Samsung patents dual-slidable handheld device possibly slated for 2021 launch
Samsung was granted a patent for a "dual slidable electronic device" in March 2020, and the documentation was released this month. The renders from LetsGoDigital reveal an elaborate mechanism to transform a 6-inch screen into an 8-inch tablet. The normal-looking device packs a rolling screen, a chain-link frame, and a flexible material at the back allowing the phone to extend width-wise.
Samsung's concept takes the battle to LG Rollable from CES
Similar to the LG Rollable smartphone teased at CES, Samsung's implementation aims to eliminate the ugly crease and visual bulk associated with foldable devices. On Thursday, during an earnings call, Samsung Display's Senior Vice-President Kwon-Young Choi confirmed that the company will fortify its presence in the display market through innovative form factors like rollable and sliding displays.
Expanding display indicates multi-stage locking; could be more rigid
The concept renders show the display and the rear panel of the phone curl into the interior of the device when collapsed. The expansion of the screen along the width is made possible using a wear-resistant rack and motorized dual-pinion arrangement. The mechanism aids structural rigidity and could potentially allow multi-stage locking, which should allow granular extension of the screen.
Rollable design features electric extension and retraction, chain link frame
The device seems to house electric motors within the tubular structures and allow the screen to be extended and retracted. Structural rigidity in the extended position seems to be maintained by a unique chain link system, which allows the device's outer frame to stretch along the width. The exact chassis design, however, hasn't been elaborated on in the patent document.
Samsung's sliding displays on cards, could push new form factors
Samsung also filed for two other patents in 2019. One involves a sliding display revealing a selfie camera on the device's forehead. The other patent details a Nokia N95-like display that slides up and down, replete with a rear screen. Samsung Display could use these innovative technologies on its own smartphones in the near future, given its success with the Galaxy Z Fold2.