Tag Archives: foldable devices

Microsoft Puts the “Andromeda” Project in Standby and Starts Working on a Dual Display PC Known as “Centaurus”

By Claudiu Sima

When it comes to patents, Microsoft is looking like a company who is afraid to launch its product on the market. For a few years now we’re seeing a lot of patents for a foldable smartphone, but in spite of so many applications, MS didn’t launch a single product with this specific feature.

Whilst companies like Samsung, Huawei and LG are getting ready to unveil foldable devices as soon as next year. We’re still talking about Surface Phone / Andromeda, a device that still receives dozens of patents that describe even the small audio parts besides the foldable screen and the associated hinge, but no sign of a real device yet.

Today we find out that MS put the Andromeda project in standby to focus on another dual-screen PC, known internally as the Centaurus. According to WindowsCentral, Microsoft has been working on this device for more than a year, and the goal is to officially present it in the fall of 2019.

We’re dealing here with a device that adopts a new format, one with Windows 10 onboard using two displays for increased productivity. There are a few similarities to the “Courier” project in the MS archive and we find that Centaurus is running Windows Core OS, a modern version of Windows 10.

It is capable of running x86 applications and, depending on the content displayed, the device will adapt to needs users. Imagine a kind of ZTE Axon M device with even bigger displays, but also narrower edges probably. Still, knowing how things are with Microsoft, the chances of seeing Centaurus officially released next year are pretty small.

The post Microsoft Puts the “Andromeda” Project in Standby and Starts Working on a Dual Display PC Known as “Centaurus” appeared first on Tablet News.

Source:: Tablet News


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LG Patents Two New Foldable Designs For Future Devices

By Radu Iorga

LG is really putting pressure on its rivals, by patenting new foldable designs for future devices. This time the LG foldable device gets intuitive controls. We’ve also got some similarities with Samsung’s recently patented foldable phones.

CES 2019 is a pretty sure bet of when we’ll see such an LG device. LG also patented last week names like LG Bendi, Flexi, Foldi and Duplex. We could actually see more than one such machine. One of the patents shows a wallet-like foldable, with a pretty beefy hinge and the main single camera at the back side. It feels more like a phone and less like a tablet.

The display only covers half of the right part of the device upfront. The inner screen is bigger, so big that it makes the device feel like a laptop. We also see the other part of the screen showing media controls. The patent mentions multiple cameras, in either a matrix config or a stereoscopic setup. As the camera is placed on the left and right side of the device, stereoscopic pics can be taken, or 3D images.

 

There’s also a patent for a real bendable device, one that feels like a plastic material, or even silicone, really, really flexible. Here it is:

Then there’s the one below, with a dual screen setup and feeling a bit like a scroll. Zero bezels here and there’s no hinge per se, but rather a sliding part. This one is truly different from the Samsung ones and the other patents, even the Huawei or Oppo ones.

I feel that this would be the Duplex…

Source 2

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Samsung’s Latest Patent Sheds More Light on Foldable Phone

By Radu Iorga

Some people still haven’t exactly comprehended why we need foldable phones and how they can push the industry forward. I tend to agree with them, having seen the latest prototypes. However, generation 2 or 3 of these devices may actually do something radical. That’s why we keep an eye on new patents, like the one below.

It’s obviously a Samsung foldable, as we’ve seen so many times. Samsung already showed a 7.3 Galaxy F prototype that morphs into two 4.5 inch screens on a smartphone format. We’re a few months away from the official introduction and that’s when we’ll learn more. In the meantime LetsGoDigital came across this new patent, related to the Galaxy F somehow. The documents were published on November 7th 2018 and they were submitted for approval in early 2018.

The patent describes a foldable phone with a display upfront and a larger tablet sized screen inside. There are narrow screen edges here and the speaker and sensors are integrated within the bezels. Actually we see several versions of the machine, with a cutout in the screen panel, or with separate cuts for each component. Two other foldable Samsung phones show a display covering only half of the device’s facade, in either vertical or horizontal form.

 

You can operate the screens with a stylus and the front screen is connected to the main one. A rotatable hinge also makes an appearance and it’s quite slim. Even a “hologram” and a projector appear in the documents and a triple screen UI. Sounds like Samsung’s fishing in the dark for the ideal foldable format.

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Microsoft Gets a Patent for a Foldable Device Able to Capture High End 3D Audio

By Radu Iorga

The US Patent and Trademark Office awarded a new patent to Microsoft, one that has to do with a tablet able to capture and record 3D audio, plus play it. The experience is supposed to be superior to a set of over the ear headphones.

