A new patent application that was first discovered by Patent Bolt reveals Samsung's ongoing work in the field of microfluidic displays. One aspect of their invention was introduced with their latest Galaxy S3 in terms of the "ripple effect" displayed on the lock screen that users are able to turn on or off in the phone's settings. Our cover graphic presents Samsung's patent figure 6 which illustrates this microfluidic based ripple effect while a real-world photo of this effect is illustrated below. In the big picture, Samsung has other ideas for this kind of display for future phones and one big idea for using it in a next generation Braille smartphone that's most fascinating.
The Microfluidic Display's Ripple Effect
The Galaxy S3 Setting for the Ripple Effect
Samsung describes patent figure six this way: "if a user presses a touch display to generate a series of concentric rings 610 and 620 alternating in different colors on the display screen, the microfluidic display can then be tuned to deform the display surface to match a selection of the rings 610, for example, one color. That is, the display may be programmed to have the microfluidic display deformations track arbitrary visual elements.
Samsung describes how the microfluidic display could also provide users with a distinct tactile difference from the surrounding surface of the display. This difference of feeling a raised button surface facilitates both a more accurate and a more comfortable user experience; pressing the microfluidic button may be more similar to pressing a conventional mechanical button than tapping on a glass touchscreen.
In the future, Samsung may introduce other tactile effects for the microfluidic display of future phones that would all-new tactile experiences related to selectable user interface elements such as icons, scroll bars, text hyperlinks, etc.
Similarly, selectable elements according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention are not limited to a raised surface, but may also include a groove or depression that is lower than the surrounding surface.
A Future Smartphone with Braille Keyboard and Display
Another area of Samsung's patent is dedicated to the design of an all-new smartphone for the blind that could integrate a Braille keyboard and interface. The display would have a distinct ability via a microfluidic display to provide the blind with a highly tactile display to read Braille as well. That would be great a great advancement.
Samsung's patent application was originally filed in Q3 2011 in the US under serial number 211838 and published by the US Patent Office in Q1 2013.
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