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Amazon gets patent for tablet with a screen on both front and back

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Amazon gets patent for tablet with a screen on both front and back
Imagine viewing a video on a tablet, and then flipping it over to read an eBook. Such a dual-screen tablet could be eventually produced as on-line retailer Amazon has just been awarded a patent for a tablet with both a traditional LCD screen on front and a static e-ink display on back. The tablet would use its rear and front-facing camera to determine which side is currently being viewed by the tablet's user.

"A device might alternatively utilize at least one camera to determine which side of the device is facing the user, and might activate the display on that side of the device to convey content. A device might display notifications on an edge of the device, such that a current orientation of the device might be less important."-Amazon patent filing
Aha! I know what you're thinking. If one screen can be a large consumer of battery power, two screens would require you to hook the tablet up to your car battery for any decent battery life. But the filing says that having two such displays on one tablet would actually improve battery life by switching from the LCD screen to the e-ink display whenever slow to non-moving content is displayed.

With Amazon's big press event scheduled for next Thursday in L.A. to introduce the sequel to the sold out Amazon Kindle Fire, we wouldn't expect to see the dual-screen tablet just yet. But we have to be impressed with the way that Amazon continues to be an innovator in the industry.
"An electronic device including two or more display elements can provide enhanced functionality with improved rates of power consumption. A user can cause information that does not change rapidly to be provided or moved to a relatively static display element, such as an electronic ink display, which enables that information to be displayed for a period of time with little additional power consumption"-Amazon patent filing

source: Mashable via BGR

Amazon has patented a dual-screen tablet with one LCD panel on the front and a static e-ink display on back

Amazon has patented a dual-screen tablet with one LCD panel on the front and a static e-ink display on back


14 Comments
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posted on 30 Aug 2012, 17:27 6

1. Jay_F (Posts: 236; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


I don't really see the practicality of it. Yet, at least.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:39 2

8. Dr.Phil (Posts: 819; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


The practicality of it would be for those who want an e-reader and tablet in one. The problem with using the tablet for an e-reader is that it doesn't look natural, and when trying to read outside there is usually a glare on the screen. Plus, it would (objectively) be easier on the eyes to read your books on e-ink than a tablet screen.

The problem I see with this is the so-called "rear and front-facing camera to determine which side is currently being viewed". For some reason, I imagine that there will be some problems with this unless it is combined with other detection technology like an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and so on. That way it would be more accurate in it's detection.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 19:53

13. MeoCao (unregistered)


Hey, this thing can be useful in bed and we need only 1 tablet for 2 persons. LOL

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 17:30 1

2. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 157; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Asus has already displayed a dual screen Tablet/Ultrabook Hybrid with the ASUS Taichi

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:07 1

4. technut (Posts: 52; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


That was the first thing that popped in my head as soon as I read this article. I wonder if there will be patent infringement regarding this. Maybe since the Asus TaiChi has a keyboard it follows under different guidelines. Makes you wonder huh..

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:44

9. Dr.Phil (Posts: 819; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Yes, but they are not the same thing. The Asus Taichi is a ultrabook/tablet hybrid that employs two LCD screens on either side with an attached keyboard. This Amazon tablet will only have one LCD screen while the other screen will be an e-ink display, which is quite different from an LCD display.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 17:33 2

3. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


how do you hold it without smudging one of the screens...

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 19:43

12. tedkord (Posts: 3920; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I haven't seen it yet, but I'm envisioning a hard shell cover it slides into. You slide it out, flip it over, slide it back in with the side up that you want to use. There would probably be some sort of sensor built in which would shut down the screen facing into the cover.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:15 1

5. buccob (Posts: 1046; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Hopefully the second screen is e-ink, otherwise the battery will be chopped in half...
As long as battery tech is still slower than other components, it won't be practical.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:16

6. Arcane (Posts: 6; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)


Another ridiculous patent.

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 18:23

7. webOSlove (Posts: 101; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


This sounds interesting..

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 19:08

10. lyndon420 (Posts: 1641; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Go Android!

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 19:12

11. networkdood (Posts: 5517; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


This is going to be patented? lol

posted on 30 Aug 2012, 20:24

14. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


weird patent... oh well technology evolves...

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