Apple eyeing a portable device (an iPad?) with a flexible display
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple eyeing a portable device (an iPad?) with a flexible display




Three Apple patents have appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that show Apple is working on ways to simplify the production of its various portable computing devices.

Patent number 20120194998 is for a portable computing device that can take many forms such as a laptop computer, a tablet computer, and so on. The portable computing device can include at least a single piece housing. The single piece housing can be machined from a single billet of material, such as a billet of aluminum. The single piece housing can include ledges with a surface receiving a trim bead and a cover. Corner brackets can be attached to the single piece housing to improve the damage resistance of the housing.

Here's Apple's background on the invention: "In recent years, portable computing devices such as laptops, PDAs, media players, cellular phones, etc., have become small, light and powerful. One factor contributing to this reduction in size can be attributed to the manufacturer's ability to fabricate various components of these devices in smaller and smaller sizes while in most cases increasing the power and or operating speed of such components. The trend of smaller, lighter and powerful presents a continuing design challenge in the design of some components of the portable computing devices.

"One design challenge associated with the portable computing device is the design of the enclosures used to house the various internal components. This design challenge generally arises from a number conflicting design goals that includes the desirability of making the enclosure lighter and thinner, the desirability of making the enclosure stronger and making the enclosure more esthetically pleasing. The lighter enclosures, which typically use thinner structures and fewer fasteners, tend to be more flexible and therefore they have a greater propensity to buckle and bow when used while the stronger and more rigid enclosures, which typically use more substantial structures and include fasteners, tend to be thicker and carry more weight. Unfortunately, however, the increased weight consistent with the more rugged enclosure can lead to user dissatisfaction whereas bowing of enclosures formed of lightweight material can result in damaging some of the internal components (such as printed circuit boards) of the portable device.

"Furthermore, the enclosures are mechanical assemblies having multiple parts that are screwed, bolted, riveted, or otherwise fastened together at discrete points. These assembly techniques typically complicate the housing design and create aesthetic difficulties because of undesirable cracks, seams, gaps or breaks at the mating surfaces and fasteners located along the surfaces of the housing. For example, a mating line surrounding the entire enclosure is produced when using an upper and lower casing. Moreover, the various components and complicated processes used to manufacture the portable device can make assembly a time consuming and cumbersome process requiring, for example, a highly trained assembly operator working with special tools.

"Another challenge is related to techniques for mounting structures within the portable computing devices. Conventionally, the structures have been laid over one of the casings (upper or lower) and attached to one of the casings with fasteners such as screws, bolts, rivets, etc. That is, the structures are positioned in a sandwich like manner in layers over the casing and thereafter fastened to the casing. This methodology suffers from the same drawbacks as mentioned above, i.e., assembly is a time consuming and cumbersome process.

"In view of the foregoing, there is a need for improved component density and associated assembly techniques that reduce cost and improve outgoing quality. In addition, there is a need for improvements in the manner in which handheld devices are assembled such as improvements that enable structures to be quickly and easily installed within the enclosure. It is also desirable to minimize the Z stack height of the assembled components in order to reduce the overall thickness of the portable computing device and thereby improve the overall aesthetic look and feel of the product.

The inventors are Stephen R. McClure, Sean S. Corbin, John P. Ternus, Kevin Gibbs, Jeremy C. Franklin, Elvis M. Kibiti, John Raff, Jules B. Henry, Benjamin Rappoport, Derek W. Wright, Erik A. Uttermann, Yu Ming and Carl Peterson.

Patent number 20120194997 is for the component assembly of such a device, while patent number 201201949393 involves an antenna, shielding and grounding for the manufacturing process.

Apple eyeing a portable device (an iPad?) with a flexible display
According to a new patent (number 2012019448) at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Apple is considering a tablet device with a flexible cover. If it ever comes to fruition, this could be what a future iPad is like.

Per the patent, thin flexible display technology can be integrated into the flexible cover without affecting the overall form factor of the cover or tablet device. Adding the integrated display to the flexible cover greatly enhances the overall functionality of the tablet device.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Recent advances in portable computing include the introduction of hand held electronic devices and computing platforms known generically as tablet devices. These devices can be used for any number of tasks including word processing, social media networking, video conferencing, and gaming. Although this type of device allows an extensive variety of tasks to be performed, the overall functionality of this device type still has room for improvement.

