Tag Archives: patents

Lenovo Patents Foldable Display Device With Physical Keyboard

By Radu Iorga

Lenovo is no stranger to foldable and flexible devices. Actually they played around with one as early as 2016, back when the Microsoft Surface Phone was just a dream in a foldable form and ZTE Axon M also didn’t exist. Now Oppo, Huawei and basically everyone is making such machines. Turns out Lenovo is also back on it, patenting a foldable display device with a physical keyboard.

It’s rather odd to hear about such a contraption, a device that’s able to both fold and allow for physical key input, but it’s happening. The novelty here is that Lenovo is trying to change the paradigm and replace the hinge with something else. That “something else” is a flexible piece of material in this case, that connects the keyboard and screen.

The patent is closer to a convertible laptop rather than your average foldable phone, to be frank. The two halves are connected via a second foldable screen panel. That leaves less room for breakage and damage that would happen to a regular hinged device. The fold feels similar to what the Microsoft Surface Book is doing and it’ll create a gap between the two halves of the device, so it won’t sit perfectly flat.

The foldable portion between the parts also shows stuff like notifications, battery data and more, like a second screen would. I have a serious gut feeling this is going to end up as a Lenovo Yoga Book 3 of some sort, but with a smaller format.

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LG Foldable Phone Gets Fresh Patent, Would be Expandable as Well

By Radu Iorga

Not a week passes without seeing a new patent for a foldable phone and this time it’s LG coming up with novelty. They’ve recently patented a new device of the sort, which gets rendered and detailed thanks to LetsGoDigital.

The device has a patent filing already at WIPO and USPTO, describing its collapsible nature. I see there’s a mid section with some shortcuts, much like the Edge of a Galaxy Edge and a sort of “hook” mechanism at the back side. When closed, the device looks like any smartphone and in order to open it, you just need to unfold the rear face forward and stretch the machine.

This is not your average hinge-based foldable. It doesn’t open like a book like Samsung’s unit and doesn’t have a tri fold system like the Xiaomi freshly leaked tablet/phone. LG has a more elegant solution, also a very good looking one, that makes sense. It also doesn’t seem to add to the bulk of the machine. Sadly, LG doesn’t have a prototype ready for CES 2019 or MWC 2019.

 

Turns out that we’ll only see something new from them in Q3 2019. It kind of reminds me of the ZTE Axon to be honest. LG has been toying with a lot of formats lately, so they surely have something brewing. I have a feeling they’ll let Samsung take the fall first.

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LG Patents New Smartphone With Rollable Display, 3D Camera and Second Screen

By Radu Iorga

LG patented the mother of all smartphones over the past week, going far past the definition of the usual folding phone. The result is a pretty crazy machine, that has a rollable screen, a 3D camera, second display and stylus.

It all came to light on December 20, courtesy of WIPO. LG already had a rollable OLED TV that it showcased at CES 2018, so it was all about miniaturing that device for commercial use. Now the LG ROLED is being put to work on a device that opens up like an ancient scroll, by pulling from the sides to reveal an expandable display.

According to the patent things are pretty complex here and the rollable screen is the least of your concern. There’s a secondary screen on the left side of the device, which shows useful stuff like date, time and notifications. The stylus is integrated in some hidden slot and we also have a mechanical control element on the right side, like an iPod navigational mechanism.

 

We’ve also got a fingerprint scanner embedded into a button from the back of the left housing. LG has included multiple cameras here, ones that are able to take 3D shots stereoscopically. 3D audio is also a thing and the audio output module is placed under the display. The content shown on the screens varies with use scenarios.

You can use split screen options, display parts of interface, assign multiple user accounts to the portions and use a fully horizontal UI. One can also provide usage scenarios for two users: one to the left side and one to the right. CES 2019 will surely bring us devices like these, a plurality of them even.

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Meizu Patents Foldable Phone With Support Pad

By Radu Iorga

Meizu is the latest company from China to join the series of brands preparing a foldable phone or two. They’re said to be preparing a foldable phone with a support pad, according to a just surfaced patent.

The info comes from the website of the State Intellectual Property Office and shows the Meizu patent titled “Foldable Terminal and Support Pad”. The document mentions that the foldable device will have a support pad between the bottom case and the display module. The support pad can be compressed in the horizontal direction, which makes it easier to stow away when the display module is folded.

This is merely a patent and doesn’t mean that there will be a final product. The foldable design is something that many companies are considering, including the likes of Oppo, Huawei, Samsung and Microsoft. Meizu has been innovating by trying to put screens at the back of phones, inaugurating the antenna cutouts of the iPhone 7 before it and scoring the latest MediaTek and Exynos CPUs somehow.

Samsung and ZTE are at the forefront of the foldables, with the ZTE Axon M and Samsung’s InfinityFlex prototype shown at SDC 2018. CES 2019 and MWC 2019 should bring us a variety of products of the sort. Meizu aren’t exactly a big presence at shows, so I wouldn’t bet on them.

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Future LG Tablet Could Feature Detachable Wireless Keyboard and Bezel Less Design

By Radu Iorga

Finally, a decent set of renders for a new format of device! I’ve been less than impressed by all the renders for those foldable phones, but I can totally get behind the renders for this LG tablet, created by Letsgodigital.

LG hasn’t been the most prolific of tablet makers lately, but they’re still prepping some products behind the scenes. Now they have a new patent filed with the KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office), that’s been approved and published last week. It shows a bezel less device, with a wireless detachable keyboard. It also has a cover that can be used as a cradle after you unfold it. The wireless keyboard, plus the bezel less tablet are shown in two different design patents, but they’re most likely part of a bundle.

There are some angles that seem to show a sort of foldable device, but I think I’m reading too much into it. This actually reminds me of the LG Tab Book Duo, which debuted in 2015. It had a separate keyboard, which could be combined in a compact way. MWC 2018 had very few tablets, but with the rise of foldables and new formats we could see a new increase.

 

I see there are rounded corners here, a touchpad on the keyboard and a pretty slim format. Patents are patents so don’t get your hopes up.

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