Adding to its list of seemingly impossible smartphone concept designs, Samsung this week filed its latest patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) covering a unique and 100 percent original smartphone form-factor featuring an expandable display.
Albeit somewhat along the lines of Apple’s previous scrollable display smartphone patents, Samsung’s vision is of a stationary smartphone which features the ability to expand its display.
It would allow users to pull open and retract the actual LCD or OLED display area for viewing content like videos, games and more in a cinematic wide-screen format.
The concept, via Patently Apple, is shown in technical detail in Samsung’s patent FIG. 1 and 2.
As noted in FIG. 2, Samsung showcases a stationary candy-bar style smartphone form-factor which would expand when users simply pull on the left and right retractable side panels.
The concept is centered around a stationary display of unknown size and proportions (DA1). Conceptually, should the user so desire, left and right side panels (#30 & #23) will control and retract two additional portions of active display area (DA2 & DA3) — effectively enlarging, by width, not by height, the overall active display area.
Samsung’s patent FIG. 15, meanwhile, illustrates a cross-sectional view of the handset design when both DA2 & DA3 side panels are tucked away in their stationary position.
“In an expandable display device #500, the first guiding portion #25 includes a first inclined guiding portion #251 connected to the first roller housing #22, and a first flat guiding portion #252 connected to the first inclined guiding portion #251,” Patently Apple explains, noting that “The inclined guiding portion allows the flexible display panel #70 to be smoothly slid by the flexible display panel being gently bent.”
Samsung’s patent was filed with the USPTO back in July, 2017, though it was officially made public by the agency this week.
It’s anyone’s guess as to when (or even if) we might see a product like this come to market, especially since Samsung and Apple tend to publish far more in the way of intellectual design patents then they produce in the form of tangible products.
What’s particularly interesting about this patent is that it’s merely the latest in a string of otherwise futuristic (but nonetheless bizarre) design patents filed by the South Korean tech giant.
Back in June, 2016, Samsung filed for a patent on a foldable smartphone display concept, which showcased a smartphone capable of essentially being folded in half like a thin slice of New York pizza.
Apple has also joined in on the foldable smartphone patent craze, filing for its own foldable iPhone display patent back in November of last year. And while we mentioned, there’s currently no telling if either Samsung or Apple ever intend to create a foldable smartphone of their own, the fact that both companies are exploring the idea in their own capacities is at least promising.