Samsung is one of the leading inventors and manufacturers of future flexible displays for smartphones and beyond. In our two-part report we cover how user interface behaviors will have to adapt to the new realities of these next generation displays. In part one of this report we focus on flexible display interfaces that will function on display in a roll-state.
Company's Patent Background
Currently, flexible display devices are being developed. Unlike a conventional rigid display device, which maintains a planar state, a flexible display may be folded or rolled up.
Further, although there have been some applications of a flexible display on a wearable device, such as on a wrist, except for the rollability, the wrist-wearable flexible display provides no difference from a conventional rigid flat screen. For example, when using a touch screen display, the wrist-wearable, flexible, touch screen display adopts the same touch input as used in the conventional rigid touch screen, providing no distinctive operations or display characteristics for a display in a rolled configuration.
Therefore there's a need to introduce new rules for flexible displays that will allow such displays to function differently from conventional displays that are used in smart devices today.
Samsung Introduces New User Interface Possibilities for Flex Displays
Samsung's invention relates generally to a display device and method, and more particularly, to a bendable display device including a display unit that is flexible by an external pressure on a display. Accordingly, an aspect of the present invention is to provide a display device including a flexible display unit bendable under external pressure, which provides various distinctive operations and display characteristics in rolled state, and a method for changing a screen mode using the same.
The display device may be bendable under external pressure into a rolled state in a column shape in which the screen of the display unit forms an outer wall, and the display unit may display the screen in the rolled state.
In Samsung's patent FIGS. 1A and 1B noted below we see a display device in a planar form (FIG. 1A) which could be rolled up into a scrolled state (FIG. 1B). Further, the display device could be curved or bendable like a paper sheet. For example, the display device may be a mobile phone, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), an MP3 player, an e-book, an ultra-small Personal Computer (PC), a smart card, a Tablet, a Large Format Device (LFD), a laptop computer, a monitor, a TV, etc.
In Reference to patent FIG. 4A, Samsung states that a user can manipulate a display device in rolled state followed by dragging or flicking to a different direction as illustrated in FIG. 4B. For example, if a user command as input to the display device in rolled state includes scrolling perpendicularly, the information is rotated in at least one of horizontal and perpendicular directions automatically according to the scroll speed and displayed. As a result, the user is able to view the objects that were previously blocked from view.
Additionally, the user command may include various other operations such as a drop touch command input more than a preset time, a circular touch command, a flick touch command, etc.
For patent FIG. 7A noted above, Samsung states that if a user grabs a specific area of the display device in rolled state, and makes flicking motion of thrusting the display device forward, as illustrated in FIG. 7B, the size of the object displayed in the area at which the cursor is located on the screen, may be extended or enlarged.
For patent FIG. 8A, Samsung states that if a user grabs a specific area of the display device in rolled state and rotates the display device faster than a preset speed, the display object may be displayed in a bar shape from which only the identification information is discernible. By doing so, the user may view as many objects as possible with the increased possibility of finding the right object.
Further, referring to FIG. 8C, if the user grabs a specific area of the display device in rolled state and rotates the display slower than a preset speed, more detailed information about the object may be provided than when the display device is rotated faster than the preset speed as illustrated in FIG. 8B.
And lastly, Samsung's engineers note that during recharging a display in rolled state, as shown in patent FIG. 10, the display may be able to display notification information, e.g., breaking news, in a rotating scroll across the screen as we've highlighted.
Interestingly, 3 Samsung patent applications were published in the same timeframe as this flexible display patent regarding wireless charging. Specifically Samsung's patent application 20130154558 states that it relates to a method and apparatus for transmitting wireless power, and more particularly, to method and apparatus for transmitting wireless power to multiple wireless power receivers.
The timing of the wireless charging patents comes at a time when Intel has just joined (Link to PDF) the Alliance for Wireless Power which includes board of directors including Samsung, Broadcom and others.
Samsung filed their patent application in the US under serial number 705866 back in QX4 2012 and a year earlier in Korea. The application was made public earlier this month by the US Patent Office. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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