It’s always fun to consider what the iPhone 6 might look like if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) utilized some of its latest patents. Now Patently Apple has spotted a very interesting new patent application which describes a display which is transparent, flexible, made from sapphire glass and built with liquid metal. Interestingly enough, this patent application was filed in Europe rather than in the U.S.
iPhone 6 with a hollow display cover?
According to the site, the patent describes a “hollow display cover structure.” That hollow cover could then be formed from some kind of “elongated member” with an inside surface. It could be shaped like a cylinder, a tube or any other shape that is hollow. It’s interesting to note that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is experimenting with this type of technology given the design of its new cylindrical Mac Pro computers. The design is meant to maximize efficiency and power, but it looks, quite frankly, space-age. If the iPhone 6 features a display like the one that is described in this patent, the effect could be similar.
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The patent also describes the materials which could be used to make this hollow display. It includes sapphire, which makes sense because we know Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sunk a huge chunk of money into a company which makes sapphire glass. There’s been speculation for months now that the iPhone 6 would use sapphire glass because of Apple’s investment. In addition to sapphire, Apple also lists other crystalline or transparent materials.
Other features of the display
Some have speculated that the iPhone 6 would feature a curved display, although this patent describes a display that is actually flexible over a longitudinal axis. It would use an OLED display wrapped around an axis to cover the hollow structure. In addition, the patent states that the device would have touch sensors, an accelerometer and gyroscope and other input sensors. It also covers other features the iPhone 6 might have, like tilt to scroll and gesture control. The flexible display would even go further and scroll along with the rotation and movement of the device itself.
Growing sapphire from liquid metal
We’ve seen other reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was experimenting with liquid metal before, potentially for the iPhone 6. Now this new patent suggests that the display cover for this device could be made of sapphire grown from liquid metal. It says that each sapphire display cover structure could be grown as a single crystal by pulling out sapphire from liquid metal.
This patent is certainly one of the more interesting ones to surface lately. If all of these technological feats do make it into Apple products, the end result could be quite magnificent. I’m not sure the technology for this new patent is quite where it would need to be in order to be part of the iPhone 6, which is expected to be out sometime over the next nine, if not six, months. But it certainly is fun to dream about shiny, space-age gadgets.