Future Apple devices could be flexible according to their latest patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Their patent talks about the creation of a flexible battery shape, which could take form in their iWatch that has been rumored for quite a while now.
The patent was filed all the way back in December 2011 and published yesterday, sees a flexible battery pack that uses a number of different cells connected through a laminate layer which is designed to "allow the battery to be shaped to fit a form factor of the electronic device."
Electronic devices are ubiquitous in society and can be found in everything from portable cell phones to wristwatches. Many of these electronic devices require some type of portable power source. Many of these electronic devices also have unique form factors. Because of this, the portable power source of any one electronic device may not fit within any other electronic device.
Furthermore, these unique form factors often require flexible battery arrangements, whereas conventional battery packs are often too rigid to flexibly conform to these form factors. For example, lithium-ion batteries, such as lithium polymer battery cells, are quite rigid and bending them repeatedly may cause damage to the battery cells and battery failure. As a result of attempting to accommodate inflexible battery packs, the packaging of portable electronic devices may not be optimally sized.
Apple's patent goes a little further, suggesting that the flexible battery pack could have certain cells removed and replaced with thermoelectric coolers, flashes, or a camera. According to the company, the flexible battery solution could be used in numerous devices, including "wristwatches, calculators, laptop computers, tablet computers, and/or music players."
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