Digital device patent tracking website Patently Mobile has just shared details of some interesting Samsung patent applications, extracted from the U.S. Patent Office. As readers will know, I’ve been posting a lot lately about new possibilities in mobile displays from cutting-edge technologies. Now it looks like Samsung is lining up the patents to deliver on those.
One filing covers a tubular device whose screen unrolls out of the tube. There’s no clear indication of a specific display technology coupled to this form factor: Samsung apparently cited both organic light-emitting diode (OLED) or flexible plastic-based LCD displays as possible options. The patent applications seem to focus far more on the form factor and usability.
Other filings in the series include two foldable formats, one a symmetrical gatefold book-style smartphone design with a hinge down the middle, the other an off-center folding device with a tab on one side extending beyond the foldover screen. Finally, there’s a smartphone design that resembles an old-style leather smartphone belt case with a foldover flap – which in this case is actually the screen.
Patently Mobile traces some of these designs back to original Korean filings back in 2014. And there’s no clear indication when or if these might come to market. At the very least, though, they give an interesting glimpse at the way that one major player sees the whole mobile device market going.