Foldable phones should have been here by now but both Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X are facing delays due to concerns about the main element of the two devices: the flexible display. Both manufacturers are overcoming numerous challenges in their efforts to bring a consumer-ready smartphone with a foldable display to the market. But make no mistake, this new breed of smartphone-tablet hybrids will become part of our everyday lives sooner or later and such products will be coming from every major brand.Sony is no exception. The company appears to be developing technologies for various devices with foldable displays. Recently, we saw patents for a device that can change sizes by utilizing a rollable display. Now, a new patent emerged, thanks to LetsGoDigital, that reveals a new type of display with multiple sensors embedded in it.
30a, 30b and 30c are the sensors part of the display”
The drawings provided as part of the patent show three different sensors that are part of the flexible display: an acceleration sensor, a pressure sensor and a temperature sensor. The purpose of these sensors is to gather information about the way the display is being used. For example, the pressure sensor has nothing to do with the touch sensitivity of the screen but instead is positioned in the middle of the display so that it can detect when it is being folded and unfolded.
This information will allow the device to accurately adjust what’s being shown on which part of the screen to provide a seamless experience. And that goes beyond turning off or changing the image on the part of the screen that’s facing away from you when the display is folded. The technology is being developed with double-sided displays in mind as well. This means that you can have a fancy screensaver or just changing colors on the back of your device while using it, or a completely different app running on the other side for a multi-user experience.
How useful would that be in practice is up for debate, but perhaps we’ll be able to give it a try ourselves one day if Sony decides to make it into a real product. Nevertheless, developments in the field of flexible displays are always exciting and the more companies participate, the higher the chance we’ll get something worth spending our money on.