On October 18 Patently Mobile posted a report titled "Samsung's Engineers Keep Pounding Out New Form Factors for Future Bendable Smartphones Looking for a Winner." Samsung has a plethora of foldable and flexible devices and displays on record in a special archive. Samsung's latest foldable smartphone concept was published last week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Because Samsung has so many smartphone design variants with different hinges and flex mechanisms being considered, there's no use delving into the mechanics of their latest until design until one of them emerges as the victor. You will find below a series of jumbo patent figures set in various groups to highlight design features or functions. Samsung's U.S. filing was made in May 2016 and published last week by USPTO. And lastly, Samsung has published their first scrollable TV patents that we've come across. Samsung has had a number of scrollable smartphone/tablet patents come to light this year (one, two and three) and now they're extending this idea through to a future television.
Samsung's patent FIG. 16 illustrates a side view of a folding unit of a flexible device. The folding unit 44 may include first to seventh folding members 441 to 447. Here, it is not necessary to limit the number of folding members forming the folding unit to seven.
Samsung's patent FIG. 7 illustrates a rear view of auxiliary devices disposed on a portion of a rear face of a folded flexible device including an auxiliary display as also illustrated in patent FIG. 10. With the camera and flash at the very top, it could still function as a camera when the smartphone is folded for quick shots.
Like FIG. 7, Samsung's patent FIG. 11 illustrates auxiliary devices disposed on a portion of a rear face of a folded flexible device including an auxiliary display; FIG. 23B illustrates a side view of a flexible electronic device in a folded state using the folding unit with unique folding members. Below, the illustrations are clearer as to the sophistication of the folding unit.
Samsung's patent FIG. 18 illustrates a portion of a folding unit of a flexible device in a state where a flexible display is removed; FIG. 19 illustrates a portion of a plurality of folding members of a flexible device; and FIG. 36C illustrates folding members in a course of being folded.
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Considering that this is a patent application, it's unknown when such a device will actually come to market. In June of this year a trade show in South Korea illustrated foldable displays to show us that foldable displays aren't fantasy but rather a coming reality. When Samsung will decide to bring this to market first is unknown at this time.
Samsung's Scrollable TV
Last week I came across the first pair of Samsung scrollable television patents. Samsung notes that "The rollable display device may be one of televisions, monitors, communication terminals, game devices, multimedia devices, portable computers, photographing apparatuses, etc."
According to Samsung, "The display may be a liquid crystal display (LCD), a light-emitting diode (LED) display, an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, or an electrophoretic display.
Both of Samsung's patents published last week covering this invention are deadly focused on the mechanisms of the rollable/scrollable TV structures and little to no explanation as to any unique consumer TV functions, whether it's a smart TV or that it automatically scrolls and un-scrolls. Perhaps this type of information will surface in future patent filings.
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