- Business Insider
- A new patent shows three ideas Samsung has for wrapping a display around a smartphone.
- These designs show future smartphones with screens on both the front and back of the phone.
- Users would be able to view content from either side of the phone.
Samsung uses curved display technology in phones like the Galaxy S8. Now it’s trying to figure out how it’s going to use that technology to completely change the way smartphones look in the future.
A patent, recently discovered by the Dutch blog LetsGoDigital, reveals several ideas Samsung has for future smartphone designs featuring a display that wraps around both the front and back of a handset.
The patent was registered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on January 4 but was originally submitted on April 12, 2017. It includes three device models with different functionalities.
Here’s some of what Samsung may have in store for future smartphones.
A display that wraps around the right side of the smartphone
The first design shows a smartphone with one continuous display that wraps all the way around the right side of the handset, giving it the look of having two displays on the front and back of the device. This would allow users to have two options for viewing on the device.
Similar to how a smartphone can switch from portrait to landscape mode depending on how its held, this model can switch viewing positions from front to back depending on how the user is holding the handset. Imagine such a device that would allow multiple users to view the same content from either side of a handset at the same time, rather than huddling around one screen.
Content can flip between back and front displays
The second design shows a screen that wraps around the full body of a device, but it includes sensors that account for where a user may hold the device. This design would allow the content to flip between the front and back screens but will shrink the display away from the user’s hand depending on how they are holding the device.
Display curves under the bottom of the smartphone
The third design shows a smartphone with a display curving continuously under the bottom of the device instead of around the side. Such a device would likely have functionalities similar to the first two, just a different design. LetsGoDigital noted that Microsoft patented a similar design in 2014, but has yet to release such a device to the market.
Of course, Samsung hasn’t confirmed it’s going to make any of these designs yet. Instead, they show how the company is thinking about the smartphone of the future.
Samsung also has numerous patents for smartphone designs and functionalities that have yet to be released to the market. There is no guarantee that any of these newly patented curved-display designs will ever be seen on actual devices. However, it is not surprising to see more display technologies coming from Samsung while rumors about its Galaxy X foldable smartphone remain up in the air.
Samsung has long been expected to release a device that can fold open and closed like a book, however, much of that device remains a mystery. That said, these patent ideas are good indications that Samsung hasn’t given up on finding new ways to make its curved displays interesting.