Earlier this month the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a pair of new patent applications from Samsung concerning flexible, bendable smartphones, an area of technology that Samsung has been working for many years as proven in our archives.
Samsung's first patent notes that their invention relates to "Apparatuses and methods consistent with exemplary embodiments relate to a display apparatus, and more particularly to a display apparatus having a bendable structure in which an overall shape is not fixed and the whole apparatus including a plate of a display panel is flexible as desired by a user."
Samsung's patent FIG. 30 noted below is a perspective view of a shape of display panel support member #1540 applied to the display apparatus which is transformed by an external force. The panel support member includes a plurality of plates #1541 arranged parallel in the form of a matrix on the X-Y plane, and a plurality of artificial muscles #1542 connecting the plates. In accordance with which direction what artificial muscle #1542 is transformed, the panel support member #1540 may be bent in various forms.
As shown above in patent FIG. 43, the smartphone #2100 includes a housing having a plurality of hinges #2111 to have a bendable structure. One or more hinges are provided along the Y direction axial line, so that the housing can have a multi-joint structure.
If there are three hinges as shown in the figure above, the smartphone is divided into four areas along the Y direction axial line. The batteries are respectively arranged in the plurality of areas divided with respect to the hinges. The image processing board should be arranged in at least one of these areas. Therefore, the image processing board and the battery may be selectively arranged in the respective areas, or a mini battery may be embedded in the image processing board.
Bendable Smartphone Style #2 with 'Quick View' Feature
In Samsung's second patent, they note that as display technology is developing, user terminal devices provided with a flexible display are coming into the market. The flexible display refers to a display which is bendable.
As the flexible displays are widely used, new interfacing methods or information displaying methods using the bendable or foldable property of the flexible displays are being increasingly studied and researched.
One such application or feature that we could see coming to the next generation of bendable smartphones is what Samsung calls the 'Quick View'. In Samsung's patent FIG 22 noted below we're able to see a method for configuring a quick viewing window. As shown the user may determine an application, a widget, a content, etc. to be displayed on a quick viewing window in response to the user bending or un-bending their smartphone
As noted above in patent FIG. 22 or below in FIGS. 17 A&B a user will simply use one finger to bend or unbend the first half of a future smartphone will be able to multitask quickly between two or more commonly used applications.
In the example above, a user is going from a first app, a clock, to a calendar by simply bending or un-bending the upper section of the smartphone. .
Samsung further notes that this future smartphone would also be able to respond to other kinds of actions such as motion input so that tilting or rotating a phone could trigger an event, function or feature.
Samsung also reserves the right to apply this feature and methodologies to devices beyond a smartphone, such as a laptop computer, a tablet device, an e-book device, a digital broadcasting device, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), a Portable Multimedia Player (PMP), a navigation device, or a wearable device such as a smart watch, smart glasses, a Head-Mounted Display (HMD), or the like.
Easy One-Finger Flex
Samsung filed their U.S. patent application back in January 2016. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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