Apple Patents Tech That Could Solve The Biggest Issue With Current Foldable Devices

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Apple today has been granted a patent for technology that could potentially be used to circumvent the issue of foldable displays creasing and cracking at the fold over time - a problem that has plagued many consumer foldable devices that have made it to market thus far.


Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under the heading "System with multiple electronic devices," the patent describes a technology that allows two or more devices to act as one when brought close to each other through the use of proximity sensors.

The patent envisions separate devices automatically detecting when they're placed together contiguously and then sharing a common display image across them.
"Multiple electronic devices may be used together in a system," continues the patent. "The electronic devices may use sensor measurements and other information to detect when an edge of a first electronic device is adjacent to an edge of a second electronic device."
As AppleInsider notes, the wording of the patent leaves open the possibility that the tech could be used to create a single bendable device comprised of two displays in seamless communication with each other, similar to Microsoft's upcoming Surface Duo.
"Magnetic components may hold devices together in a variety of orientations. The magnetic components may operate in cooperation with beveled housing edges and other structures to help hold devices in planar configurations in which the devices lie in a common plane and non-planar configurations in which the devices are oriented at a non-zero angle with respect to each other."
Foldable smartphones are undoubtedly the latest device trend, and while there are no rumors suggesting Apple has plans to release a foldable smartphone anytime soon, the company is clearly exploring their potential.

Apple has been known to be working on foldable display technology for years with patents on the implementation of similar technology. Of course, whether this research and development results in a foldable consumer product remains to be seen.

Article Link: Apple Patents Tech That Could Solve The Biggest Issue With Current Foldable Devices
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
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It's a smaller version of the tiles used to build the large microLED screens, such as Samsung's The Wall. Even when using identical tiles from the same batch (presumably, at least from the same production line about the same time), set up professionally as a single unit, apparently the different tiles can often be seen by small changes in such things as brightness.

There are uses for this idea, but it is not a solution to foldable displays.
 
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mw360

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Aug 15, 2010
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Looks like it could offer some very cute setups, but I fear for those people who's lives will be destroyed by having to see a visible seam between the displays.
 

dalestrauss

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2013
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If this gives me the equivalent of two iPad Minis with an edge-less seam it does solve the problem of bendable screens - until manufacturers can rewrite the laws of physics that bend is going to leave a crease in the screen, and a real weak spot for the entire system.
- - Post merged: - -

Looks like it could offer some very cute setups, but I fear for those people who's lives will be destroyed by having to see a visible seam between the displays.
For those folks they'll just need to up the reality distortion field to Warp 1...
 

mazz0

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Mar 23, 2011
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What happens when you bring them together but there's dirt in between them? There can't be a protective layer or it would create a visible line across the joint screen, so it has to be two bits of actual display coming together, so surely any bit of dirt in there when they do will break them?
 

Romeo_Nightfall

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Aug 8, 2018
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apple is ****ed up by tim hollywood, but I highly doubt they go the same idiotic way as microsoft when foldable displays are available!
 

cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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I thought this before apple! basically multiple tvs displaying fragmented content heheheh
Nope, not basically that at all. :)

11. A system, comprising: a first electronic device having first control circuitry, having a first display, having a first housing in which the first display is mounted, the first housing having a rectangular outline and four first peripheral edges, and having a first sensor; and a second electronic device having second control circuitry, having a second display, having a second housing in which the second display is mounted, the second display having a rectangular outline and four second peripheral edges, and having a second sensor, wherein the first control circuitry is configured to use the first sensor to detect when a given one of the second peripheral edges is adjacent to a given one of the first peripheral edges, wherein the second control circuitry is configured to use the second sensor to detect when the given one of the first peripheral edges is adjacent to the given one of the second peripheral edges, and wherein at least one of the first and second electronic devices is configured to transition between an independent operating mode in which the first and second electronic devices operate independently to a joint operating mode in which the first and second electronic devices operate jointly and display an image that extends across the first and second displays based at least partly on detection of adjacency between the given one of the first peripheral edges and the given one of the second peripheral edges.
 
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CTHarrryH

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Jul 4, 2012
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Not interested- a don't understand why people want folding phones or even ones with last large screen. I'm sure it would be nice if you're watching video but the rest of the time?? Current phones already don't fit well in pockets,etc.
 
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