"For example, increasing the display area could lead to a significant expansion in functionality. Unfortunately, since displays already dominate a majority of one side of tablet devices, device manufacturers generally choose between making the display and therefore the device itself larger, thereby reducing the portability or making the device and display smaller with the result of a less functional device. Neither solution is desirable; therefore a way to extend the usability and functionality of a tablet device without making it any larger is desired.

"The paper describes many embodiments that relate to a method, apparatus, and, computer readable medium for extending the functionality of a tablet device to an accessory device with a flexible display.

"An accessory device that is arranged to communicate with a host device by way of a communication channel is claimed. The host device includes a host device display arranged to present visual information. The accessory device includes the following: a flexible flap having a size and shape in accordance with the host device display, where at least a portion of the flexible flap is covered by a flap display configured to present visual information; and a connecting portion, the connecting portion arranged to provide at least a communication channel arranged to convey information between the host device and the accessory device where at least some of the information is presented visually on the flap display.

"A method for passing information between a flexible accessory device and a host device is claimed. The flexible accessory device has a flexible display arranged to present a first set of visual information. The host device has a host device display arranged to present a second set of visual information. The method includes the following steps: (1) establishing a communication channel between the flexible accessory device and the host device, the communication channel arranged to provide a bi-directional communication link between the flexible display and the host device; (2) passing information between the host device and the flexible accessory device by way of the bi-directional communication link, where at least a portion of the passed information is presented by the flexible display as the first set of visual information; and (4) displaying the first set of visual information on the flexible display.

"A consumer electronic product including the following: (1) a host device having side walls which further includes: a magnetic attachment system including a first magnetic attachment feature, the first magnetic attachment feature enclosed within the host device near a sidewall; and (2) a flexible accessory device, which further includes: a hinge portion having a second magnetic attachment feature causing the hinge portion to magnetically attach to the sidewall of the host device, a body portion pivotally attached to the hinge portion, wherein when the body portion is magnetically attached to the host device, the body portion folds over a top surface of the host device in a closed configuration and wherein when a lifting force is applied to the body portion, the body portion unfolds to an open configuration exposing the top surface of the electronic device, and a display portion disposed on one surface of the body portion."

Fletcher R. Rothkopf is the inventor.

 
AAPL
$107.62
Apple Inc.
+0.64
GOOG
$557.33
Google Inc.
+7.02
MSFT
$46.73
Microsoft Corpora
+0.68
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Retry Review
Retry Review By Rob Thomas on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOARING HIGHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Flappy who? Let Retry wash all those bad bird-related memories away on a cool retro-flavored flight… right into the side of a cliff. Over and over and over again.   | Read more »
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review By Lee Hamlet on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TOUGH READUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A witch hunter is sent after a demonic book in the spooky but short-lived Dementia: Book of the Dead.   | Read more »
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguel...
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguelike, Has Been Renovated Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Logitech Protection + Power iPhone5/5S C...
Made by: Logitech Price: $99.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 1.25 out of 5 stars | Read more »
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanentl...
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanently Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swap Heroes Review
Swap Heroes Review By Campbell Bird on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: STRATEGIC SWAPPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rotate a cast of heroes to fend of waves of monsters in this difficult, puzzle rpg.   | Read more »
Night Sky Pro™ (Reference)
Night Sky Pro™ 3.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Reference Price: $2.99, Version: 3.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Night Sky Pro™Wonder No More™Night Sky Pro™ is the ultimate stargazing experience. From the creators of the original Night Sky™ app comes an all-new powerful and immersive encounter with the sky above! | Read more »
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You are the blind warrior, fighting off wave after wave of Dr Bastard’s Zombies. With 3D binaural sound... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!!Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a lifetime and one that transcends even the world in this latest fantasy RPG!◆◇Story◇◆ | Read more »
Haunt the House: Terrortown (Games)
Haunt the House: Terrortown 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 66.6% OFF! SPECIAL SPOOKY HALLOWEEN LAUNCH PRICE! 66.6% OFF!...What was that sound? Is somebody there? | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.