It’s been a while now since we have been learning about Samsung’s foldable and bendable displays. The company has filed multiple applications to register patents for such devices triggering speculations about foldable smartphones becoming reality sooner or later. Now, a recently unearthed patent application reveals a similar concept of a flexible display, however, it comes with a hinge of a difference. This flexible display is supported by a hinge! (Get it?)
The patent application, which was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office by Samsung on June 9, 2015, under the patent number US 9,557,771 B2, describes a device an inward-folding display, that is supported by a mechanical hinge in the middle.
The latest report comes amid rumors about Samsung’s plans to commercially launch its foldable smartphones, dubbed as the Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus, by end of the third quarter of this year. The two smartphones are expected to feature a bendable section in the middle, so that they fold inwards. However, there have also been reports that said that the devices could feature displays folding outwards, that way giving it a display on the front and back.
Reportedly, the foldable smartphone will feature a full display on the front which would stretch on to the back as well. The fold-out smartphone could further be turned into a 7-inch tablet when unfolded. The smartphone when unfolded would turn into a tablet, making it useful for watching movies, videos, reading or playing games. Although, the size could be a matter of concern though, since smartphone companies are all vying for sleek and thin smartphones. And the thought of having a smartphone and tablet wrapped into one could lead to a bulky device, but that is just an assumption. ALSO READ: Samsung’s flexible smartphone to fold outward, expected to launch in Q3 2017: Report
The reports also state that Samsung began developing on this technology way back since August 2016, citing reasons of inconvenience for its users to unfold the phone every time they have to use it.
Late last year, another patent revealed Samsung’s concept for a foldable smartphone, which bends in the middle to form the shape of a flip phone. The patent was eventually approved. The image of the concept, showed it bending from the middle. The interesting part about that patent was that the flexible device bent without one using a hand for it. The report explained that the technology used an electrode layer, dielectric elastomer film, while another electrode is used in both the upper and lower portions of the flexible display. When a certain amount of voltage is applied on both the layers, the flexible device bends itself. ALSO READ: Samsung files patent for two new smartwatches, one with a foldable display
But then again, Samsung is not alone in the race of the foldable smartphones, as LG, Apple and Lenovo, among others, have also been ruomred to be working on similar models.