Apple invents flexible batteries, likely for iWatch

By , Jul 5, 2013

Apple patent (flexible battery pack, drawing 001)

With iWatch trademarks linked to Apple spotted in places like Japan, Russia and a slew of other countries, it is no surprise speculation is intensifying that the iPhone maker is secretly developing a wearable gizmo of some sort. Another piece of the Apple smartwatch puzzle has now fallen into place as The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published Friday a patent filing detailing a flexible battery design specifically conceived for a wristwatch and/or other bendable mobile devices…

Apple’s USPTO patent filing No. 2,013,017,1490 discloses a design for flexible battery packs.

The crux of the invention calls for coupling galvanic or photovoltaic cells between two laminate layers and using an adhesive to isolate the cells from each other. Such an arrangement would help in engineering battery packs that fit curved form factors.

It may also allow engineers to selectively remove one or more cells from the pack, “which may be desirable from a manufacturing perspective,” Apple writes. What makes Apple’s filing even more eyebrow-raising is the specific mention of bendable gadgets such as wristwatches.

The solution, Apple writes, may be employed in “wristwatches, calculators, laptop computers, tablet computers, and/or music players, to name but a few.” For what it’s worth, this is the first time Apple’s filings mentioned wristwatches in regard to curved battery designs.

Apple patent (flexible battery pack, drawing 005)

Apple researching curved batteries is interesting in light of ongoing iWatch talk. The rumored Apple-branded wristwatch is apparently facing challenges directly related to battery performance.

The current iWatch prototypes – thought to run a version of iOS – are reportedly only going for a couple days max versus Apple’s self-imposed goal of at least 4-5 days between charges, per The Verge.

Reducing wasted space and accommodating curved designs would certainly help squeeze every last drop of power out of its flexible battery packs. Moreover, the design creates a more reliable product compared to conventional battery packs. For instance, should moisture or dust enter the cavity of a cell, only that cell would fail rather than the entire battery pack.

Apple patent (flexible battery pack, drawing 004)

This isn’t the first Apple’s invention of this kind.

A pair of patent filings dated October 28, 2011 describe enclosing battery components in a flexible pouch that molds to a product. Those two patents are also meant to help shape a mobile battery so it fits better into a housing and reduce wasted internal space.

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  • Dominik Odobašić

    This product is so overhyped. I can’t wait for it to fail miserably.

    • Boss

      With it’s all of 1 hour battery life

      • Maxim∑

        I assume you didn’t read the article…

    • Johnathan Jennings

      I love apple and honestly me too lol. No one under 30 wears a watch anymore.

      • Jake

        How many non-business people used a smartphone before apple released the iPhone? How many people used a tablet before the iPad? Apple has a way of making people want something they didn’t want before.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        People have already wanted watches. Now they’re gone. It’s a pointless market if you ask me. I won’t be getting one unless I can remote start my car and open the garage doors to my house with it.

      • Dominik Odobašić

        Why bother having a watch o do those things when I can already do it with my smartphone?

      • Johnathan Jennings

        That’s my point exactly did it. There’s no point in a watch whatsoever

      • mnm221988

        I guess you don’t have jobs where wearing a watch fits the look. I wear a watch almost everywhere. Do you really want to look like an idiot always looking for a phone when your arm shows it all?

      • iBanks

        You can. Get an smart watch with voice capabilities that controls siri from your smartphone. And add some of the siri hack projects that allows you to control such things. They are out there on the web.

      • Benedict Langer

        I do.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Well you’re a virgin then. Lol

    • Mohammed

      Ohh you again
      Just leave apple alone and go away man
      Stop posting comments based on your hatred towards apple
      God!!

      • Dominik Odobašić

        I agree, man! And I have a Mac because I hate Apple so much, man! You’re so right, man!

      • Mohammed

        Well I didn’t know you have Mac.
        Don’t think I am a jerk who just wants to bash people,I am
        Sorry but your comments seems so ……you know what I mean

      • Boss

        I bet most of them people don’t want to look like a dork in public

      • Marnix Robyns

        i like my phone not because it’s apple, but because the user interface and the phone are just the way i like them, now i tried other phones did like them but where less beautiful on the UI, i thought that ipad would be a failure but look how much it grew, it’s ok if you disagree but why can’t we do those things in a polite mather

      • Gorgonphone

        yeah he has no clue at all

    • ExRoot

      That’s exactly….EXACTLY what people posted about the iPad before its release. Then again for the iPad mini.

