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Future Apple Watches may have a wireless antenna array build into the display

Per a newly granted patent (number 10,734,708) future Apple Watches may have a wireless antenna array build into the display. The patent involves “antennas formed from conductive display layers.”

In the patent filing, Apple notes that it can be challenging to form electronic device antenna structures with desired attributes. In some wireless devices, the presence of conductive structures such as conductive housing structures can influence antenna performance. 

Apple says that antenna performance won’t be satisfactory if the housing structures aren’t configured properly and interfere with antenna operation. Device size can also affect performance. It can be difficult to achieve desired performance levels in a compact device, particularly when the compact device has conductive housing structures. Apple wants to provide improved wireless communications circuitry for wireless electronic devices. 

Here’s the summary of the invention: “An electronic device such as a wristwatch may be provided with wireless circuitry and a display having a display module and a cover layer. The display module may include a dielectric layer. Touch sensor electrodes may be formed from conductive traces on the dielectric layer. An antenna may be embedded within the display module. 

“The antenna may include an antenna resonating element formed from a grid of intersecting conductive traces on the dielectric layer. The grid may have edges that define a lateral outline of the antenna resonating element. The outline may have a length that configures the antenna to radiate at a desired frequency. The antenna resonating element may be formed from indium tin oxide and may be substantially transparent.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.