Smartwatch or Tablet – IBM’s Latest Patent on the Future of Smartphones

The fact that foldable displays are the future is something that providers such as Samsung, Huawei and Google are convinced of. But while most vendors are thinking about the future of the smartphone, tech giant IBM is taking a completely different approach. With its latest patent, the company presents a Smartwatch with a foldable display.

The patent represents a Smartwatch with a high screen. The size of the display is conspicuous, as it seems rather unusual by today’s standards. In further phases, this screen can be opened further, almost to the size of a tablet, and offers space for some content.


IBM’s Smartwatch – the future of the smartphone?

Somehow, the screen evolves into a smartphone-like array of four panels that use the extra space to display nine app icons, an Internet search bar, and an extended time and weather range. The screen is then expanded to a large area with eight full panels and simultaneously displays a tabular arrangement of 16 icons, a news feed, a search bar and time/weather information. Renderings from LetsGoDigital enhance the original filing with nicer screens that use the display areas differently.

The patent can be viewed here. Here IBM shows how they imagine the “variable display size”.

Even if the design and especially the size of the table on the wrist look like it needs getting used to, IBM shows an important way with their patent. Especially in times of megatrends such as convenience and individuality, the user must be able to change the display size as required. However, it remains to be seen what kind of product this patent could turn into in the end and whether IBM would like to actively enter the hardware market again and is an issue for the future.



Contribution picture: LetsGoDigital

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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