Apple Wins Patent for a Smartphone with a Wraparound Display allowing Face Content to be controlled by Backside Input
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 37 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover an interesting invention with a twist to today's iPhones. Today's iPhone X models have glass on both the front and back. Technically Apple could integrate touch sensors on the back glass and Apple's new patent claims just that. Apple also wants to add tilt controls allowing a user to turn pages of a document. In many ways it sounds like this version of a proposed iPhone could put emphasis on gaming by using advanced tilt controls. Pushing that thinking, it could be considered a Gaming iPhone.
During Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit 2018 held in Hawaii earlier this month they placed a lot of emphasis on gaming on a smartphone and the 51% of gaming is now geared for mobile devices as their marketing chart indicates. Could Apple be thinking of aiming deeper into that market? Qualcomm said that there are over 500 million online gamers in China alone. No wonder oddball new phones are coming from gaming hardware company Razer.
Could Apple be thinking of introducing a powerhouse iPhone for gamers in the future? Today's granted patent would suggest it's at least a possibility
Granted Patent: Electronic Device with Wrapped Display
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to an iDevice with a wrapped display. Apple's original patent filing for this invention was covered by Patently Apple back 5 years ago this month. Apple tweaked the patent in 2016 and was issued a granted patent in March of this year. Apple's second granted patent introduces more tweaks to their patent claims.
Our report only touches on 7 of the 16 patent claims that clearly point to something new being added to this next-gen iDevice and we highlight the text to clarify it in quick reviews.
Apple's patent FIG. 25 above is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in displaying content on an electronic device with a continuously wrapped display and controlling the display of the content using tilting operations or other user input; FIG. 1 is a diagram of a system including an electronic device with a continuously wrapped display.
Apple's patent FIG. 27 below is a perspective view of device where you can see a user running their finger on the backside of a device as a control for content on the face. Apple future notes that a user can run a finger on the rear side of the display to move forwards or backwards through content screens on the face side of the display and perform other tasks such as flipping pages of content, scrolling through content, changing a content scrolling direction or speed, and take actions in a game.
A Few of the Key new Patent Claims
Patent Figure #1: An electronic device, comprising: a transparent display cover structure that wraps around an axis of the electronic device; a flexible display layer that wraps around the axis of the electronic device to cover an interior surface of the transparent display cover structure; and control circuitry that gathers sensor data indicative of a rate of rotation of the electronic device about the axis and that changes content that is displayed on the flexible display layer based on the rate of rotation of the electronic device about the axis.
Patent Figure #2: The electronic device defined in claim 1 wherein the control circuitry comprises an accelerometer that gathers tilt data indicative of a tilt angle for the electronic device.
Patent Figure #3: The electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the control circuitry adjusts a scroll speed on the flexible display layer based on the tilt angle.
Patent Figure #4: The electronic device defined in claim 2 wherein the control circuitry changes the content by flipping pages of text displayed on the flexible display layer based on the tilt angle.
Patent Figure #7: The electronic device defined in claim 1 further comprising a touch sensor, wherein the electronic device has a front face and a rear face and wherein the flexible display layer is configured to display content on the front face based on touch input gathered using the touch sensor on the rear face.
Patent Figure #13: An electronic device comprising: a flexible display; a display cover layer that wraps around the flexible display; a sensor that detects an orientation of the electronic device; and control circuitry that controls content displayed on the flexible display by changing a first portion of the content based on the orientation of the device without changing a second portion of the content, wherein the sensor comprises an accelerometer that detects a tilt angle of the electronic device, wherein the first portion of the content changes in response to the tilt angle, and wherein the first portion of the content changes at a first rate when the tilt angle has a first value and changes at a second rate that is greater than the first rate when the tilt angle has a second value that is greater than the first value.
Apple's granted patent 10,156,869 was filed in Q3 2016 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple first filed for a patent about adding backside controls for the iPad back in 2006 and we added the patent figures from that patent into our report titled The Tablet Prophecies that you could see below. Implementing it on aluminum apparently never worked out, but on an iDevice with a glass back panel and touch sensors added would allow Apple to introduce this feature.
On a last note, Chinese smartphone vendor Nubia just released a smartphone with backside gaming controls. So does Apple's granted patent with its new patent claims with backside controls for gaming (and other functions) sound all that farfetched now?