Samsung is one of the first manufacturers to introduce a folding smartphone. Although the launch of the Galaxy Fold has been delayed at the last minute, the Korean manufacturer is already busy in the background with the development of other foldable smartphone models. Over time, Samsung has had numerous smartphone designs recorded with a flexible display.
Samsung phone with extendable display enlarged screen
On 28 November 2018, Samsung Electronics filed a patent with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) for an ‘Electronic device including flexible display with expandable display area’. The patent was published on 6 June 2019 and describes a smartphone with a flexible display that can be pulled out, creating an extra large screen surface.
The display surface of a mobile phone has increased sharply in recent decades. Ten years ago a smartphone with a 3.5-inch display was more than adequate, today we no longer look up from a 6.5-inch screen. Samsung even has several models in the range with a 6.7-inch screen, think of the Galaxy S10 5G, but also the cheaper Galaxy A70 and A80. The Galaxy Note 10, which is expected later this year, will probably have such a large display.
To create an even larger display surface, while still being able to operate the smartphone with one hand, manufacturers are looking for new technological solutions. The arrival of the flexible display seems to offer a solution.
The patented Samsung phone looks at first sight like a normal cell phone, although the bezels on the top and bottom are a lot wider than we are used to today. That does not mean anything, after all, in this patent only the mechanism is patented and not so much the design. The final design can therefore differ from the patent sketches.
The display can be pulled out using a slider system, creating an extra elongated screen surface, whereby the total surface area is increased by no less than 60%. Such a roll-out display can be useful, for example, when scrolling through a long webpage or when playing certain games like classic games such as Tetris. The extra screen surface can also come in handy for a video call.
In its most compact form, the extendable display is stored in the housing, so that damage from outside influences can be prevented. The sliding system mechanism can be implemented manually, semi-automatically or automatically. A separate button can be placed on the side of the device for this.
Regardless of whether a manual or automatic system is chosen, the housing on the side of the device will move when the display is rolled in and out. In this way the grip on the device remains good and the user does not have to move his hand in the meantime. There are two rollers in the housing, which ensure that the screen can be rolled in and out correctly.
The receiver is placed in the upper bezel as well as an LED indicator. The camera system, consisting of several camera lenses (wide-angle and telephoto), is also placed in the upper bezel.
Devices with roll-up display
The idea of a roll-up telephone is not entirely new. Although Samsung has not yet introduced products with a roll-up screen, several patents have emerged from the Korean manufacturer over time, using a roll-up display.
Recently the Korean manufacturer has patented a bendable phone that you can wear on your wrist. Once expanded you have an elongated screen at your disposal. Previously, the company also patented a Samsung roll-up TV, as well as a roll-up tablet display. The applications of a flexible screen, however, go further than just consumer electronics products.
The expectation is that the cockpit of our car will change considerably in the coming years. At the beginning of this year, Samsung, together with Harman, showed a digital cockpit with six displays. Although flat display panels are currently being used, flexible displays will increasingly be used in the coming period, so that an even more streamlined design can be created.
Samsung is of course not the only leading display manufacturer that works on flexible and rollable screens. The Korean manufacturer, LG, announced at the beginning of this year that, in addition to a foldable smartphone, it was also investigating the possibilities of a smartphone with a roll-up display. In 2017, the company also patented a mobile device with a retractable display, but this device could be pulled out in the width. LG has been experimenting for some time with flexible, rollable screens, for the time being, it is the only manufacturer that has introduced a rollable TV.
It is difficult to predict whether Samsung actually intends to bring the patented smartphone into production. The company has now registered a large number of patents for future smartphone models. During the development process, models will always fall away, either because it is not yet technically feasible, or because it is too expensive, compared to the added value that the extra functionality offers. In any case, the expectation is that over time Samsung phones will also be introduced with an elongated screen, instead of a wide display, such as the Galaxy Fold.