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Apple looking into futuristic iPhone with wrap-around display and seamless glass housing

post #1 of 35
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In a patent filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple describes a futuristic portable device complete with wrap-around AMOLED display, all-glass construction and face tracking.

Wrap Around
Source: USPTO


With its application for an "Electronic device with wrap around display," Apple looks to create a portable with the most screen real estate possible by using a foldable AMOLED display that is "unrolled" into a transparent structure.

The invention notes traditional handsets and tablets take on a planar form factor that, while aesthetically pleasing and easy to handle, don't use a vast amount of surface area provided in their designs. Proposed is a curved display that wraps around a majority or entirety of a device, thereby allowing for the most screen space to be utilized. Also included are specifications for cutting-edge technology like facial recognition and multiple flexible transparent displays layered on top of each other to mimic 3D screens.

The star of the device is its wrap-around display, which is fitted into the transparent chassis by folding, inserting, and unfolding or "unrolling." In one embodiment, the filing calls for a flexible display to be folded so that a continuous band is formed, on which various graphical assets like photos and video can be shown. By orienting the screen in such a manner, the invention is able to show a much broader set of graphics when compared to a smartphone.

Internals
Bottom view of device with display and internal components.


As is the case with many modern portables, the display is not only a means of content consumption, but also serves as the main user interface. Indeed, some embodiments of the filing require the screen to be the means of input as no other buttons or switches are present. Gestures are used instead, replacing volume and hold buttons, allowing for a seamless glass design.

The invention states glass or other suitable transparent material can be used to provide a stable structure for the device housing, not only allowing for maximum access to the screen, but also for high aesthetic value. In some embodiments, the enclosure is seamless, though variations can be bead-blasted or covered in ink to hide unsightly internal elements from the user.

A glass tube is called for in one iteration, with the patent filing making special note of the radio transparency of glass, which is key to internal wireless communications equipment. Alternatively, metal columns or other structures can be disposed throughout the chassis to provide extra support.

While the external cross section can take on the form of a tube, the inner structure of the housing can be widely varied, from a rectangular to pill-shaped. End caps are fastened to one or both sides of the housing, though in some embodiments, these caps can be removed so that two devices can be connected together to create a larger system.

Embodiments
Various embodiments of the invention.


Because the screen wraps entirely around the device, it is necessary to have a user detection system that can determine how a user is interacting with the unit. To solve the problem, the user is tracked through facial recognition by on-board cameras, with the system outputting visuals on the display based on approximate field of view.

Finally, the device can include multiple transparent displays that are overlaid on top of one another, cooperatively presenting content. For example, one display can show the same content as a second display, but slightly out of sync to give the illusion of 3D imagery. In another example, the second display can simply present a different set of visuals than the first.

Multiple Displays
Illustration of multiple displays overlaid atop one another.


Apple's patent application for a device with wrap-around display was first filed for in 2011 and credits Scott A. Myers as its inventor.
post #2 of 35
I can't wrap my head around it, but I think I'm trying to do it wrong.
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post #3 of 35
I quite like this one.
post #4 of 35
I don't get it.
post #5 of 35
To me this looks like a phone with a screen on every surface or a watch made up of interchangeable links with content that scrolls over them depending on which side faces the user. Maybe it can be unrolled to make a bigger flat screen.
post #6 of 35

More than a bit ironic since Samsung are the only company I know of that could make or supply the display that would be required to make this feasible. Not to mention the anti-OLED comments from Cook and a few people on here.

 

I think a slightly curved face bezelless screen phone is obvious.  I have been thinking about just such for a while, even before I saw the Panasonic Eluga, which is a thing of beauty.
 

post #7 of 35

But if it is curved, surely that means you will end up with a streak of light reflecting down a portion of the display however you hold it (or maybe you are just holding it wrong?).

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post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 

...I think a slightly curved face bezelless screen phone is obvious.  I have been thinking about just such for a while, even before I saw the Panasonic Eluga, which is a thing of beauty.
 

