Ready for another smartphone upgrade? Tech companies are filing patents for a surprising new generation of devices.
If you're finding the current smartphones a little bulky, you're in luck. There are now hints that a new generation of “foldable” devices may be on its way from LG, Samsung, Microsoft and others.
According to an article in Tech Times, LG has been awarded a patent for a “mobile phone” that allows the upper part of the handset to be folded, enabling it to function as a convertible device—something that doubles as both a tablet and smartphone. The patent sketches show an LG handset device that folds vertically to allow for a tablet-like experience when unfolded. There is also a touchscreen display on both sides of the device along with a middle bar that shows notifications and can be used to control music, the article says.
The patent and drawings also show fingerprint scanners, a camera, and the ability to be folded like a tent to accommodate watching movies.
Another Tech Times article reports that Microsoft, too, has recently patented a foldable two-in-one smartphone that can be transformed into a tablet.
Already industry pundits are projecting strong demand for such devices. Market research firm Strategy Analytics anticpates growth for foldable smartphones going from 2.7 million units in 2017 to 163 million units by 2022.
Are you ready for another device?