Remember the yesteryears when a folding cell phone was considered the most cutting edge design for mobile tech? It certainly looked pretty swanky despite the bulkiness and the extending antennae. How things have changed since then, now that we’re drawn to phones that tend to look like thin tablets with big screens that react to touch. That’s our standard for bleeding edge these days. But sometimes discarded ideas only lie dormant until the day when they can rise again in what seems to be a new form. So it would seem with the idea of a phone that folds up.
According to Digital Trends, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has just granted heavyweight electronics brand Apple a patent – which they filed back in 2014 – for a new spin to an old idea: a foldable iPhone. Not only would this design fold itself in half to a more compact size that it already is, the folded state would act in the manner of a clamshell or clothespin form that could snugly grip onto your clothes. The major function for this nifty ability is to eliminate the need for stuffing your phone into a pocket or belt pouch, by having it stay on your clothes.
So how exactly does a folding hinge phone work with a touch screen that takes up most of the phone’s surface? Why, simply have a screen that can fold in on itself! Apple hopes to accomplish this with an honest to goodness flexible OLED display that can bend and fold like paper, and the patent goes on to elaborate on the mechanics of such a phone, along with the possibility of variations to the design with additional hinges to fold the proposed iPhone by thirds or quarters, as if it were a hi-tech pamphlet. Oh and you noticed the screen type is not the LCD currently used in Apple’s devices, but OLED (organic LED), of which research has long been developing for flexible device screens.
Believe it or not, this is but the second patent granted to Apple this year with regards to having a new generation of folding cell phones. The first of these came in just this early November, detailing a phone with carbon nano tubes that could bend to form the folding hinge. Now mind, this isn’t confirmation that Apple really is in full gear for developing a folding smart device anytime in the immediate future, but it does illustrate that they’ve been busy with their R&D drive.
Photo Credit to http://www.digitaltrends.com/