Yesterday Patently Mobile posted a report titled "Samsung Ends 2016 with Patent Filings looking at Future Scrolling and Folding Devices for Computing and Entertainment" The report presented two distinct designs that may or may not materialize in the future, as Samsung is researching many designs that will address foldable and scrollable mobile devices. Today our report covers a second patent that was filed in late December covering another foldable device concept wherein the design can fold to present a dual display-like design and yet be able to remove the fold so that the display appears to be one large seamless display for gaming, video and TV viewing as noted in our cover graphic. Samsung calls this a variable curvature display.
Samsung's invention relates to apparatuses and methods consistent with exemplary embodiments relate to a foldable electronic apparatus, and more particularly, to a foldable electronic apparatus that is capable of varying a curvature of a flexible display panel to a desired curvature.
Samsung's patent FIG. 1A noted below is a perspective view illustrating a folded state of a foldable electronic apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment;
Samsung's patent FIGS. 1B and 1C noted above are perspective views illustrating unfolded states of a foldable electronic apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment, to illustrate a curvature of a flexible display panel according to an operation of a first slider and a second slider; FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a state in which a foldable electronic apparatus is unfolded at a straight angle; and FIG. 13 is a view illustrating a UI outputting in a foldable electronic apparatus.
Samsung's patent FIG. 5 noted above is a view illustrating a movement of a first supporter and a second supporter; FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating an engaged state of a first gear and a second gear formed on the first cover and the second cover; FIG. 9b is a cross-sectional view. Samsung notes that as the flexible display panel #100 forms a curvature, a space is formed between the flexible display panel and the hinge member #400, and between the first cover #210 and the second cover #220. In this case, the flexible display panel may be moved. To fix the flexible display panel, the first and second supporters #510, #520 may support the rear surface of the flexible display panel.
Samsung illustrates how the design could be extended to a larger device such as a foldable tablet. In another example they illustrate how another size format could be constructed so that it's large enough to accommodate a full size virtual keyboard so that the unit could resemble a form of a notebook as noted below. Samsung states that the device is being designed whereby it could be a TV, a PC, a PDA, tablet, smartphone or notebook.
Samsung originally filed their patent application back February 2016 which was published in late December. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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