      • Dominik Odobašić

        How many people wear regular hand watches right now? How many of those people will be interested in this product? Keep in mind it won’t be cheap (It’s Apple!) and I’m pretty sure it won’t make people who don’t wear watches start wearing one.
        Market for it will be (is) incredibly small, which doesn’t make its future very bright.

      • Lordthree

        It doesn’t matter how many where them right now. The only reason people stopped is because phones have a clock built in. If we had watches with phone built in, people would DEFINaTELY wear them again

      • Dominik Odobašić

        If you think this would be any different than a Jawbone Up with a screen, let alone a clock with a phone built in, you need a reality check.
        Just look how useless the previous Nano was.

      • Gorgonphone

        yes iwatch will be big ji just hope they get the design the UI and the battery life right

      • Gorgonphone

        Rich posers wear expensive watches BUT iwatch will re ignite the watch industry and other companies will start making money again selling watches..

      • Dominik Odobašić

        I’m sure Apple can compete in such a saturated market. Right… Everyone will have an iWatch… Earth to Gorgon, please come back down.

      • 3aloo1

        If there is a small difference from normal watch to apple’s iwatch no one will buy it but if there is difference as an example siri or alarms or navigation this will be awesome

      • blastingbigairs

        I agree, I was so hating on the iPad when I first heard about it, now it is the most used device in my house by everyone in my house. I am on it now!! Although normal watches aren’t something everyone wears, if a watch is branded Apple and has some cool features, the masses will buy it up as with anything Apple makes. I for one will likely stick to my good ol timepiece and admire from afar. I wish Apple luck anyway.

    • Gorgonphone

      dude it will have and apple logo on it out cant fail duh.. and if ugly IOS 7 can be popular so can an iwatch loll

      • Dominik Odobašić

        Your “lolls” and “duhs” only make me think of you as a clueless teen who knows jack siht about history of Apple products. Newton, PipPin, Lisa… PowerMac G4 Cube was discontinued the next year! Should I even mention the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano, which Apple keeps pointlessly redesigning, hoping for sales? And why do you think Apple lowered the price of the Retina MacBook Pros? Because they were selling great? Get your head out of your ass.

  • Woody

    I’m getting the watch. Idc

  • seyss

    watches died when phones gained clocks

    • Gorgonphone

      watches are only cool are jewelry now..

  • Gorgonphone

    looks more like several battery joined by flexible connectors..loloolol but what ever all i want is longer batter life

  • Saeed Ghattas

    Don’t you guys think that it could be for a flexible wearable device like i think it would be?

  • Saeed Ghattas

    Don’t you guys think that it could be for a flexible wearable device like i do? :)

  • Dante Arellano

    There is tecnology up there that you cant imagine but the real bussiness is sell the same thing many times as posible to the people like iphone 3,3s4,4s sssss thank you apple!

  • Kurt

    I wouldn’t get it, because of the higher risk of cancer. This will need to be paired with your phone at all times emitting a signal. In the future people will be suing the cell phone companies! My friend is a lawyer for a cell company and told me to never put my cell phone in my pocket as they are and have been preparing for future litigation. Take that seriously! Or ignore it and keep your phone in your pocket, keep eating your GMO, ignore the videos of Ted Turner and other billionaires talk about reducing the world population to below 2 billion people. Those vids are on Youtube, fyi

    • Bob

      Take off your tin foil hat.

      • Kurt

        YouTube, “Ted Turner population control”

    • Micaiah Martin

      Preach it brother!

  • Appletiser

    i wouldn’t call it an invention of a “flexible battery”, more like several solid batteries in a flexible holder :)

    • Hyr3m

      Remember Christian wrote the thing…

  • Jonathan

    Remember, the iPod Nano 6g was a fail.

  • http://sciencedem.blogspot.com editor

    What if; the iwatch is not an accessory; but an entire iPhone curved and wearable. What if flat iPhones; the bricks we carry are discontinued; and all future iPhones are curved and wearable?

  • Canchume

    well in my 2 years ipod nano 6th gen i use for watch and the battery life is incredible

  • Sandy Cook

    Another ‘Apple invention’ (i.e., something that already exists)

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I work at zipline park and this would be perfect for someone like me. I know that the watch would be securely attached to me rather than have my iPhone fall out of my pocket. But that’s just me. I for one have been saying I need a watch for the longest time.

  • maverickmax

    my dad gifted me a very expensive omega watch..i dont think iwatch could ever replace that..

  • Saeed Ghattas

    Don’t anyone thinks that it will be for a flexible wearable device?? That would be interesting!

  • Andro Fort

    Are you sure they “invent?” or they “buy” the technology from other company/inventor. :)