 

A Curved back has been around for awhile -- ah lets see the original iPhone. Engadget'e review you refer to was not very complementary to say the least. Last of all a curved and wrapped around screen is quite different than a flat screen with a curved back with flat ends, and no separate speaker, only the ear piece for sound out. Bet that sounds great, I know I would just love to listen to my music thru a phone ear piece which is optimized for voice only. LMAO!

post #9 of 35
I hate to be the one mentioning the doom and gloom an all glass phone can bring. So far, there's nothing that can prevent such a phone from breaking. I have some expensive wine glasses that are made up of a glass that's supposed to be practically I breakable, but I can assure everyone that they do indeed break!
post #10 of 35
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
I hate to be the one mentioning the doom and gloom an all glass phone can bring. So far, there's nothing that can prevent such a phone from breaking.

 

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? Something with all the properties of it and the same transmittance and refractive index, but which is able to withstand that which glass cannot without scuffing or scratching.

 

"Like what?"

I dunno. There has to be something. We've made tens of thousands of materials…

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #11 of 35
Corning continues to partner with Apple, developing flexible glass surfaces beyond its Gorilla Glass. The latest is the current Willow Glass. Doubtless, there will be more R&D to come beyond that, as well.
post #12 of 35

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 9:47am
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? Something with all the properties of it and the same transmittance and refractive index, but which is able to withstand that which glass cannot without scuffing or scratching.

 

"Like what?"

I dunno. There has to be something. We've made tens of thousands of materials…

 

There is an Optical Polymer called Trivex NXT, which has some amazing properties and I think would make for a very tough and transparent casing.  However, it wouldn't be as scratch resistant as Gorilla glass and it might need to be improved with something like a vapor deposited diamond coating. http://www.bigatmo.com/technology/nxt-lenses/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

 

A Curved back has been around for awhile -- ah lets see the original iPhone. Engadget'e review you refer to was not very complementary to say the least. Last of all a curved and wrapped around screen is quite different than a flat screen with a curved back with flat ends, and no separate speaker, only the ear piece for sound out. Bet that sounds great, I know I would just love to listen to my music thru a phone ear piece which is optimized for voice only. LMAO!


?  I didn't mention Engadget in any way or refer a review of anything by them, nor did I say that the Eluga was like this concept or anything other than a beautiful design.  When I first saw it I mistakenly thought it had a curved front surface and thought how cool that would be and was disappointed when I realised my error.

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

More than a bit ironic since Samsung are the only company I know of that could make or supply the display that would be required to make this feasible.

 

 

Indeed.  

 

Apple patenting technology that Samsung has already invented and shown off at trade shows, and that Apple doesn't even have the ability to build...

post #15 of 35

IMO, it looks very like a hip flask.  Would be nice if it had a reservoir to hold a few ounces of liquor!  Handy for when you get a call or txt with bad news.  Haha!

post #16 of 35
No lightning port?
post #17 of 35
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Finally, the device can include multiple transparent displays that are overlaid on top of one another, cooperatively presenting content. For example, one display can show the same content as a second display, but slightly out of sync to give the illusion of 3D imagery. In another example, the second display can simply present a different set of visuals than the first.
 

 

Wraparound:  Meh.  What happens when you drop it?  Is the display material strong enough to withstand multiple edge hits over its lifetime?

 

3D effect: Now we're talkin'!  Multiple layers of AMOLED, showing independent images, could be interesting from both esthetic and technical perspectives (pun intended.)  A 3D effect, with the illusion of depth, could be an interesting step forward in small-screen consumer electronics, obviously.  Especially since it wouldn't require any stupid f-ing 3D glasses.  (Note: I mean just the OS and its UI, not 3D media.) 

