Apple wins patent for a Foldable Device that could present content in one large image or Split Screen & double as a Notebook-Like Device
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a possible future foldable device like an iPad that would be able to go into a second mode called the "joint operating mode" where one image could be seamlessly divided into two displays or present data with one large image. The concept is very close to Microsoft's Surface Neo concept as presented below that could double as a notebook-like device.
Apple's granted patent covers multiple electronic devices and displays being used together in a system. The electronic devices may use sensor measurements and other information to detect when an edge of a first device is adjacent to an edge of a second electronic device.
In response to detection of adjacency between the edges of the first and second devices, the devices may transition from an independent operating mode in which each device operates separately to a joint operating mode in which resources of the devices are shared.
In the joint operating mode, images may extend across displays in the devices, speakers in respective devices may be used to play different channels of an audio track, cameras and sensors in different devices may be used in cooperation with each other, and other resources may be shared.
Magnetic components may hold devices together in a variety of orientations. The magnetic components may operate in cooperation with beveled housing edges and other structures to help hold devices in planar configurations in which the devices lie in a common plane and non-planar configurations in which the devices are oriented at a non-zero angle with respect to each other.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below is a diagram of a pair of adjacent electronic devices that could be folded; FIG. 4 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices supported by a bendable case with an internal hinge structure. This could double as a notebook-like device with a virtual keyboard presented on 10A; FIG. 6 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices in a case that has been folded back on itself.
Apple's patent FIG. 17 below is a flow chart of illustrative operations involved in using multiple electronic devices and pointing to the Joint operating State.
Apple's patent FIG. 13 below is a diagram showing how a system with multiple electronic devices may present content to a user in various contexts.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,175,956.