Regina Dugan, who used to be the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), was a guest at both the All Things D9 and D11 Conferences hosted by Walt Mossberg. At D11, Dugan was introduced as the one who now leads Motorola's Advance Research department. Motorola was at D11 to confirm that the Moto X smartphone is real and will be coming to market later this year. Dugan took the opportunity to talk about new ideas concerning device authentication methodologies such as electric tattoos that they're investigating. Dugan was at the D11 Conference as the poster child for new thinking at Motorola. Late last month, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a Motorola patent application that supports their new found boldness. They now have a smartphone with a rollable display on the drawing board.
Motorola states in their patent filing that there's is a major interest and desire to commercialize rollable displays, for many use cases, such as in gaming, the enterprise, tablets, electronic devices, wristwatches and the like. Moreover, Motorola foresees the need for these devices to be configured for easy charging so that they maintain their everyday usefulness. The new charging plate that they're referencing to is illustrated underneath the rollable display in our cover graphic.
Although it sounds bold, we're unlikely to see this come to market for many, many years to come, if ever. What makes it less credible is that Motorola's patent application really didn't provide a single believable patent figure to demonstrate what a smartphone of theirs would look like with a rollable display. Understandably, patent applications aren't design patents so they're not obliged to provide a graphic example.
However, if you compare their "coiled scribble" (shown in our cover graphic) to the work that Microsoft has put into their 2012 rollable display patent filing – it shows us that Motorola is simply rushing "something" through the patent office just to get it on record.
With that said, the idea of rollable displays associated with future smartphones has been a popular one among many tech companies for years. So, for the curios amongst us, check out Motorola's patent 20130134929 for more details.
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