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PC Revue | IBM's new smart clock can be split into a smartphone and a tablet

After major market players, such as Samsung and Apple, IBM also patented a flexible electronic display device. The folded design allows you to use this device as a smart clock, smartphone or tablet. So, you can select the right screen size for each occasion.

Patent application titled Variable screen size for an electronic display device (Variable screen size for electronic imaging equipment) was submitted in 2016. It lasted until June 11, 2019, while the patent was approved and published in the US Patent and Trademark Office of the USPTO. To get a better idea, LetsGoDigital has brought several 3D drawings, but for illustrative purposes only, based on the information described in the patent.

In the most compact form, the user has a regular clock with a rectangular screen on his arm, perhaps slightly thicker. There is no visible frame. The peculiarity of the design is that there are seven additional parts below the main screen. These displays can be independently selected from the case. The watch case has four sections, each with a maximum of two screen sections.

If the size of the smart watch display is not sufficient for you, you can easily extract another part of the lid. If you remove the four parts of the screen, the device automatically switches to smartphone mode. Thus, the user has a different interface, which should facilitate the use. Can display more icons or larger images. If you need an even bigger screen, such as watching a video or browsing the web, you can take out other parts and get an extra widescreen. When you distribute all 8 parts of the screen, the smartphone switches to tablet mode, which requires a two-handed operation. The display is almost flawless, so the content can be displayed continuously.

However, it is not clear from the patent whether the expansion of the screen is done manually, semi-automatic or fully automatic. Of course, it's best to happen automatically. The dimensions are also given in the patent. Each section of the display is 5 × 7.5 cm (W × H). These are the dimensions of the smart clock. If you use your device as a smartphone, you have a display of 10x15cm, which is significantly wider than the conventional smartphone. The full screen is 8 × 12 inches (20 × 30 cm) in size, reported in the patent. Perhaps it's a mistake, the logic seems to be a fourfold width of the exploded screen and will double the height of one part of the screen.

The patent no longer deals with the user experience. Therefore, the question arises as to how to set up a device with a tablet size that has clocks for watches on the back. It is possible that the belt is designed to serve as a board. The mobile device should also be equipped with one or more speakers and also allows peripherals, such as a keyboard and mouse for connectivity.

In 2000, IBM introduced a prototype for smart clocks based on the Linux operating system. It was equipped with 8 MB memory, an accelerometer and a vibration mechanism. Linux Watch was later renamed IBM WatchPad and received a touchscreen, calendar software and Bluetooth support. There was also a fingerprint reader in this model. Whether an approved patent means that the company is preparing a smart watch with a folding display, or it prefers to sell the patent technology to other interested parties.


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