A new patent reveals IBM’s plans for a smartwatch that transforms to become a smartphone or tablet.

At a time when smartphone companies are experimenting with foldable displays that will turn smartphones into tablets and tablets into laptops (or a phone that turns into a scroll), a tech company decided to take the easier route and produce something that looks like it was plucked out from a sci-fi movie: a smartphone that transforms into a smartphone and a tablet.

According to the patent “Variable Display Size For An Electronic Display Device” (spotted by Dutch tech site Let’s Go Digital), IBM plans on creating a smartwatch that extends to become a smartphone with a display four times the size of the smartwatch, and a tablet twice the size of the smartphone. The patent was filed three years ago but published by the Patent and Trademark Office recently.

In smartwatch mode, the device will look like what it’s supposed to be --a smartwatch that measures 2x3 inches-- but with a thicker body. Interestingly, the smartwatch display doesn’t have any bezels at all, and this is not just for aesthetic purposes: underneath the smartwatch display are seven more displays that can be pulled out to change to another form, i.e. the smartphone.

“This is not even my final form!”

By pulling out three display panels, the device will now become a smartphone that measures 4x6 inches without any bezel. Based on the patent illustrations, the wider display area will allow wearers to do more things compared to what they can do when the device is on smartwatch mode. There will be more room for app icons, widgets and more.

As mentioned, this isn’t the device’s final form yet. By sliding the remaining displays out, the device can transform from smartphone mode to tablet mode, with a display that measures 8x6 inches. The extended display size allows for more app icons, widgets, and more things to do simultaneously like taking down notes while browsing the internet.

Welcome idea

While the idea is a welcome respite from the disappointments caused by problems with foldable displays, it remains unsure whether IBM does intend to create such a device and sell it to the masses. BGR noted that there’s no guarantee that IBM will actually make such a device. Still, it’s interesting to see how someone can type down notes on a tablet, the size of a book, strapped to his wrist.

smartwatch-828786 Smart Watch Photo: Pixabay