Patently Mobile opened a dedicated archive covering Samsung's flexible display patent applications years ago because we clearly understood that this was an area of strategic value to Samsung. Samsung's latest flexible smartphone invention that surfaced at the U.S. Patent Office earlier this month is a unique one to be sure. The invention just isn't about a flexible display but also a completely flexible frame that could be bent forwards and backwards with relative ease. The frame is designed in unique sections that have the ability to open up and grab a user's clothing and then lock it in temporarily so that a runner, for example, doesn't have to wear an additional clip, armband and/or strap to hold their smartphone in place. It's definitely a different kind of smartphone design and one that could possibly attract mobile active and/or athletic types.
One of Samsung's latest inventions generally relates to a fully flexible electronic device like a smartphone that could include a flexible case frame having a certain radius of curvature, a flexible substrate disposed in an inner space of the case frame, a flexible battery pack disposed in the inner space of the case frame, and a flexible display exposed in part of the case frame.
The case frame may include a plurality of singular unit case frames configured to move relative to one another. The unit case frame may include a flat surface, a side surface extending perpendicularly "upwards" relative to the "left" and "right" sides of the flat surface, a coupler configured to protrude and couple to adjacent unit case frames on a flat surface, and a seating end formed opposing the coupler, and receiving the coupler of an adjacent unit case frame.
The flexible electronic device may further include a hinge hole or a hinge protrusion formed in a contact portion formed on the coupler; and a hinge protrusion or a hinge hole formed in the seating end. The hinge protrusion may mechanically couple to the hinge hole when it is received by or penetrates the hinge hole.
The case frame may be formed of at least one of a synthetic resin, a metallic material, a glass material, a Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP), and a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP).
Samsung's patent FIG. 1 noted above is a perspective view of the front side of a flexible electronic device that they've invented. FIG. 2 below is a perspective view of the rear side of the flexible electronic device
In Samsung's patent FIGS. 3 and 4 noted below you can see that the electronic device could be bent in a curved shape having a convex or concave curvature, as facilitated by the unit case frames #12. The flexure may facilitate the electronic device to be attached to the human body or a structure.
In one embodiment, the electronic device may maintain the flexure. In another embodiment, when an applied external force is removed from the bent electronic device, the electronic device may return to its original non-flexure state.
Samsung's patent FIG. 8 noted below illustrates a battery pack which includes a plurality of unit battery cells #51-54 coupled at regular intervals. The unit battery cells 51-54 can be coupled using an electrical coupling means #501 such as a coaxial cable.
Another feature that Samsung briefly touches on is the phone's camera. Samsung notes that the camera #18 of FIG. 2 above could be used for video conferencing and general video capture. One design could include two or more cameras to be able to 3-dimensional "3D" images.
Samsung originally filed their U.S. patent application back in Q2 2014 that was published earlier this month by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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