With smartphone world going crazy about foldable phones although they have yet to make their way into the consumer’s pocket. Amidst rumours of a possible rollable phone from Sony, one of the biggest names in the technology world, IBM, has patented what appears to be a smartwatch that can turn into a smartphone and a tablet. Yes, you read that right.
As per a report by LetsGoDigital, the actual patent of the device has been posted online and we see that it was applied by IBM over three years back. What we can make out in the patent appears to be a smartwatch with a sizable thickness. This is due to the fact that the device has a compartment holding seven additional display panels. The panels can be unfolded from the compartment to turn into a 4-panel smartphone or an 8-panel tablet.
When the device is opened up the UI changes accordingly to show larger icons and bigger images. With all the 8 panels opened up, the device will the go into tablet mode which will then require both the hands to operate. The panels in question measure 3-inches by 2-inches so the completely unfolded tablet will have a size of 12-inches by 8-inches.
The patent suggests that this device will have a single speaker unit and can work with an optional mouse and physical keyboard. There appear to be no details on optics present and also no details about the internal hardware.
As of right now, IBM has only patented this design and since the company has been out of the consumer electronics business for some time now, it would appear that this device will take a long time before being mass marketed.