On August 28, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals an invention regarding flexible displays and more importantly, sidewall displays built into an iDevice like an iPhone. In this report we also link to several other patent applications of interest that includes one for intelligent scrolling on a device such as an iPad that will allow users to scroll through publications both vertically and horizontally.
Apple Invents iDevices with Sidewall Displays
Patently Apple was first to discover Apple's original patent application regarding electronic devices with sidewall displays back in April 2013. The patent was discovered in a European filing and you could review it in full with more patent figures and background, here.
In general, Apple notes that electronic devices may be provided containing flexible displays that are bent to form displays on multiple surfaces of the devices. Bent flexible displays may be bent to form front side displays and edge displays. Edge displays may be separated from front side displays or from other edge displays using patterned housing members, printed or painted masks, or by selectively activating and inactivating display pixels associated with the flexible display.
Edge displays may alternately function as virtual buttons, virtual switches, or informational displays that are supplemental to front side displays. Virtual buttons may include transparent button members, lenses, haptic feedback components, audio feedback components, or other components for providing feedback to a user when virtual buttons are activated.
Apple's US patent filing under number 20140240289 was only made in May 2014 with Scott Myers, Stephen Lynch and Anthony Montevirgen being credited as the inventors.
Other Apple Inventions of Interest Published by USPTO Today
In general, Apple's intelligent scrolling in digital publications invention relates to processing an electronic publication containing content having two different scrolling directions so that the content can be presented to the user through an intelligent unidirectional scrolling function that prevents fragments of sentences from being displayed. Processing can include paginating or generating a scrollable table for portions of the electronic publication that do not match a first text direction.
Integrated Touch Panel for a TFT Display (More on Apple's In-Cell technology)
Apple has already been granted a patent for the patent titled "Configurable Buttons for Electronic Devices" as noted here.
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