iWatch display proposition

One of the most essential things that apple should consider if they are making an iWatch is what type of a display it ought to use.

Current Smartwatch’s use 2 types of display's.

1. E-ink


Both displays have their pros and cons.

E-ink display’s stay active all the time. However they provide a poor user experience while limiting the functionality of the device.

LED/OLED display’s offer a significantly superior user experience and they don't limit the functionality of the device. However due to limited battery life, they don't stay active all the time thus requiring the user to tap on the screen or press a button in order to activate the display. If an iWatch requires the user to click a button or tap the screen to see the time, they’ve already failed.

So what’s the solution to this problem? Some sort of "hybrid" display right?

Well there are 3 popular "hybrid" displays

1 Mirasol

2 Color E-Ink

3 Pixel Qi

But in reality, neither one of these displays provide a quality even remotely comparable to LED/OLED. The colors are washed out and the display’s have a poor refresh rate making the device seem like a reduced knock off product. And the battery life is not comparable to E-ink displays.

So what’s the real solution? Why not use both E-ink and LED/OLED displays!

A transparent OLED display on top of an E-ink display. When the iWatch switches to standby the OLED display shuts off revealing the E-ink display layered underneath.

I came across this patent which has the exact same idea.


Power saving mode in persistently active multi-layer display screen - US 8284118 B2


*Apple also filed a multi layered display patent but their intention was to create the illusion of a 3D display.

The only downside to this is that the standby mode will be limited to E-ink (black and white). But this a small compromise for a product with a great display and great battery life.