Samsung has been working on several possible future smartphone form factors for years as our extensive flex-display archives bear out. This month a new Samsung patent application came to light at the US Patent Office revealing some refined designs of ideas and concepts that they've been working on for some time now. Our report covers several smartphone designs with a few new twists.
A Scrollable Smartphone
In Samsung's patent FIG. 76 noted above we're able to see a smartphone design in a scrollable tube form factor that they simply describe as rollable device #100e. The device is shown in two states, rolled and unrolled. A user may change the state of the device by simply grabbing the tab (#7610) and rolling out the flexible display.
Samsung notes that the flexible display may include an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) or a flexible LCD display that replaces a glass substrate with a plastic film.
An alternative way to open the display involves pressing on a button or icon that is present on one side of the scroll which would open the scroll with the desired app ready to use once scrolled out. As illustrated in patent FIG. 77 below, the calendar icon was pressed and is presented to the user as the full display is fully exposed.
Tab Style Smartphone
In Samsung's patent FIG. 74 illustrated below we're able to see an all-new form factor that involves a foldable smartphone. The smartphone illustrated doesn't fold in half like the form factor of FIG. 1A noted further below. This design is folded off-center so as to leave a tab exposed on the left side that could present the user with their favorite apps at a single glance. Just as with the scrolling form factor of FIG. 77, once the user touches the app icon in the tab, it'll be present as the user unfolds their smartphone display.
Samsung's patent FIG. 75 below shows a scenario of a user on their smartphone telling the person on the other side of the call that they'll check the schedule before committing to a meeting date. The user touches the calendar icon and then opens their smartphone with the calendar ready to use immediately.
Foldable Smartphone using a Hinge System
In Samsung's patent FIG. 1A we're seeing a refined illustration of a long standing smartphone concept that uses two displays using a hinge system.
The Bendable Smartphone
And lastly, one of Samsung's foldable smartphone designs offers an oddball fold as noted in patent FIG. 1B below. The humorous aspect to the design is that the designer added an Apple iPod icon as one of the favorite apps that Samsung obviously doesn't have. Oops!
Samsung's patent FIG. 1B noted above illustrates a smartphone design that is folded by being bent. As illustrated in FIG. 1B, the smartphone may be bent at a preset degree.
Samsung's patent application was published earlier this month in the US and filed in May 2015. It was originally filed in Korea in 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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