Tag Archives: foldable device

Samsung Foldable Smartphone Gets New Hinge in This Patent

By Radu Iorga

Microsoft seemed to have the upper hand over Samsung with the latest foldable phone design patents. They had a nice hinge thing going on, pretty solid and well built, resilient to potential stressors. Now Samsung strikes back with a patent of its own, for a foldable phone that uses a smarter hinge.

Samsung filed the patent with the WIPO, for an electronic device that uses a flexible display. The sketches shown here reveal a design that’s similar to the previous ones and it seems that Samsung is still working on the final design. It was filed by Sammy in May 2017 and published by WIPO only today. It’s written in English and describes a hinge that prevents a phone from big deformation and damage.

I see there several flexible pieces will rub against each other, aiding with the foldability of the device. This reminds me of a tank’s tracks, if you really want a comparison and that’s also the approach the Microsoft took. Documents from Samsung mention this as a smartphone, portable phone, navigation device, game console, TV and PDA. PMP, tablet, laptop and in vehicle unit are also here.

One of the sketches makes the device appear to be a clamshell, a theory we’ve heard related to Samsung before. In folded state, the hinge members will keep the curvature of the flexible display at a predetermined value. This prevents extra deformation of the device. It feels like Samsung has fixed the resilience problem.

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LG Patent Design Reveals Foldable Phone With Hand Strap

By James A.

LG has a new patent out there, for a foldable phone that has an interesting tidbit: a hand strap. The device does fold, but into a narrower format than usual. We dissected these innovations below.

LG has been working on a foldable phone for a while now, even getting Apple involved in a project of the sort. This time they seem to be doing their own thing, as revealed by this fresh patent titled “Mobile Phone”. It was submitted on March 9 2015 and published only this week. LG included a special hand strap, that lets you grip the phone better. That’s rather odd and reminiscent of the accessories from the 90s.

Example of situations for a strap are these: working out, showing content to students in a school, e-reading on the subway and more. The problem is that the mechanism would have to expand and contract with the whole device. This also makes it feel that the device is glossy, otherwise we wouldn’t need an extra help with grip. Foldable phones are being prototyped right now and I have a feeling that this patent won’t make it to the mainstream.

The USPTO has more details about this project.

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LG Patents Triple Screen Foldable Smartphone

By James A.

After seeing quite a few dual display smartphones, today we are treated to a new patent, that reveals a triple display handset of the sort. Obviously, it’s a foldable machine, that comes from LG and switches from smartphone to tablet and viceversa.

LG applied for this patent back at the end of 2014 at WIPO and is only now getting the approval for it. We see different formats of the device in the sketches, including one with a main panel that has a Home button and two other screens flanking it, anchored with hinges. There’s also a dual display model, with the two screen parts going around the frame in a curved manner, like a single panel.

And then there’s a vertical version, that opens up like a videogame’s manual or some sort of city map. This one has even smaller hinges and bezels and it’s very slim. The patent also shows the ability to view multiple images on the 3 panels of the foldable phone. This smartphone clearly becomes more than just a phone, rather a tablet. As I usually say, too many hinges means more ways that a device could break or get damaged.

Also, LG Display is working closely with Apple on foldable phones, so I doubt LG would risk too much with a series of its own phones, rather than bank on Apple’s success. Over the past year we’ve seen more and more foldable device patents, from the likes of Microsoft and Samsung.

 

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Microsoft Files New Patents for a Hinge Meant for a Potential Surface Phone

By Radu Iorga

Microsoft patented original hinge mechanisms before, but here they are again with a fresh patent that refers to a foldable smartphone, which may just end up as a Surface Phone. It’s a Windows 10 machine for sure and it could be launched pretty soon.

We’ve seen Microsoft trying out a variety of formats, either inspired by the deceased Courier e-reader or not. This time we’re talking about 4 new patents, that show key parts of the hinge used by the Andromeda Project device, or the Surface Phone. One of the documents mentions a “Hinge with free stop function”, “Hinge mechanism” and “Hinge device with living hinge”.

A “snap open lock” is also mentioned. It’s pretty clear that we’re about to see a dual display machine being realized, something like the ZTE Axon M, but with a better hinge. Using that mechanism and its ability to rotate, you’ll turn the device into a laptop, phone or tablet with ease. 360 degree rotation is available here. The display would be able to rotate around the other screen freely at 360 degrees.

 

The hinge mechanism comes with at least one flexible connection, that follows an S-shaped path, when the screens are in tablet mode. Another patent focuses on the “Snap open” lock, fixed in a certain position when the mechanism reaches 180 degrees of rotation relative to the main screen. As usual I feel the need to remind you that a patent is just that, a patent and doesn’t meant it’ll become 100% real.

The problem is that I’ve seen such documents before and they all predict the same thing: a ZTE Axon M with the hinge of a Surface Book or Lenovo Yoga Book. Expect a late 2018 release with the Andromeda CShell.

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Fresh Leak Reveals that Andromeda Foldable Device From Microsoft Will Make Phone Calls

By James A.

Andromeda is a name that we’ve heard in connection with both Microsoft and Google. One is a software platform, the other a new format of device, but today’s leak has to do with Microsoft’s Andromeda. This project has been leaked again, this time with hints that it may serve as a phone.

The device is expected to be a foldable one, that’s both a dual display smartphone and tablet. The fresh leak comes courtesy of a trusted Microsoft Insider, Walking Cat, who came across the Windows Composable Shell (CShell), when digging into the code from the latest version of Windows 10 Redstone 4. There’s also proof that Andromeda supports a call dialer.

Walking Cat tweeted as well about the fact that Andromeda doesn’t fit in any existing device category, being a foldable machine or as the source calls it “HingedDualScreenDevice”. My guess is that the device will be unveiled at BUILD 2018, or maybe in the fall, in the same time frame with the previous Surface Book/ Lumia unveilings from a few years ago.

I’m finding it a bit hard to imagine what Windows will look like on this device format, with two displays in lieu of one. We could get a hybrid OS between Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10, with a touch of Fluent Design. Also, this may well end up as the Surface Phone, although many have lost hope about that.

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