12.07.19

IBM registers patent for smartwatch which unfolds into a tablet

IBM smartwatch foldable display
Pic: LetsGoDigital

IT giant IBM has registered a patent for a smartwatch with a twice-foldable display. It can be used a regular smartwatch, it can then be unfolded to resemble a smartphone screen, and then unfolded again to resemble a tablet screen.

The patent entitled "Variable display size for an electronic display device" was applied for in 2016 by International Business Machines Corporation. It took until 11 June 2019 for the patent to be approved and published in the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database.

Dutch technology website LetsGoDigital has produced images of the device based on the blueprints in IBM's patent filing.

The design features seven auxiliary screen parts that are stored under the main screen. These displays can be taken out of the housing independently of each other. The watch case offers space for four compartments, each of which contains a maximum of two display parts.

The watch display can be unfolded into four in smartphone mode, when all 8 display parts have been extended, the phone switches to tablet mode, requiring operation with two hands.

It is not clear from the patent description whether the unfolding of the display is performed manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically.