Right from the beginning of this year, Samsung has indicated that the Galaxy X release is just a short wait. The durability of the foldable smartphone cannot yet be 100% guaranteed. The frequent bending of the display would cause problems in the long run. Other smartphone manufacturers also suffer from this problem. Motorola seems to have found an innovative solution for this.
Motorola patented method for frequent bending of flexible OLED display
Motorola has been granted a USPTO patent on June 14, 2018, called “Method to recover permanent set in a foldable display.”
OLED displays, consisting of multiple plastic layers, are very flexible, but there is also a disadvantage to this type of display. Damage occurs when you flex a flexible OLED display frequently. If a foldable smartphone is too long in (half) folded position, then semi-permanent distortion may occur. To counteract this distortion, Motorola proceeds as follows.
The foldable Motorola smartphone has a hinge that runs over the entire width of the display. Optionally, a second hinge is added, making it possible to bend the device at several points. In the hinge (or hinges) a temperature sensor is incorporated and a heating system with a thermal element. The heating element can increase the temperature of the display around the hinge, in order to counteract the effect of semi-permanent deformation.
Using a detection module, it is measured whether the display is in the bent position. Then it is calculated how long the display is in a curved position. For this, a timer is used with a backup battery, so that the time can also be measured when the device is completely switched off.
If this is longer than a predefined duration and/or if the temperature becomes too low, then it is calculated to what extent there is semi-permanent deformation. Once the screen is completely unfolded and the display is inactive, the automatic recovery process begins. The dynamic heating system is switched on and the temperature is increased, after which the display is restored. The display can, moreover, be folded both inwards and outwards.
Development of durable foldable smartphones
Which manufacturer can manufacture a durable flexible smartphone in the future? From the many patents of recent years, it is clear that smartphone manufacturers each develop their own method and techniques to arrive at a foldable smartphone.
The display and the way it can be opened and folded will be an important part of the user experience. The heat method as described by Motorola is completely unique. Earlier we already found a patent against a Samsung folding smartphone with a flexible hinge.
We also reported on a foldable Huawei smartphone, where the display is on the outside. As a result, the screen has a larger angle of rotation, which means less damage will occur.
And LG also has innovative ideas, for example, a mobile device with a pull-out display. In this way, the display is prevented from bending at one point each time. More technique is used here, as we saw in the roll-up TV, of which LG showed a 65-inch prototype at the CES 2018 early this year.
We also discussed several innovative patents through Motorola. For example, the company has filed a patent for a foldable smartphone that unfolds into a tablet, as well as a design of a smartphone with a borderless display.