Samsung patents foldable tablet displays, invisible buttons
It's not the first time we see Samsung filing a patent application for a flexible mobile display, and getting it approved, but in light with the CEO hint that next year we might see a foldable device become reality, the latest patent is worth your attention. The application has been filed last year, and granted July the 7th.
This time the twist is that Samsung has filed for a foldable screen not only of the OLED variety, but an LCD one, too, with roughly the size of one of its Galaxy tablets. The circuit board for the LCD one is on the outside of each half, while with the foldable OLED it is integrated into the package, and bends together with the panel.
Another interesting recent Samsung patent approved by the USPTO involves near-invisible virtual buttons. These are active areas situated near the edge of a touchscreen, which can command the camera app, for instance. The so-called "sensor pads" can apparently be mapped to different functions, too, so imagine a back button that is constantly under the tip of your thumb on the side of the phone, without taking physical space below the screen, or a shutter button that doesn't take away from the scene framing. If and how are these becoming reality, remains to be seen, but the R&D departments keep inventing and patenting, so at some point we will see a variation of those materialize, hopefully not too much further down the road.