 

And using a separate GPU for each AMOLED layer could significantly reduce the amount of processing overall.  Not an Open GL expert (yet), but maybe instead of a single GPU compositing layers, calculating transparency and such, each layer could be rendered all by itself.  The compositing, transparency, overlap detection, etc. could be totally skipped, because it would be done physically with one layer on top of another in the device's display.  For example, if two semi-transparent layers are moving across each other with a single GPU, it (probably) requires calculating each pixel's color and density for every frame.  Using separate displays would eliminate much of the calculation since the images could move in their respective layers with only simple x / y coordinate changes.

 

Again, I'm a newbie with GPUs, Open GL, etc.  But if you can use multiple lower-powered GPUs instead of a massive single GPU, it might bring cost and complexity down.

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post #18 of 35

Great!  The "lavatory roll" iPhone.  Here's an even better idea - make it larger and hollow, then reverse the display orientation.  That way we can just stick our head inside and everywhere we look is display!  Way cooler than Google Glass!

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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? Something with all the properties of it and the same transmittance and refractive index, but which is able to withstand that which glass cannot without scuffing or scratching.

 

"Like what?"

I dunno. There has to be something. We've made tens of thousands of materials…

 

Ummm... how about sapphire?

 

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/03/apple-may-shift-to-sapphire-crystal-glass-for-future-idevices.html

post #20 of 35
You know, it's not a big problem, but with a phone like this you would never have to see if it's facing forward (and upright) when you pull it out of your pocket. Kinda like the iPad's screen rotation, this would just decide what side and which orientation to show the image.

Not sure if that would be worth the complexity, but it would sure be eye-catching.
post #21 of 35

The first iPhone designed to be incompatible with protective cases.

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post #22 of 35

Interesting in that it shows the 30-pin connector instead of the newer Lightning socket. The view from top/bottom isn't very complimentary and looks like a cheap Chinese knock-off -- I can see a phone with maybe 5mm sides that the curves run into but not something that looks like the biscuits carpenter's use to join timber.

post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post
Ummm... how about sapphire?
The benefits would mean crack-proof glass even when you drop it and scratch-free if your iPhone is in your pocket with keys or it falls on concrete.

 

Ooh. Ooh. I like it.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

Ummm... how about sapphire?

I doubt it would be entirely crack-proof. Some kinds of crystal do seem to be able to withstand a fair amount of impact damage - polycarbonate crystal in the following video (bullet-proof apparently):



But I bet if you caught it at the right angle, it would put a crack right round it. I'd say it would be better just to have some scratch-proofing on the metal enclosure. For one thing, the glass would be slippery and it wouldn't have any fixings so they'd have to somehow fix the inside to the glass. Cool but doesn't seem all that practical.

Definitely for the front face though:

http://www.beginnerstech.co.uk/smartphones-could-soon-ditch-gorilla-glass-for-sapphire-glass-a-high-end-option/

"I’ve actually seen one of these watches take a direct impact from a 9mm round, the glass cracked but the watch stayed intact."
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hate to be the one mentioning the doom and gloom an all glass phone can bring. So far, there's nothing that can prevent such a phone from breaking. I have some expensive wine glasses that are made up of a glass that's supposed to be practically I breakable, but I can assure everyone that they do indeed break!

 

Well, if you quit stomping on them at weddings.....  :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? Something with all the properties of it and the same transmittance and refractive index, but which is able to withstand that which glass cannot without scuffing or scratching.

 

"Like what?"

I dunno. There has to be something. We've made tens of thousands of materials…

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipsofacto View Post

Corning continues to partner with Apple, developing flexible glass surfaces beyond its Gorilla Glass. The latest is the current Willow Glass. Doubtless, there will be more R&D to come beyond that, as well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 

There is an Optical Polymer called Trivex NXT, which has some amazing properties and I think would make for a very tough and transparent casing.  However, it wouldn't be as scratch resistant as Gorilla glass and it might need to be improved with something like a vapor deposited diamond coating. http://www.bigatmo.com/technology/nxt-lenses/


?  I didn't mention Engadget in any way or refer a review of anything by them, nor did I say that the Eluga was like this concept or anything other than a beautiful design.  When I first saw it I mistakenly thought it had a curved front surface and thought how cool that would be and was disappointed when I realised my error.

