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Samsung’s folding screen smartphone patents have been entertaining us for some time now, and their latest may be one of the strangest.
Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold & Slide by LetsGoDigital, the device is from a June 10, 2021 Samsung Electronics patent filed with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) for an ‘Electronic device capable of folding and sliding operations‘ published on December 16, 2021.
The device features a mechanism that lets the screen expand horizontally by sliding, but then also includes a hinge that allows the screen to partially fold in up to 4 positions.
The purpose of such a complex mechanism may not be immediately clear, but the patent includes some use cases.
When flat and extended we of course have a larger tablet-style screen, but when folded to various degrees, the device resembles a notebook, with the tilted surface acting as a display and the horizontal section being used for controls, such as a keyboard, music and video controls, or even a writing surface. The UI would change dynamically based on the position of the slider and hinge.
Notably, Samsung shows the device with S-Pen support, again supporting the productivity focus of the handset.
The device will have the usual rear cameras and also what appears to be an under-display camera in the top right corner of the screen, making it usable for video conferencing in the “laptop” posture.
As mentioned earlier, it is always entertaining to see what concepts Samsung’s engineers can come up with, but it is likely too early for these complex designs to make it to market.
The full patent can be seen here.
What do our readers think of the design? Let us know below.