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At one point, Samsung thought of giving the Fold series a heart rate sensor

It’s often fun to look back at how a device came to be, especially if that device boasts new technologies wrapped in an unconventional form factor. Take the Galaxy Z lineup, for example. You can be certain that the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip series have left behind numerous unrealized ideas that were perhaps too ambitious or unconventional to pursue.

Some of those — dare we say ‘experimental’ — ideas often emerge from the countless patent applications being filed by Samsung on a regular basis, and one such application was recently discovered at USPTO. It describes a foldable device — or rather the rough idea of a foldable device — equipped with health sensors for blood pressure monitoring.

Now, a smartphone equipped with a heart rate monitor is nothing new, especially for Samsung. But the way the sensor array is implemented in this concept foldable device is unconventional and somewhat contrived. The idea is — or rather was — to use the foldable phone sort of like a giant finger clip for blood pressure monitoring, and presumably the device would provide more accurate readings thanks to multiple sensors working together to complete the task.

All in all, it looks cumbersome and more like an afterthought than a serious idea, so it’s no wonder that it never materialized. Take a look at the sketches below.

How likely is it for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 / Z Flip 2 to feature this technology?

‘Very unlikely’ is the answer to that. Granted, the USPTO patent application was published yesterday but don’t make the error of thinking it’s new. In fact, the crumb trail leads to similar applications being filed in South Korea all the way back in 2019, and even the sketches enclosed strongly suggest that this is an old concept which was later shelved.

As mentioned before, the application represents more of a piece of hidden history rather than a glimpse of the future. The sketches reveal one of the more unconventional ideas that Samsung’s engineers have considered when developing the foldable lineup, and they indicate that this idea is as old, or even older than the original Galaxy Fold.

With that being said, we wouldn’t hold our breath for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or the Galaxy Z Flip 2 to have a blood pressure monitoring sensor built-in, and that’s especially true now that Samsung has limited the use of health-related sensors to its wearables.

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