Solutions are def coming/available/or nearly so......

 

Sapphire is wonderfully scratch resistant and strong, but like a diamond, its crystal lattice structure makes also brittle and shatterable.  But I've heard of a process that might allow a non-brittle/non-shattering glass substance to be coated with a thin layer of sapphire - giving mostly the best properties of both.... ...and see other possibilities above.

Seems doable in the end, jus' sayin'......

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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

More than a bit ironic since Samsung are the only company I know of that could make or supply the display that would be required to make this feasible. Not to mention the anti-OLED comments from Cook and a few people on here.

 

I think a slightly curved face bezelless screen phone is obvious.  I have been thinking about just such for a while, even before I saw the Panasonic Eluga, which is a thing of beauty.
 

Ironically with a technology Samsung did not invent. In January 2012 Samsung acquired Liquavista, a company with expertise in manufacturing flexible displays, and announced plans to begin mass production by Q2 2012.  Through there purchase they bought the tech.  Flexible displays were first thought of by Xerox PARC.  In 1974 one of there engineers made a break through and developed a flexible screen.

There is a picture of it.

 

Other companies are developing flexible lcd's as well.  

Here's an article which talks about The Technology Research Association for Advanced Display Materials  which started as a collaboration of 12 companies 10 years ago including LG, Sharp Hitatchi and many others which is about ready to start test production on there displays as well.  Samsung is not the only one.

http://www.androidauthority.com/flexible-lcds-get-closer-to-production-tradim-develops-flexible-lcd-display-69325/

 

Ironically as well now that samsung has got what it wants from liquavista there selling it to amazon. ha ha thats hilarious.  Buy tech copy it then sell the company.  Now theres innovation /s.

http://www.inquisitr.com/584442/samsung-selling-liquavista-to-amazon/


Edited by Mechanic - 3/28/13 at 7:38pm
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? 

 

Read again... "The invention states glass or other suitable transparent material"

 

People, don't take things literally. Of course they will use the best possible (and business-efficient) material they can use when the time comes.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

Ironically with a technology Samsung did not invent. In January 2012 Samsung acquired Liquavista, a company with expertise in manufacturing flexible displays, and announced plans to begin mass production by Q2 2012.  Through there purchase they bought the tech.  Flexible displays were first thought of by Xerox PARC.  In 1974 one of there engineers made a break through and developed a flexible screen.

There is a picture of it.

 

Other companies are developing flexible lcd's as well.  

Here's an article which talks about The Technology Research Association for Advanced Display Materials  which started as a collaboration of 12 companies 10 years ago including LG, Sharp Hitatchi and many others which is about ready to start test production on there displays as well.  Samsung is not the only one.

http://www.androidauthority.com/flexible-lcds-get-closer-to-production-tradim-develops-flexible-lcd-display-69325/

 

Ironically as well now that samsung has got what it wants from liquavista there selling it to amazon. ha ha thats hilarious.  Buy tech copy it then sell the company.  Now theres innovation /s.

http://www.inquisitr.com/584442/samsung-selling-liquavista-to-amazon/

 

You are correct in what you say and I didn't say or imply that Samsung invented flexible displays or were the only manufacturer of such.  The Article specifically states AMOLED and my comment was in reference to this as Samsung is the only company I am aware of that has announced commercial availability of flexible AMOLED displays.  Samsung currently has about 97% marketshare for AMOLED devices.  At the moment, Samsung is the only company that could conceivably produce flexible AMOLED displays in sufficient quantity to supply Apple.

 

I read an interesting piece on GSMArena - not that AI is going to mention such a thing, but apparently a Russian tech website has done a scientifc comparison of the displays on the iPhone 5, HTC One and Galaxy S4.  Samsung have introduced display modes on the S4 called Dynamic, Movie and Adobe RGB.  The result is accurate colour reproduction.  This echoes what I have argued in previous threads, that the over saturated colours was not an intrinsic 'problem' with AMOLED but more of an implementation problem.  Tim Cook and the other anti-AMOLED trolls on here were simply wrong.

