A lot of technology conglomerates are competing to develop a perfect foldable smartphone with Samsung topping the list followed by LG, Apple and Huawei. A patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) shows that they have another competitor in Motorola which is also working to perfect a smartphone with bendable display. Motorola has been granted a patent that it filed on June 14 detailing an innovative technology based on heat so that a foldable smartphone with flexible OLED display can bend a lot.
The companies are reportedly facing problems regarding the durability of the foldable smartphones. The frequent bending of the display can cause problems in the long run. The patent filing called "Method to recover permanent set in a foldable display" implies that Motorola found a solution to this problem.
The patent states, “A method, electronic device, and computer program product for countering a semi-permanent deformation at an area of foldable display. The method monitors a time duration that the display is in the angled position. The method includes measuring a temperature associated with at least one are of the display is in the angled position.”
“In response to the display remaining in the angled position for greater than a calculated period of time, the method determines a degree of semi-permanent deformation associated with the at least one area of the display. The method further triggers an increase in temperature at at least one area if the display to counter the degree of semi-permanent deformation,” the patent added.
What is the problem?
OLED displays consist of multiple plastic layers that are very flexible but if these displays are folded frequently or if a foldable smartphone is kept too long in (half) folded position, then semi-permanent distortion may occur.
How will the technology work?
Motorola’s bendable smartphones will come with a thermal element and an integrated temperature sensor. The element will increase the temperature of the display around the hinge to counter the effect of semi-permanent deformation. The temperature sensor is incorporated in the hinge (or hinges) and measure the temperature when the display is in the bent position and notes how long has it been in a curved position.
At this year’s MWC in Barcelona, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing hinted that the company might be working on a possible comeback for a new version of the Moto Razr with a foldable screen. While, Apple’s foldable smartphone may be launched in 2020, Samsung eyes the reported Galaxy X release early next year.
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