Apple recently filed for a new patent that envisions a flexible display a user can interact with. We’ve seen flexible displays before, but the ones we’ve seen in smartphones have usually just been added for extra strength. Apple’s vision is something more unique.
The patent, titled “Electronic Devices with Flexible Displays,” details a type of flexible display that might (or might not) sit underneath another panel, such as glass, and with which a user can interact to execute commands in the user interface. The display might serve as a button to provide tactile feedback for example, though Apple also imagines it acting as a sort of speaker, which also isn’t unheard of.
“Components may receive input or may supply output through a physically deformed portion of the flexible display,” the patent says, as noted by AppleToolBox. “A portion of the flexible display may serve as a membrane that forms part of a microphone, speaker, pressure sensor, or other electronic component.”
The possibilities seem pretty endless for this sort of technology, though the discussion about a speaker and a button suggests this might find its way into the home button of a future iPhone. Seems neat, and the pictures above provide some more insight.