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Apple Patents: Does New Apple Patent Point Towards Future Smartwatch?

Apple Patents: Everybody seems to be wondering if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is serious about releasing some sort of smartwatch in the near future. While there have been many rumors of such, the Cupertino-based company has kept quiet for the most part.

Apple Inc (AAPL)With all this in mind, it is big news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has filed for a patent for a wearable accessory device. Making this even more interesting is the fact that a full-length flexible display is included.

Here is the patent in its entirety from the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Bi-Stable Spring with Flexible Display

The abstract of the patent gives some basic information that helps better understand the technology:

“A wearable accessory device is disclosed. The wearable accessory device includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring. Coupling the display to the bi-stable spring allows the accessory device to be easily worn in a number of convenient locations.”

This patent was first filed on August 17, 2011, meaning that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been thinking about this type of technology for quite some time.

Remember how cool slap bracelets were in the 90’s? Well, it appears that Apple has not forgotten. Here is some more from the patent:

“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 slap bracelet has been used primarily as a decorative bracelet; however, other uses have included for example keeping a pant leg away from a bike chain, or even using a slap bracelet covered with reflective tape for providing increased visibility for pedestrians and bikers at night. Perhaps most usefully it is quite easy to wrap around a wrist or leg, and stays conveniently in place.”

It is amazing that a high tech company like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would refer to something as low tech as the slap bracelet in a patent filing; however, this is exactly what happened.

What are your feelings on this patent? Do you believe the company is working on a smartwatch?

Check back here for more updates on Apple Patents.

DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.

For more Apple news stories, visit the following three pages:

Apple Inc.’s Art Levinson Talks About Steve Jobs, Product Development

Apple Inc. iPad mini Now in Stock, Ready to be Shipped

Gene Munster Once Again Discusses Cheaper Apple Inc. iPhone

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