UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Apple has been working on a smartphone with a glass case for a long time: the first patent of this kind dates back to 2011, but now the company has patented a completely new design of the Cupertino company.
Apple filed an application for the registration of a patent describing a glass smartphone. According to the portal Patently Apple, documents in the European Patent Office came in the IV quarter of 2017, and the development of glass devices in the company have been conducted since 2011.
In the next edition of the patent document is a gadget that is equipped with a body and structural elements of glass. A smartphone can have both a hard and flexible display. The screen consists of several layers glued together.
From the previous variations of the glass case, the current design is different in that the glass in it is not a decoration, but fulfills the full role of the supporting structure. As in the case of a metal or plastic casing, all electronic components of the smartphone will be attached directly to the glass.
The glass case can both consist of two halves, and be a single piece in the form of a cylinder. An electronic device may have a conventional hard or flexible touchscreen display mounted on the inner surface of the glass housing.
It is assumed that this technology can be used not only in smartphones, but also in other devices from Apple: smart watches, tablets, computers, etc. Whether it will be implemented is not yet known.
Earlier information appeared that Apple was trying to develop a new technology for the display of future versions of the iPhone. In the new smartphone can be implemented a system of non-contact interaction with touchscreens and a concave screen, which will help to stand out among competitors in the saturated market of modern smartphones, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
The company plans to implement contactless control, in which physical contact with the screen does not happen: the user will just need to hold his finger at some distance from the display to get a response. According to the source, the technology will be ready within two years. A similar function called Air Gestures has been offered by Samsung since 2014, but Apple should be implemented without an additional sensor on the front panel.
In addition, Apple is developing a concave top and bottom to center display. This form will differ from the latest curved screens on the sides of Samsung smartphones. The company will need two to three years to develop this technology, the source also says.
To conduct similar work allowed the transition of Apple to OLED-technology screen in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Unlike the LCD screen, this technology allows the bend display. All Apple smartphones before the iPhone X had LCD screens with minimal flexibility and internal illumination. In contrast, OLED screens can slightly bend, because each pixel works independently, which makes the phone thinner.
Technically, the screen of the iPhone X is already bent – its edges are curved, because of which the effect of delicate boundaries. According to rumors, Samsung is now developing a new kind of OLED-display called AMOLED. This screen will have a higher refresh rate, and perhaps Apple will also develop its technologies in this direction.
In addition, Apple is working on a new technology for screens called MicroLED, but its appearance is expected in only five years. A small portion of the screens is already produced and tested, reports Bloomberg referring to people familiar with the situation.
The creation of MicroLED screens is complicated by the fact that, depending on the screen size, they can contain millions of individual pixels. Each of them has three subpixels: red, green and blue LEDs, which must be individually calibrated.
A year ago Apple was close to closing this project. But at the moment, engineers have made significant progress: the technology is now at an advanced stage. True, consumers will most likely have to wait a few years before they see the results.