Many companies, large and small, are working tirelessly to bring the first truly foldable smartphone to the market. Making the display foldable is the most challenging part of developing such a smartphone, and that’s something Samsung has been working hard to achieve.
Samsung has shown a keen interest in developing foldable smartphones by filing numerous patents related to the subject. We have covered many of them in the past as they help us understand how Samsung is thinking about the next milestone in smartphone technology. Patently Mobile has unearthed many new patents granted to Samsung recently, and some of these are again related to foldable smartphones.
One of the patents is for a trifold smartphone
The most interesting of all the new Samsung patents is the one for a trifold smartphone. Considering how technologically challenging it is for companies to make a simple in-folding or out-folding smartphone, a trifold smartphone would certainly present an even tougher challenge, one that will eventually be overcome.
Another Samsung patent shows the foldable smartphone design we have already seen in the past. However, this patent seems to be focused on a ‘deformation sensor’ and a controller which will perform a series of important functions at the time of the bending of the display. The patent also talks about a ‘grip sensor’ configured to sense a user’s hand grip. Users must apparently use specific grip areas to bend the smartphone.
The patent abstract by Samsung says, “A display apparatus includes: a display panel; a deformation sensor configured to sense a bending of the display panel; and a controller configured to control the display panel.”
Apart from foldable smartphones, Samsung was also granted a design patent for a smartphone with a transparent display. Unlike foldable smartphones, the benefits of a transparent display are not immediately clear, but Patently Mobile does point towards some AR use cases.
It is worth remembering that patents are more complex and focused than what the images suggest. Sometimes they are for a small and specific part, like a hinge in a foldable smartphone, even though the patent diagram shows the whole phone. Understanding the scope of these patents require a thorough reading of the patent application, so it is advisable not to take patent diagrams at face value.
You can read Patently Mobile’s post on these and other patents granted to Samsung recently here.