Apple is researching the design of iPhones and full glass watches

Apple has improved its research on devices with glass housings, according to a recently approved patent application.

Patent, first spotted Patently Apple, called “Electronic Device with Glass Case” and was assigned to Apple by the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier today. The research focuses on electronic devices with hexagonal glass housings and glass housings that extend all the way around the device.

Apple glass case patent another

For devices like the iPhone, Apple’s patent covers how touch screens are enclosed “within the internal volume and placed along at least part of each of the six sides of the hexagonal glass case”. These displays are flexible to accommodate the internal curves of the case and can provide additional regions for touch input.

patented production of apple glass cases

The patent explains how the glass can be curved, tapered and folded to create a complete glass housing, which contains accommodation for components such as speakers and microphones. Apple also suggests that some of the glass surfaces may have different textures to distinguish them from nearby entrance areas.

Apple has cited various implementations to allow access to the inside of the device, presumably for production and repairs, such as removing windows or what Apple calls a “cap.” This would allow the internal components to be pulled out in a way similar to the Siri Remote of the latest Apple TV.

apple glass enclosures patented internal access

The documentation also shows how the device software can be integrated with the full glass design to dynamically adapt based on the way the user holds and orients the device, such as additional information displayed on the outer edges and user interface elements moving around to surface that interacts with.

apple glass enclosure patent dyanmic software

In addition to the iPhone, which appears to be the main focus of the patent, the application also shows how other devices, such as the Apple Watch, the cylindrical Mac Pro and the Mac Mac tower, can have full glass housings and use their interior surfaces.

Apple glass cases are patented by other devices

Some have long idealized devices with glass cases, including former Apple designer Sir Jony Ive, as a natural conclusion to Apple’s design. Apple’s patent claims do not show the company’s current plans, but they do show some of the company’s specific areas of research and development.

The Apple Watch Series 7 has a brand new, thicker front crystal. Combined with the larger screen sizes, the refractive curved edge of the Apple Watch glass gives the impression that the screen almost meets the case, which can be a small iteration towards achieving the type of design envisaged in this documentation.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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