For sure, Apple patents a lot of innovative technology that never sees the light of day. However, sometimes certain patents stand out due to current technology trends and stronger signs that Apple may indeed be working on a new iDevice. One such example that fits that description is a patent for an Apple invention that allows for flexible battery packs. The patent was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office yesterday and discovered by Patently Apple. As PA notes:
Apple's invention relates to flexible battery packs for use in electronic devices that overcome one or more of the drawbacks of conventional battery packs. In one embodiment of the present disclosure, the flexible battery pack may include a plurality of cells, such as galvanic or photovoltaic cells. The battery pack also may include a plurality of laminate layers coupled to the cells that include a top laminate layer and a bottom laminate layer.
An adhesive may be used to couple the top and bottom laminate layers together such that each of the plurality of cells is isolated from each other. This arrangement may allow the battery to be shaped to fit a form factor of the electronic device. This arrangement also may allow one or more of the cells to be selectively removed from the plurality, which may be desirable from a manufacturing perspective.
One drawback of a smart watch is the amount of battery it would need to last all day, or indeed, all week. When people imagine the iWatch, it is often assumed the battery would sit behind the face plate. However, if Apple has come up with a way to make thin, curved batteries, the entire wriststrap could be a battery, thus enabling longer usage between charges.
Does this patent signal that an iWatch is coming? Not totally, but combined with the recent iWatch trademark filings, it is evident that technology from this patent could be used in such a device.