Tag Archives: patent

Oppo Also Working on Foldable Smartphones Now; We Have Patents

By Radu Iorga

After Microsoft, Samsung and Huawei have been working on foldable phones for a while, patenting them and leaking them partially, Oppo joins the gang in glorious fashion. A couple of their patents have just come out and they mention foldables.

Oppo is already an innovative firm, having unveiled the Oppo Find X, with its sliding part and over the last couple of years coming up with inventions like VOOC fast charge and 5X optical zoom phone cameras. Oppo and sister company Vivo have been innovating a lot and Vivo for example inaugurated the in display fingerprint scanner technology.

Regarding the foldable smartphone thing, the device we see here ditches any sort of seam between screens. The two displays complete each other perfectly and make one unified shell at the back side, with no visible crease. The hinge is surprisingly discrete, according to the patent. A rotating mechanism is also proposed, according to a patent filed by Oppo with WIPO on March 22nd 208.

 

A “rotation mechanism and foldable mobile terminal” have been mentioned. Another patent for a hinge assembly also made it out. Oppo demanded an early publication of the patents from WIPO, so something is certainly brewing there. We also see a version like a pull out couch, with a pull out screen, which triples the viewing space. We actually get a triple display setup here.

A sort of clamshell also appears with an “airbag” mechanism and a very long portrait format. The airbag thing requires an elastic element installed within the sides of the phone. When the smartphone gets unfolded the trapped air will be moved, so that’s why the airbag approach happens. Seeing how Oppo has innovated lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if they come up with a commercial product before the year end.

Samsung Galaxy X and Microsoft Andromeda may be beaten before they even come out.

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New Apple Patent Involves Handwriting Recognition on the iPad

By Radu Iorga

It’s hard to believe that only now Apple is discovering a few basic technologies that have been available on rival products for a while now. For example a patent has just surfaced, detailing handwriting recognition technology for the Apple iPad.

If you remember, Apple actually had a handwriting recognition capable device before, the Newton. That one was available in the 1990s, but it was quickly canned by Steve Jobs. He disliked styli and also projects started by John Sculley even more. Fast forward a decade or two and we’ve got styli on the iPads, but no handwriting recognition. Well, that one is also coming, according to one of the new patents.

The new documents surfaced online and mention handwriting recognition via stylus or hand input. The patent was actually filed by Apple in USA last February and it’s pompously titled “Managing Real Time Handwriting Recognition”. The patent application has do with Chinese language first and foremost. It mentions real time stroke order and stroke direction independent handwriting recognition.

 

It also supports multi character or sentence level Chinese handwriting recognition. The application shows using the iPad to write in English or Chinese and also using the finger or stylus. This is merely a patent, so there are no guarantees, but it would make sense for Apple to implement that, in order to conquer the class rooms and meeting rooms even more.

I suspect that 2019 or 2020 iPad Pro will feature this technology.

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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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Lenovo Patents New Laptop With Foldable OLED Display

By Radu Iorga

Lenovo has been toying with the idea of a flexible device ever since two years ago, when they came up with a prototype that turns into a bracelet, phone and tablet. Now they want to go further, having just patented a laptop with a foldable OLED display. You can see several sketches of it below.

We’ve seen TVs that are rolled up like a yoga mat and handsets able to flex down the middle, but a laptop? That’s new! We see the extra flexible bit appearing on the side of the screen, like a sort of window to prop open from the left side, using a special hinge. Lenovo’s documents mention a flexible OLED screen and the patent was filed with the WIPO, regarding an “Electronic Device With Flexible display with multiple viewing regions”.

It was published on April 19th 2018 and if you continue to look further within the documents, you will discover that the two sides of the screen open up like windows, expanding the space even more, like book covers. The screen can also be folded backwards and a 360 degree image can thus be projected for the user. It can be ideal for school work, presentations in the office environment and more.

 

It’s not very clear if all areas of the screen are touch sensitive or not. There’s also a camera and microphone embedded in both folding screen parts. The patent also notes that the same technology can be applied to smartphones or other devices. An extra image of the product shows that the flexible screen can be separated from the keyboard. These components are connected via special connectors (I know it sounds weird) and users and expand the display as they please.

You will be able to select the user mode, like a standard mode, presentation mode, tablet mode, dual monitor and more.

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Motorola Patents Foldable Smartphone That Becomes a Tablet

By Radu Iorga

Motorola has just patented a new device and they’re going with the trend, by making it a foldable smartphone, that turns into a tablet. Their hinge is more visible than others we’ve seen so far, to be honest. The patent was filed with the WIPO on September 13th 2016, so Moto has been at it for a few years now.

The foldable device can be unfolded as a tablet and the patent was approved on March 13th 2018. We’re dealing with a setup very similar to the ZTE Axon M, to be frank. The device acts like a normal phone when folded and a legit tablet when opened up. Its main camera is positioned at the top left and the speaker is on the top right. We also find a hinge in the middle in order to properly fold the device.

Once it’s unfolded you will get two screens to interact with and enjoy the full tablet experience. Motorola also wants to create a cover to the device, that will protect both its body and act as a wireless charger. That case is removable and has a special vent for the camera. Motorola’s CEO, Yang Yuanquing detailed his ideas for such foldables ever since MWC 2018. He claimed that such new technology like foldable screens means that we should see more innovation in smartphone designs.

It’s not very clear what preparation stage this device has reached, but we’re in the ascension stage of foldables for sure. We see weekly patents of the sort from Samsung and Microsoft, so somethings’ got to give in 2019. I’m sure that Moto will also introduce modularity in the equation somehow.

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