As we enter the age where devices with foldable screens are a reality we are likely to see some incredible tech designs and products. We're also likely to see some real "out there" concepts and, quite frankly, odd ideas that will never make it to stores. We suspect that IBM's foldable smartwatch falls very much in the latter category. Fun and interesting but completely impractical. Found and subsequently turned into mock-up renders by Dutch website LetsGoDigital, a filed IBM patent shows a "variable display size for an
electronic display device". In short, its diagrams illustrate a watch device with a screen that can flip out to become a smartphone-sized display, which can then unfurl to provide a tablet-like face. Yeah, we know. It would be great in theory and IBM must have built a prototype of some description, but we can't ever see it become reality. The fact that the patent was originally filed in 2016 (but not approved until mid-June 2019) suggests that IBM might well have moved on by now - maybe to a better, more logical alternative.
Still, there's part of us that hoped it continued down the same alley - maybe even progressing to a watch display that can fold out to the size of a broadsheet newspaper. Or maybe even a digital blanket that you can sleep under at night.