The idea of the device is to capture acoustics in an improved way during concerts, delivering a 3D and probably surround-enabled experience. This device will be a foldable phone/tablet and it’s expected to have a “camera that captures one or more face characteristics for customizing the binaural audio stream for a user”. Wintel has been confirmed to be working on a new generation of foldables, so Microsoft’s patent makes perfect sense.

Microsoft’s documents mention that binaural recording is a way of recording sounds using two microphones in a spaced arrangement, with the aim to create a 3D stereo sound sensation for the listener. The idea is to approximate the experience of being in the room with the artists or the instruments during their recording. This concept is called “dummy head recording” and it involves a mannequin head with a microphone in each of the ears and placed in the room with the instruments and performers to try and imitate the human listener experience.

The hinged device fits previous patents, with two screens and the ability to fold down the middle like a magazine or the Courier. To me this sounds like a niche device, that wouldn’t have too many units. It also sounds like something that Nokia would have done using the OZO tech, but that’s no longer Microsoft’s biz. We could end up with a sort of musical instrument or orchestral machine, which is clearly a niche product.

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Samsung’s dual-screen folding phone is very strange and probably doomed

By Devin Coldewey

Let me just say that I love the idea of a folding phone/tablet device. I was a Courier fanboy when Microsoft floated that intriguing but abortive concept device, and I’m all for unique form factors and things that bend. But Samsung’s first real shot at a folding device is inexplicable and probably dead on arrival. I’d like to congratulate the company for trying something new, but this one needed a little more time in the oven.

I haven’t used it, of course, so this is just my uninformed opinion (provided for your edification). But this device is really weird, and not in a good way. It’s a really thick phone with big bezels around an small screen that opens up into a small tablet. No one wants that!

Think about it. Why do you want a big screen?

If it’s for media, like most people, consider that nearly all that media is widescreen now, either horizontal (YouTube and Netflix) or vertical (Instagram and Facebook). You can switch between these views at will extremely easily. Now consider that because of basic geometry, the “big” screen inside this device will likely not be able to show that media much, if any, larger than the screen on the front!

(Well, in this device’s case, maybe a little, but only because that front display’s bezel really is huge. Why do you think they turned the lights off? Look where the notification bar is!)

It’s like putting two of the tall screens next to each other. You end up with one twice as wide, but that’s pretty much what you get if you put the phone on its side. All you gain with the big screen is a whole lot of letterboxing or windowboxing. Oh, and probably about three quarters of an inch of thickness and half a pound of weight. This thing is going to be a beast.

Power users may also want a big screen for productivity: email and document handling and such is great on a big device like a Galaxy Note. Here then is opportunity for a folding tablet to excel (so to speak). You can just plain fit more words and charts and controls on there. Great! But if the phone is geared towards power users, why even have the small screen on the front anyway if any time that user wants to engage with the phone they will “open” it up? For quick responses or dismissing notifications, maybe, but who would really want that? That experience will always be inferior to the one the entire device is designed around.

I would welcome a phone that was only a book-style big internal screen, and I don’t think it would be a bother to flip it open when you want to use it. Lots of people with giant phones keep book-like covers on their devices anyway! It would be great to be able to use those square inches for the display rather than credit card slots or something.

 

The Courier had tons of great ideas on how to use two screens.

There are also creative ways to use the screen: left and right halves are different apps; top half is compose and bottom is keyboard; left half is inbox and right half is content; top half is media and bottom is controls and comments. Those sprang to mind faster than I could type them.

On the other hand, I can’t think of any way that a “front” display could meaningfully interact with or enhance a secondary (or is it primary?) display that will never be simultaneously visible. Presumably you’ll use one or the other at any given time, meaning you literally can’t engage the entire capability of the device.

You know what would be cool? A device like this that also used the bezel display we’ve seen on existing Galaxy devices. How cool would it be to have your phone closed like a book, but with an always-on notification strip (or two!) on the lip, telling you battery, messages, and so on? And maybe if you tapped one the device would automatically pop open physically! That would be amazing! And Samsung is absolutely the company that I’d say would make it.

Instead, they made this thing.

It’s disappointing to me not just because I don’t like the device as they’ve designed it, but because I think the inevitable failure of the phone will cool industry ambition regarding unique devices like it. That’s wrong, though! People want cool new things. But they also want them to make sense.

I’m looking forward to how this technology plays out, and I fully expect to own a folding phone some time in the next few years. But this first device seems to me like a major misstep and one that will set back that flexible future rather than advance it.

Source:: TechCrunch Gadgets


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