Samsung and flexible display technology patents has been going hand-on-hand for some time now. The company have so many patents for a flexible, display that hardly any of us can recall them all. Well, the South Korean giant has won one more patent at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), that reveals a twist on their past foldable device patents that we covered here, and here, and here. You better check out the whole lot of Samsung patents here.
The latest Samsung patent centers on a traditional smartphone body that could greatly expand its display when you pull on the retractable sides. Though the end product will look like a regular smartphone, the expandable display means the user can have the benefits of both a smartphone and a tablet.
According to the patent document and images, the device will include a support plate, a first display unit (DA1 in the diagram above), a second display unit (DA2), a third display unit (DA3), a pad, and a circuit board. When in "phone mode," you'll see only DA1 and the device will look like a normal smartphone. To get a wider screen, just grab the left and right sides of the phone and pull outwards. The two secondary display units remain hidden inside the body of the device until you pull them out. Both of the units are retractable and can be placed back with a gentle inward push.
A smartphone with an expandable display could accommodate viewing home videos, movies, widescreen TV and playing games. But cramming three connected display units inside a phone would make it thicker. Fair enough to say, it's a lot of complexity just to get a larger screen in a smartphone.
Considering Samsung's tryst with a flexible-display smartphone, it is very likely that we'd see one of these many patents actually developing into end products. But which one and when, it's very hard to tell.