Apple is on a roll, getting a lot of patents recently, but this one interests us the most. I’m talking about a flexible display patent shown below and this one includes unique features. The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 57 new patents awarded to Apple, among which there are a few documents about flexible screens.
The new type of screen is composed of one or more flexible layers and it can be mounted on top of or under a cover layer. Such a flexible display may be mounted on top of a rigid support member or it may be mounted on the underside of a rigid cover layer. The flexibility of the screen could allow the user to interact with the component through the display. Sound waves from a speaker or localized vibrations from an actuator in an electronic device may pass through the flexible display.
A flexible display can be deformed by an internal component in order to provide audio or tactile feedback to a user. The documents show cross sectional side views of iDevice portions placed close to the audio components. It seems there’s a lot of focus on the acoustic side of things here, as the flexible display placed on top of the acoustics may reduce the risk of dirt of water entering the device.
This would enable waterproofing and I’m also reminded of that vibration system that could replace standard acoustics a while ago.