Apple’s newest patent application could offer a look at the company’s rumored iWatch. It details a wearable accessory device that includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring.
The accessory is like a digital version of the classic slap bracelet from the ’80s, as it has a flat state and a curled state in which the flexible device wraps around the user’s wrist. The patent describes this in more detail:
Bi-stable springs have two equilibrium positions. This allows a device with a bi-stable spring to assume two distinct configurations. The most recent widespread use of such a device was the slap bracelet, also called the slap wrap. The slap bracelet consists of layered flexible steel bands sealed within a fabric cover. Typical slap bracelets are roughly one inch in width by nine inches in length. In a first equilibrium position they can be flat. The second equilibrium is typically reached by slapping the flat embodiment across the wrist, at which point the bracelet curls around the wrist and stays relatively secure in a roughly circular position.
The patent application also describes a user interface in the form of a touch-sensitive sensor overlaid on the flexible display, and power supplied to the bracelet that is partially provided by ambient light energy collectors disposed across a portion of it’s surface.