Today, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung that reveals future mobile devices that integrates transparent or invisible buttons that they call sensor pads. The buttons can be configured to work with different apps like a camera or a video game. The second invention of interest today covers a new hybrid notebook-tablet. Will Samsung reenter this market for Windows 10 or will it die a quiet death in IP heaven? Only time will tell.
Samsung's Invention: Transparent Sensor Pads
Samsung's invention relates to a method of recognizing a user input through a side surface of an electronic device and controlling the electronic device based on the recognized user input, and an electronic device including the method. In Patent 3A below we see a mobile device with a series of "touch pad" areas along both sides of the device. Each could have a specific function assigned to the touch pads. In one example, FIG. 19 illustrates that the two of the sensor pads act as gaming controls when used with a gaming application.
According to Samsung's patent filing, "The main touch sensor and at least one sensor pad may be formed of a transparent conductive medium such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), Indium Zinc Oxide (IZO), Al doped ZnO (AZO), Carbone NanoTube (CNT), conductive polymer (PEDOT), Ag, Cu, or the like."
In the series of Figures illustrated below we're able to see a smartphone with a series of smart touch pads along its side in both landscape and portrait orientations. In Camera mode, the buttons or touch pads could be used with specific functions related to the camera's flash, a photo timer, video related and so forth. The user will be able to set the sensor pads in the positions they feel more comfortable with. The camera button may be best at the top right when in landscape and in the middle when holding the phone in portrait mode for selfies.
Samsung's patent which was published today was originally filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January of this year.
Samsung Invention #2: New Hybrid Notebook Tablet
The second Samsung patent application of interest published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today involves a smart hybrid notebook-tablet that Intel likes to call a 2-in-1. Samsung has been down this road before with their Series Slate 7 for Windows 8. Considering this patent was filed in late 2014, we can say that it's a new design that may be introduced to work with Windows 10. Whether Samsung has any interest in pursuing this market segment is unknown at this time. However, Samsung's current website doesn't present any kind of notebook, hybrid or not. Read into that as you will.
The display is attached to the keyboard by guide protrusions #57 and hooks #55 rather than via magnetics that are used in the HP hybrid.
A plurality of contacts is provided on a bottom surface of the connector groove, and a pogo pin connector is used as the male connector #53 of the connection apparatus #30. A conventional board to board connector or the conventional pogo pin connector may be used as the connector which is used in the tablet computer and the connection apparatus.
Samsung notes that in order to increase usability of the tablet computer, a keyboard unit, a charging stand, an auxiliary battery pack and more will be able to connect to the display or keyboard using the same connector construction.
Samsung's U.S. patent application was published today and originally filed with the U.S. Patent Office in Q3 2014. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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