So you’ve heard about Samsung’s plans to fold your phone in half. No?
If you haven’t and you’ve often dreamed of doing this and turning your phone into an itty-bitty laptop in the café, so that you can sip your coffee with two hands and watch videos at the same time with none, you could be in luck.
It’s like this. A few days ago, Samsung announced that it patented an idea for a foldable phone. It’s not a flip phone, but a model that has the phone fold in half on itself in the middle, with a continuous screen.
How? Bendy connectors like the hinge on Microsoft’s Surface notebook go on each side in Samsung’s drawing, allowing the slab to fold.
Samsung is just one among many companies looking at this type of thing. Others are also said to be developing some kind of foldable technology for electronic devices, and this is nothing new.
Way back in 2009, as many may know, Microsoft had its own plans to create a foldable tablet, but one that involved two screens, not just one. It was called the Courier. The mega-company canceled the product , but the idea is obviously still around. CNET says that Microsoft didn’t go ahead because “the product didn't clearly align with the company's Windows and Office franchises, according to sources.”
In addition to Microsoft, Lenovo has also worked on foldable technology.
Lenovo has actually developed prototypes for both smartphones and tablets, and while similar, they do have key differences.
Interestingly, the phone Lenovo seems to be developing folds over backwards in many spots along the anterior of the phone. Because of this, it can be worn on the wrist, like a large wearable screen for your arm. A large Apple Watch? Weird but also sort of neat.
The above video from Android Authority shows it at work. Note how the screen display changes itself as the device is folded, for more logical use.
In contrast, the tablet Lenovo may have in the works simply folds down the middle, instead of bending over backward. Why? This way a device could be transformed from a tablet into something smaller with a different use- like a phone.
So, everything sounds very attractive and innovative, but questions remain. How soon will a foldable phone hit the shelves? Reports claim that Samsung will be unveiling two bendable phones in 2017.
Some feel, however, that the company will be hesitant to bring the products to the consumer market. Foldable devices would be costly to make and Samsung may not be sure if a pricey product will have a large enough premium audience to make production worthwhile.
Android Authority feels that foldable devices won’t be in the hands of consumers anytime soon, but that opinion may have changed with Samsung’s new announcements.
The exciting thing is this: foldable technology does seem to be in our future, and whatever else it may bring with it, will be fun to see.
To learn more about the how a foldable phone could actually be made, click here .