We have been hearing for a while that Samsung is working on a clamshell smartphone with a flexible screen, and today LetsGoDigital posted about a new patent which could give us another look at the design of the device.
The recent patent, dated to January 31, 2019, was published by the USPTO on the 8 August 2019.
The main innovation over other clamshell designs is the super-wide hinge (the ruffled area in the diagram below), meaning the device can fold at multiple fold locations around the middle of the device, and also inwards and outwards.
This means that besides closing exactly 50/50%, various degrees of overlap is possible, meaning, for example, the rear camera can be exposed for use for selfies, or a large rear speaker for playing a music video towards the end-user.
The device can also fold both inwards and outwards, allowing users to protect the screen in your pocket.
The hinge is, of course, smart, and able to detect in which direction and to what degree it is being folded, and adjust the user interface appropriately.
Despite very few folding phones actually reaching the market, LGD notes that patents have become increasingly sophisticated, suggesting that the technology is advancing rapidly, even if mainly in the lab.
Samsung is likely working on a variety of prototypes and designs. Hopefully, we will see some of these devices presented to the market next year at Mobile World Congress 2020.
The full patent can be seen here.