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Apple patent hints at a revolutionary see-through iPhone 8 design

Apple's iPhone 8 could feature an all-glass see-through design, which would be a first in the smartphone space.

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Expectations are high that next year’s anniversary edition Apple iPhone 8 will be a revolutionary product, something that this year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus clearly weren’t. We have already come across reports hinting at edge-to-edge OLED display, but a recent report boldly claimed that the iPhone 8 would boast a clear piece of glass with the computing strips placed at the bottom. These claims were initially met with skepticism, but a patent filed by Apple may just prove that is more plausible than previously believed.

Tech blogger Robert Scoble recently posted a wide-ranging set of predictions for the iPhone 8. These included a prediction about the iPhone 8 itself being a clear piece of glass, which could allow for a virtually see-through design. While sounding farfetched, Scoble does say his information has been sourced from multiple experts in the industry. But adding weight to his claims is a patent filed by Apple in 2014, which describes an iPhone with a see-through design, The Next Web reports. “A handheld computing device that includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a glass material that can be radio-transparent. The enclosure can be formed from a hollow glass tube or two glass members bonded together. A laser frit bonding process may be used to hermetically seal the two glass members together to create a water resistant electronic device,” the patent description reads.

This isn’t the first time we are hearing about the iPhone 8 featuring a glass body, but it was earlier believed that the overall look and feel would be something similar to what we saw on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Reports also suggest that in addition to the standard 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants, Apple could introduce a third variant with a 5-inch display.

Scoble further claimed that the see-through design of the iPhone 8 will put “holograms on top of the real world like Microsoft HoloLens does.” Now HoloLens is able to do what it does courtesy of the hardware that is more powerful than an average laptop. It will be interesting to see how Apple manages to pack this sort of hardware in the compact space of a smartphone. Other features of the iPhone 8 could include a next-gen 3D sensor from Primesense, which could be track your location in real-time without the need for base stations.

In addition to virtual reality, augmented reality too could play a big role on the iPhone 8. Metaio, an AR company Apple bought in 2015, may also play a large role in the iPhone 8 and its purported headset. This would be in line with what Tim Cook said recently about having more faith in AR over VR. RELATED: Apple CEO Tim Cook shows more faith in AR over VR, says there’s ‘no substitute for human contact’

Besides the edge-to-edge OLED display and see-through design, recent reports suggest that the iPhone 8 will also boast wireless charging capabilities. Foxconn is said to be testing wireless charging modules, but whether it really makes it to the iPhone 8 will depend on whether the manufacturer can boost the yield rate to a satisfactory level. Besides Foxconn, Apple was also said to have partnered a startup called Energous, which is known for its wireless charging chip called WattUp. The company had also filed a patent that relies on “near-field magnetic resonance” to provide power to nearby devices.

  • Published Date: November 3, 2016 11:07 AM IST