We’ve seen foldable tablets, phones and even TVs, but foldable watches aren’t exactly sprouting everywhere these days. There have been some attempts at flexible fitness bracelet or bracelets that become phones, but not like this one. An IBM patent has been uncovered recently and the lovely folks of Letsgodigital have turned it into a set of renders.
The device shown here is a multi fold display smartwatch. It can even turn to a tablet, not just a smartphone. I’ll admit it’s not the oddest duck I’ve seen recently, since there was a Google patent and render floating about with 4 screens that flip like a book’s pages. IBM sees this watch as having a flexible display, a multi foldable one.
The flexible screen sections make the device unfold from smartwatch to smartphone or tablet. It can even quadruple its screen estate in a versatile way, either horizontally or vertically. The regular version of the device looks pretty much like your standard watch, albeit a bit thicker and with a rectangular screen. There’s no edge, bezel or border here for this panel.
Up to 7 auxiliary screen parts are stored under the main screen and they can be taken out of the housing independently of each other. The watch case provides space for 4 compartments, each with 2 display parts. Screens slide in and out of the watch’s body. This feels like a lot of moving parts and potentially lots of damaged parts, if you ask me.
If this device is used like a smartphone, it provides a 4 x 6 inch panel, while in tablet mode it provides an 8 x 12 inch screen. I can’t quite see this as a functional device, particularly in tablet mode, to be honest. We’re not sure that IBM will actually use the technology or sell it to third parties..