Samsung Invents a Smartphone-Like Device with a 360 Degree Camera and Projector that Creates a Virtual Keyboard
Today the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung that reveals a new kind of cylindrical mobile device that is designed to take advantage of flexible displays that are coming to market in the not-too-distant future. The device could take on different functions and Samsung doesn't want the device to be labelled something with a narrow definition. It could be a smartphone or a mobile TV or a gaming device or a peripheral.
Samsung notes that the device could conveniently deploy a flexible display by using a mechanical force or a shape memory alloy. The shape memory alloy may remember at least one shape and is adapted to maintain a shape of the flexible display.
The new device could also introduce a few new ideas such as integrating a 360 degree camera that could be used in sync with their Gear VR peripheral and use a projection system to present users with a virtual keyboard as noted in our cover graphic.
Infrared Ray Output to Produce a Virtual Keyboard
Samsung's patent FIG. 7B noted below is an exemplary view of an electronic device including an infrared ray output.
According to Samsung, the electronic device (#703) illustrated in FIG. 7B may include a housing #710, a support structure #720, and a flexible display #730. In one or more embodiments, an upper end of the support structure may include an infrared ray output unit (or an infrared ray sensor) #720c.
In addition, the infrared ray output unit may output a specific pattern through an infrared ray. For example, the infrared ray output unit may output a keyboard pattern 750c. The electronic device may recognize an operation of the user and a change of the keyboard pattern by using the infrared ray output unit or another sensor. Various pieces of information, such as texts and symbols, which are inputted by the user, may be outputted on the flexible display.
If you're interested in learning what Samsung is dreaming up, then check out the rest of this report on Patently Mobile, here.
For the record, back in 2015 Lenovo had a concept smartphone using a projector for a virtual keyboard that was likely too ahead of its time. Another similar concept could be viewed here. Samsung's concept is well ahead of either of these two.
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