Tag Archives: foldable device

New Microsoft Patent Showcases Dual Screen Mobile Devices With Camera on Each Screen

By Radu Iorga

Another day, another patent for a foldable device, or a dual display device appears online. This time it’s a Microsoft patent, that has to do with a dual screen mobile device, that has a camera on each screen.

This patent was registered back in June 2017 and it was published this month by the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office). It shows how Microsoft is exploring new formats for mobile computing. It’s not very clear if this is related to the Andromeda Project or not, but it may well be. This could easily end up as a laptop, since we don’t have any sort of measurements for the device.

This is clearly a dual screen device, each display with its own camera and it offers a dual screen dual camera setu. The two screens are set up in such a way that they allow “the first and second display devices to each simultaneously display image data captured by the second camera and image data received from a remote computing device”.

Microsoft did anticipate problems with video calls, particularly when there are multiple participants in them and a variety of positions. Multi screen mobile devices have trouble with calls in this way, so that’s why two cameras are needed, one on each side of the device. In order to solve this issue, this patent came up, including a housing that has a first part and a second part.

The first one includes the first screen and camera, the second one its own panel and camera. The cameras are reconfigurable for various actions. MS should be very careful where it places cameras, since I’ve seen phone makers who put the selfie camera at the bottom of the phone failing to get what the customer needs.

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Samsung Galaxy X Foldable Device Patent Shows a Hidden Second Screen

By Radu Iorga

Another day, another Samsung Galaxy X foldable device patent is here. We try to see what’s special below, but be advised that it’s nothing truly special, but rather a predictable approach. First of all, it all feels like a clamshell…

Once again the vertical format appears, making this feel like a clamshell and not the open book that Microsoft proposed with the Courier/ Surface Phone a while ago. The hidden display part will be placed into the “lower lip” of the phone, which is the lower area that’s left uncovered when the foldable closes up. Much like the secondary screen of the HTC U Ultra and LG V10 it will show notifications, useful info and shortcuts.

This time it’s placed at the bottom, meaning you don’t have to open the whole thing to see a piece of news or missed Facebook status. The folding part is also more vague now, without that special segmentation that let you clearly fold only a specific mid section of the body. Now the foldable area seems a tad bigger and better hidden.

The second screen may well become hidden once the foldable is closed. It can show small text or icons. The patent also proposes having two secondary hidden screens, one at the top and one at the bottom of the device (or on both sides in landscape mode). The new patent also talks about usage with a stylus, a new S-Pen. Biometric methods also pop out at some point.

If you look at how the device folds, it feels a bit like a wallet being folded, I’d say. There’s also some bad news, as WSJ has it on good authority that this limited edition foldable phone will be priced at around $1500.

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Samsung Galaxy X Foldable Device Gets Detailed in New Patent

By Radu Iorga

Samsung Galaxy X is getting closer and closer to the release date, rumored to be sometime around CES 2019. Before that happens we are treated to several more leaks of patents, like the latest one dating from July 5th. That’s the date when the latest patent has been granted.

It seems to showcase a vertical format a sort of narrow clamshell, that’s also longer than usual. Previously we saw devices being folded like books, on a horizontal axis. This time we get to see a smartphone that gets folded slightly, with the bottom portion making up 60% of the total. It will be left deactivated, so only the upper half will be operational.

This is done via a built in sensor that will detect when the smartphone is bent, but also the angle and speed at which that is done. Another extra sensor will be able to detect how an user is gripping the rear part of the smartphone, if they’re touching the rear or not for example. If they’re not, the screen returns to the flat format.

As far as functionality goes, the patents show that the top portion of the screen will be used to show relevant info when the device isn’t in use. This sounds like a second screen action, like we had on the HTC U Ultra or the curved sides of the Galaxy S7 Edge. If pressure is maintained, the bottom half of the display will be activated.

I see there’s a tendency of the two screens to work separately, according to this patent. Of course, this is just a patent and nothing should be taken for granted. CES 2019 is still the deadline and I certainly hope there will be no clamshell format. To be honest this feels like a compromise before they figure out the REAL foldables.

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Microsoft Designer Hints at Surface Phone Through Courier Resurrection

By Radu Iorga

Remember the Microsoft Courier? The ill fated tablet/e-reader got canned in 2012, back when such a foldable machine could have ruled the market. The iPad was still young and prone to get beaten, but Steve Ballmer couldn’t see it. Fast forward to 2018 and the Courier may have just inspired the Surface Phone/Andromeda. Hints were dropped during a recent conference.

We’ve seen ridiculous leaks over the past year, with crazy hinges patented, as well as 3 display devices. Microsoft is really trying to come up with something special, even though proof is seldom found about the device. The Redmond giant held the BUILD 2018 conference earlier this month and during it there was a moment when Microsoft designer Jon Friedman briefly discussed the Courier and its cancellation.

Why would he bring it up, except to make it come to life, right? The Courier was ahead of its time, with two displays, the ability to fold in and out, but Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 couldn’t cope with it back then. The device came with stylus support, which made it ideal for note taking, so that’s another bummer. The fact that people at Microsoft are still talking about a project from 6 years ago means that they really saw something special in it.

The Surface Phone/Andromeda may draw heavy inspiration from that device, this time with Windows 10 on board. The latest rumors say that the Surface Phone could end up running a full version of Windows 10, making it fully compatible with the Microsoft OS and accessories. We still don’t know when it will come, but IFA 2018 feels like a safe bet. You know what would be nice? Snapdragon 845 on board and Windows 10 S with a huge battery life.

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Microsoft’s Foldable Phone Could End Up Having Three Displays, According to Patent

By Radu Iorga

If I were to sum up all the leaks of foldable phones I’ve seen, Microsoft would probably take the cake for the most leaks. Samsung would be a close second… Now there’s a new theory and patent saying that Microsoft’s Andromeda device may actually end up with 3 screens instead of two. Let’s see what we have here.

Microsoft’s foldable phone can easily turn into a tablet, having so much screen estate. This presumed Surface Phone is said to be using three screens, including a tiny display right in the hinge. The patent images show two large screens on either side of the device. In the middle area where the outer screens fold in we see a narrow display that shows the info “that is coupled to other screen regions”, according to the leaked info.

This means we can access virtual controls, time, messages, calls or notifications. The patent also says that info from the third display depends on the hinge status. This means that depending on the device’s use mode you’ll get to see more or less. We have a tent mode, tablet mode and phone mode for example. Samsung’s Galaxy X is also said to be packing 3 screens, but it will opt for two 3.5 inch OLED panels.

Microsoft’s patent is actually kind of old, dating from November 9th 2016 and it’s all about the new hinge with third screen. To me that third screen sounds overkill and an extra fragile item to worry about. How about showing the status info on one of the big screens?

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