Smart devices

IBM Patents Smartwatch That Opens Up Like A Tablet


Science fiction-like devices are starting to pop up as patents more often in the past couple of years, as especially the younger users become more interested in owning unique items that can help them carry all their high-tech needs more easily around. 

One of these devices is a smartwatch patented by IBM about three years ago but it’s only now that the files detailing it have been published in the US Patent and Trademark Office database. 

The patent was first noticed by Dutch technology website Let’s Go Digital, who also took it upon themselves to create a few renders, showing what the device might look like in real life. 

And it’s a head-turner, to say the least. 

To begin with, at first glance, the smartwatch looks like any regular smartwatch out there, except that it features a thicker body than what we’ve grown to expect from devices of its kind nowadays.

That’s because, beneath the main screen, you’ll find no less than seven other screen parts hidden from view (yes, you read that right, seven of them) – they all measure 2 x 3 inches and, by pulling them out, you’ll create a 4 x 6 inch panel sitting on your wrist. Of course, the patent did not detail how the user interface would switch between the display sizes. 

The description in the patent does not detail if this panel extension is done manually or if it’s fully automatic but it’s obvious that the display seams are minimal, which means that the content can be continuously displayed. 

According to the patent, when the screen is completely unfolded, it measures 8 x 12 inches, which is great, if you ever wanted a tablet on your wrist (though handling this size might require both of your hands). 

The device will also feature a couple of speakers and will most likely have the ability be be connected to other peripheral devices, such as a keyboard and a mouse, which means you could carry your work with you anywhere and not need a tablet or laptop bag anymore.

IBM is not particularly known for producing smartwatches, of course, but the company received more patent than any other, every year, for the past 26 years. In just 2018 alone, it recorded about 9,100 of them. 

Of course, very few patents actually make it into production and, though it would be interesting to see this particular smartwatch operate in the wild, it’s up to IBM to decide if it’s worth going through the trouble of manufacturing it or not. 

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