 

http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsung-galaxy-s4-vs-htc-one-vs-apple-iphone-5-display-test-confirms-amoleds-can-finally-do-accurate-colors/

post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hate to be the one mentioning the doom and gloom an all glass phone can bring. So far, there's nothing that can prevent such a phone from breaking. I have some expensive wine glasses that are made up of a glass that's supposed to be practically I breakable, but I can assure everyone that they do indeed break!

It would be sapphire, not glass. And I'd love to have a set of wine glasses made out of Gorilla Glass. They'd be indestructible.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I hate to be the one mentioning the doom and gloom an all glass phone can bring. So far, there's nothing that can prevent such a phone from breaking. I have some expensive wine glasses that are made up of a glass that's supposed to be practically I breakable, but I can assure everyone that they do indeed break!
I am sorry but would gorilla glass help this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about they use something that SEEMS like glass but isn't? Something with all the properties of it and the same transmittance and refractive index, but which is able to withstand that which glass cannot without scuffing or scratching.

"Like what?"


I dunno. There has to be something. We've made tens of thousands of materials…
well plastic is the first thought however the plastic glass that is out would fit your description almost perfect.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

I am sorry but would gorilla glass help this.

Remember that they use Gorilla glass now. No current glass that doesn't cost a fortune could hold up to a device falling on the corner. There are some specialty glasses that would, but no way would they be used for a phone. Way too expensive.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmoofo View Post

It would be sapphire, not glass. And I'd love to have a set of wine glasses made out of Gorilla Glass. They'd be indestructible.

Sapphire would break too. Sapphire isn't made in anything other than flat sheets. They cut them from a large man made crystal in the same way that silicon wafers are made. It is very expensive. While there are sapphire rods and balls, I have some, those are easy to grind. Look at the shape of that "all glass" phone. It would be impossible, with any current technology, to make a case like that from sapphire. And if they could, it would cost hundreds, and perhaps a couple of thousand dollars.

Gorilla glass is not as break resistant as the new glasses developed for wine glasses, which are quite expensive. I imagine it would shatter very easily.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Well, if you quit stomping on them at weddings.....  1smile.gif



Solutions are def coming/available/or nearly so......

Sapphire is wonderfully scratch resistant and strong, but like a diamond, its crystal lattice structure makes also brittle and shatterable.  But I've heard of a process that might allow a non-brittle/non-shattering glass substance to be coated with a thin layer of sapphire - giving mostly the best properties of both.... ...and see other possibilities above.


Seems doable in the end, jus' sayin'......

In the past few years there has been a lot of research into the way clams, and other animals, made their super strong shells. These shells are made from layers of what are weak materials, such as calcium carbonate, and a biological glue. These are very thin layers. There is a small amount of give between the layers, and even when some outer layers break, the rest stay intact. The shells are far stronger than the materials suggest they should be.

There has been success in duplicating those materials, though not with the thinness of the natural materials yet. Given that we can make thin diamond layers on tool steel, carbide and other materials, I've given this some thought. I bet there are labs that are investigating thin layers of glass and diamond evaporated one after the other. If these layers are thin enough, just a few thousandths, they could get a flexible material with an outer diamond layer that would be very hard, yet with the flexibility that would resist impact, even on a corner, which is the bane of current materials.

I can also imagine that these layers could be evaporated over a mold that would have the required shape, as there is no reason why it would need to be flat, since tool bits that have used evaporated diamond, rather than powered diamond, are not flat.

But, how much would this cost?
post #34 of 35
Well making it out of diamond would make it proably cut through about anything available but it might cost a few gold bars however to make/s
post #35 of 35

If Apple is really out for something like this rumor then it is going to be revolutionary. People love Apple products and sure it will change the market upside down again.

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