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Apple Applies Patent For Next Big Thing In Display Technology: The Woven Display

The term might sound odd to hear. The first question that must have come to your mind is that how the display can be woven. But this is true; the display can also be woven like the sweaters or any other clothing material.

Does this mean that we can now knit our own display in the home? Unfortunately no. The display is made up of special fibers and requires the special machine to be made.

Apple has a habit of applying patent for unique technologies and this time also they have surprised everyone. The have applied for the patent of the woven technology in the 1st quarter of 2016. They believe that this could be the next big thing in the display technology.

This might be true as a few years back we were happy about HD display but then came the 4k technology that took the world by storm. Now if Apple manages to develop this technology it would be a great revolution in the display technology.

What is woven display?

A woven fabric includes light transmission fibers woven into the fabric to provide a visual display. The fabric may be used as a tethering device to connect a portable electronic device to a user. These fibers may transmit light to convey information to the user.

The fabric may also be used as part of the housing of an electronic device. The disclosed embodiments relate to the field of woven fabric displays. Especially, the embodiments relate to woven bands which include fibers which have varying optical properties.

apple patent woven display

Source: US Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Full Text and Image Database

The embodiment could also include light pipe fibers woven into the fabric as light guides to make the visually display indications or messages to a user of a portable electronic device

How does it work?

These fibers are special fibers that are made by the special machine. These fibers are like the tubes which are used to transmit the signal from one part to the other. So, it does not generate the display by itself. It simply takes the display from the other devices to which it is connected.

When the fabric is not connected to any electronic device then it would normally just like the normal fabric. These fabrics do not contain any electronics material within themselves which makes it safe to wear. These fibers use the optical waveguides for transporting natural or artificial light for the purpose of illumination.

Generally, the two types of fibers are woven together. A warp fiber which is extended longitudinally or vertically while a weft fiber is woven horizontally or laterally to form the material. There are many fibers that can be intertwined. Some of them include polymer, metal, insulator–coated metal fibers, glass fibers or other suitable fibers.

Some optical fibers can transport as much light as possible within the core while optical fibers intended for light distribution are designed to let part of the light leak out through the walls of the fibers. These pipes are commonly used in the electronics industry to direct illumination from LED’s on a circuit board to indicator symbols or buttons on the electronic device.

The fibers arranged

Image Source: US Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Full Text and Image Database

Why is it useful?

The new technology could prove to be very useful for the users as now they could use the flexible display. These fibers are like the normal fibers and can be used to make the wearable. When not connected to any electronic device, these fibers will behave like the normal cloth fiber and could give the stylish look.

Another big advantage is that it could be easily connected to any electronic device. It is flexible in nature which means that it could be worn of kept anyway the user wants to.

What’s next?

The next biggest challenge for Apple will make this technology available in real life practice. They will also have to improve the device by making it waterproof. They will also have to reduce its cost so that a large number of people could use it. We now have to wait to look for what Apple does with this technology.

Also Read: Microsoft Files Patent For A New Personal Translator

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