The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung earlier this month that reveals their intentions of creating a series of differently styled tablets in the future. One idea is to create a more book-like dual multitouch display that is capable of folding over. The concept even expands to other iDevices such a future HDTV. That may sound a little nutty but it has a market for salesmen who wish to make smaller presentations to clients without having to lug around both a projector and screen. Obviously Samsung is trying to find a way to different their tablets from Apple's iPad and others so as to avoid further court battles and hassles related to copying design features – and their new foldable concept has great potential in accomplishing that goal.
Samsung's patent basically relates to foldable display apparatuses that are convenient to carry about while providing a relatively wider screen. The foldable display apparatuses may be widely applied to such devices as a mobile phone, a portable multimedia player (PMP), a navigator, an ultra mobile PC (UMPC), an electronic book, and an electronic paper, but also to a TV and a computer monitor. The displays of such devices could also perform input functions via a finger or a dedicated pen.
A Few Technicals: Samsung's Future Foldable Displays
Samsung states that a foldable touch screen display apparatus may include a first display panel, a second display panel at least partially overlapping the first display panel, a first touch panel at an upper part of the first display panel, a second touch panel at an upper part of the second display panel, a transparent plate on at least one of the first and second touch panels, and a transparent window configured to protect the first and second display panels from external shocks.
The transparent plate or window may include first and second hard parts at positions corresponding to the first and second display panels, and a soft part between the first and second hard parts. The transparent window may be configured to protect the first and second display panels from external shocks and may be foldable as the first and second display panels are folded to each other. Figure 7 below illustrates the various parts of the foldable design.
The soft part may include any one selected from the group consisting of Teflon, transparent silicon resin, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS).
The first and second touch panels may include any one of a resistive film type touch panel, a capacitive type touch panel, an infrared type touch panel, and an ultrasonic type touch panel.
The display device may include any one selected from a liquid crystal display (LCD), a field emission display (FED), a plasma display panel (PDP), a light-emitting diode (LED), and an organic LED (OLED).
Any one of a polarizing film, an anti-reflection (AR) film, or an anti-glare (AG) film may be attached to the entire surface of the transparent plate.
Samsung's patent FIG. 1 shown below presents us with a view of a foldable touch screen display. The foldable touch screen display apparatus may be constructed by connecting a plurality of display panels and touch panels in various methods.
Samsung's patent FIGS. 6 and 7 shown below present a perspective view and a sectional view showing the foldable touch screen display apparatus in a folded state.
Interestingly, Samsung states that the invention could be applied to two, three or more touch screen displays could constitute one screen. Samsung assures that "the whole screen of the foldable touch screen display apparatus may look continuous when seen from above." So the seams will be almost undetectable. To pull that off, Samsung describes the foldable touch screen display having a transparent plate disposed at an upper part of the second display panel to cover an upper part of the first display panel. This is shown in patent point #150 in FIG.7 below.
And It's Not Just Talk Either
My thanks for the video tip goes to 9to5 Google's Seth Weintraub. Cheers!
Samsung's patent was originally filed for in the US in Q4 2010 and published in September 2011. For those wanting to delve deeper into this patent, we'll be posting the patent number here on Friday or Saturday.
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