volume. Any areas of the glass that house internal workings would be obscured for aesthetic reasons.
Will this feature have an impact on the size of the iPhone? No, if the patent is anything to go by, what will be altered for the better is the user’s viewing experience. Still photos, for instance, would appear in a continuous loop around the phone. However, given that it will mean a significant increase in on-screen real estate, it is entirely possible that Apple will need to look at incorporating a larger screen size.
The bottom line
Do keep in mind though that not every patent will result in an actual product roll-out, and Apple is known to file patents that do not see the light of day. Whether this does go into production and we indeed see a tenth anniversary special iPhone is out there right now, owing to the drastic new design changes. But if nothing else, it is a clear indicator that Apple is pushing the boundaries set by conventional phones so far, and is indeed headed for change. What is definitely possible in the iPhone’s not-too-distant future is a curved screen and smaller bezels, though.
Picture courtesy – macrumors.com, dailymail.co.uk and digitaltrends.co
by techtalks @TechTalks August 24, 2016 5:18 AM UTC