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Apple patents ‘bendy’ iPhone and smart glasses

Apple now has patents for a flexible iPhone and smart glasses, hinting at future direction

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Apple was awarded 28 new patents last week, reports Patently Apple (via CNN), and the choices offer noteworthy hints towards what direction the company's products could be heading in.

Among them was one for a "flexible electronic device," which calls to mind Apple's "bendgate" scandal where some users found the iPhone 6 Plus bent slightly in the middle when kept in pockets etc.

The patent reads: "Rigid electronic devices may be vulnerable to damage in the event of an impact such as a drop of the device on a hard surface. It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide improved electronic devices."

It includes mock-ups of how the flexible device would work, with bendable screen, battery and circuit board.

Then there are the smart glasses, which could pitch Apple against Google in the wearables market, dubbed "Lifestream." The patent describes it as an unscripted data collection system that collects "notes, recordings and annotation data elements."

The glasses could also plug into external apps such as Facebook, collecting video and audio information, as well as facial recognition, respiration patterns, pupil dilation and other data from users.

Google Glass has run into problems with consumers and business users alike, with limited battery life, privacy issues and reports of eye strain all contributing to a backlash. Apple's entry into the smart glasses market could knock Google's position even further.

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