Apple has been granted a patent for a flexible display that can be used as a self-updating digital newspaper.
Patently Apple reports that Apple refers to the device as a “digital periodical,” and that it can be used for both reading and also advertising.
Don’t get too excited about the “iNewspaper” (or “Apple Paper”) just yet, however. The caveat here is that Apple files many patents, most of which do not become actual devices sold at retail. Apple just likes to have lots of patents on things, just in case. Patents also have a marketing effect for Apple.
The device reportedly receives updates via MMS, the technology used to send photos and video clips as a form of SMS message. The patent filing reveals that Apple wants to break down web pages and newspapers into separate video, audio, image and text elements that will each be delivered using MMS. Once the files reach the digital newspaper, they will be reassembled into the original page or file.
Here’s an image from Apple’s new patent filing, via Patently Apple:
Apple indicates in the patent filing that its digital periodical is double-sided, so users can read both sides of a magazine. It’s also flexible, so it can be held like a newspaper. The filing shows that the screen can be rolled up for portability.
Another idea that Apple has for the digital periodical is using it as a screen to displays ads. The patent filing speculates that the device could be rolled into a tube around a light post to show information as people walk past.