We posted recently that LG has been teasing a rollable stretching smartphone as part of its Explorer project.
Now LetsGoDigital has rendered the so-called ‘Project B’ handset based on a design patent filed by LG in August 2019 at the USPTO and published on the 24th September 2020.
The patent shows the device has an OLED display in a metal housing which is actually two frames in the same handset, connected by a special spring-loaded mechanism.
Because the flexible screens are stored at the edges of the device they take up very little space and do not compromise the internals much. The mechanism is still however able to increase display area by up to 100%. This is an improvement on an earlier design which saw the flexible screen stored in the middle of the device. The clever mechanism (above) uses gears to allow the screen to extend out in a controlled manner and reminds us somewhat of the teardown of the LG Wing seen recently. Users will be able to pull out either both sides or each side individually. When closed the flexible screen will remain protected in its housing and by the metal frame at all times.
The design avoids the big issue of a crease at a specific folding point caused by a folding display and ensures longer life, as LG noted in their patent.
The patent also notes that LG would adapt the Android OS to the design, for example presenting additional controls when the screen is extended, or a soft keyboard which does not intrude on the screen content. We have already seen the extensive customization work LG performed on the Wing as an example of what the company is capable of. The larger screen could also be used for multi-tasking for example.
The patent shows an otherwise standard design with triple camera cluster: a 64-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a Hexa Motion image stabilization sensor and finally a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. This is similar to the LG Wing device.
Recent rumours have suggested we would see the ‘Project B’ device hit the market in March 2021.
The full patent can be seen here.