California Patent Attorney® Blog

Samsung Patent Reveals Plans for a Futuristic Foldable Smartphone Display

January 6, 2014

samsung.jpgCalifornia - The next generation of Samsung smartphones will likely feature a game changing foldable dual screen, as revealed by a patent filed in Korea. The Seoul-headquartered company confirmed its plans to make the foldable screens a reality, with its CEO, Kwon Oh-hyeon, stating at an analyst's conference last month that it "would lead innovation by introducing the 'foldable' display in 2015." Given that the patent was recently found to have been filed back in 2012, experts have expressed concern over whether the new technology could actually hit the worldwide market by 2015.

Regardless of the timing of the foldable screen's introduction to the mainstream market, the newly surfaced patent filing has people excited. The very detailed patent application notes that the screen may fold by means of a hinge, or possibly just by bending. In addition, it provides a real life glimpse at the many possible applications of the display by including several artistic configurations of the new device in action.

Among those that stand out the most are a rendering of a "clipboard" on one half of the screen and a message display in the other, whereby the user can find and drag files or pictures into the message half of the display. There is also an example of an e-book type of display, which makes the folding smartphone look very much like a traditional book, with pages on both sides that the user may flip through. The filing also suggests the potential for expanded video conferencing capability with the folding screen as well as an embodiment of the way that the screen could fold backwards to stand up on a desk or table and then connect to other nearby devices for interactive gaming.

Samsung has previously filed patent applications for smartphones with flexible concave screen displays, which are set to materialize in the company's unveiling of its Galaxy Round phone, rumored to hit shelves next year. Samsung is not the first to jump on to the bendable screen trend. Electronics rivals including LG, Sony, and Microsoft have already filed similar patent applications for their own variations on the flexible display. But despite the brewing competition, Samsung appears to be ahead of the pack as it seems that this application is the first to showcase a display that can actually fold in half.