Motorola Patent Hints At Foldable Phone Solution

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

No more creases! Patent deals with tricky problem with foldable phones, notably creases in the screen

Motorola has filed a patent that could solve one of the biggest problems with upcoming foldable phones.

Foldable phones with flexible screens are currently being tested and prototyped by a number of tech firms, as a possible smartphone solution for the future.

But the biggest problem that foldable phones have to overcome is what to do about the fact that the screen will be repeatedly folded in half, as this is highly likely to leave a visible crease in the screen.

samsung-project-valley-foldable-smarpthone

Crease removal

Motorola may have a solution to this after Dutch website LetsGoDigital spotted a patent that the Lenovo-owned smartphone maker had quietly filed.

In the patent Motorola describes a ‘method to recover permanent set in a foldable display’.

Motorola’s solution makes use of a thermal element and sensors built into the foldable part of the device.

The idea is that these sensors detect when the device is completely flat with the screen off. The thermal element is then activated to heat the hinge and remove the crease.

Motorola reportedly calls this ‘semi-permanent deformation’.

The idea of foldable phones is not as far fetched as some may think, as a number of tech giants are exploring this option.

Foldable future?

Microsoft, already a massive loser in the smartphone arena, is reportedly working on a dual-display and 360-degree rotation support for its long-rumoured Surface phone.

But more likely foldable devices could emerge from the likes of Samsung or LG.

Samsung for example has long been rumoured to working on a super-flexible smartphone with a foldable display.

The ‘project valley’ device is able to folded in two to be carried around, with screens on both sides.

LG on the hand has revealed a concept “Active Bending” device featuring an edge-to-edge curved display, and have previously released the G Flex 2 smartphone, which sported a curved build designed to fit into a user’s hand.

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