Samsung Granted Patents for Tri-Fold and Rollable Display Technologies

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Samsung has been granted patents for its tri-fold and rollable display technologies by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The South Korean tech conglomerate previously showed off an advanced tri-fold displays at CES 2022, which showed a home screen on the first panel and a wide view of a video streaming app on the second and third panels. The company has also been granted a patent for a display that can be extended by unrolling it out of a compact enclosure.

The first patent describes the use of a display module with “at least one folding area” unlike a traditional book-style foldable phone (Fig. 1B) with outer and inner screens — like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the OnePlus Open — Samsung’s patent envisions the use of a tri-fold display (Fig. 2B) that expands in such a way that all three panels are visible when opened, simultaneously. This appears to be a patent for Samsung’s Flex S technology shown off by the company two years ago.

samsung tri fold patent uspto Samsung tri fold

Samsung’s standard foldable (left) and the tri-fold screen
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ USPTO

 

Meanwhile, the company has also been granted a second patent that describes a device with a rollable display inside a housing that is “deformable” in two states — closed and open. The display panels are retracted inside the housing (Fig. 1A, below) when the device is closed, and extends when it is in use, via the use of hinges, according to the patent document.

Various drawings of the rollable display show how the panels leave the housing and can be extended to form a large screen — the document doesn’t specify whether this is a foldable smartphone or another device altogether, like a tablet, monitor, or TV. When it is fully extended, the device’s display (Fig. 8A, Fig. 2A) appears to be much larger than its original form, which is more compact as the entire device returns to the housing when it is closed.

samsung rollable display patent uspto Samsung rollable display

Samsung’s rollable display when folded (left) and unfolded
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ USPTO

 

While Samsung has been granted patents for these two foldable screen technologies, there’s no word from the company on plans to bring them to consumer electronics devices in the near future. The company may also be working on refining these technologies while tackling issues related to performance and durability — common with foldable devices — before bringing them to customers.


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