Apple takes '90s trend too far with flexible slap band iWatch patent

Apple takes '90s trend too far with flexible slap band iWatch patent
Who knew the humble slapband would make a high-tech comeback?

The trend for all things '90s seems to have reached its apex with Apple apparently considering the slap-band bracelet form for the much-rumoured Apple iWatch.

The form factor is described as a "wearable accessory device" which is made up of a "bi-stable spring with flexible display" - ah, the emotionless language of patent applications, it really gets our pulses racing.

The flexible strap/screen combo has "a flat state and a curled state" just like a slap band that certain members of the TechRadar team were quite partial to in the heady days of shell suits and NES consoles.

Power up

When curled, the "wearable video device" enters power-saving mode, while an internet sensor can tell when it's then laid out into a viewing position so the display auto-rotates and kicks into life.

It sounds as though video would be a key component to the Apple watch, which makes us suspect that the strap could double as some kind of stand too. The bendy strap bracelet also houses the antenna, battery and data storage component.

One nice touch is that Apple wants to include a "kinetic energy-gathering component" that would trickle-charge the timepiece, lessening the wearer's dependence on charging the thing.

Descriptions of the wearable screen passing information to and from a "portable electronic device" suggests that it will pair with iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Of course, this is just a patent application and Apple makes thousands of them every year so there's no guarantee that we'll ever see an iSlapband hit the shelves - still, it could yet form the basis of iWatch 2 or 3 or the new iWatch or whatever, somewhere ahead of us in the mists of time.

From USPTO via Engadget

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.