Earlier in the quarter the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Samsung relating to a future transparent display. More specifically, the focus of the invention is on providing a future smartphone with a transparent display that is able to accept touch controls on both the front and back side of the transparent display separately or simultaneously to control actions, move icons, control video playback and more.
Samsung's Patent Background
Next generation display devices including transparent displays have recently been developed. A transparent display has a degree of transparency that enables a viewer to see through the display and view objects behind the display.
A device that includes the transparent display may be any device that that performs operations including recognizing information, processing information, and transferring information. The operations may also be performed by using transparent electronic elements.
The availability of transparent displays has created a need for new and innovative methods of interacting with devices including a transparent display and for expanding the functionality of a user interfaces on devices including the transparent display.
Samsung Invents a Transparent Display and Method for Controlling On Screen Objects
Samsung's invention relates to providing an object control method based on input such as touches on a front side, a rear side, and both sides of a device including a transparent display, the device, and a computer readable recording medium thereof.
Opening App Folders with a Backside Touch
In Samsung's patent FIG. 4 noted below you're able to see an example screen of an object control process. In some ways, the backside touch control process shown in patent FIG. 4 really acts like a zoom in and out feature without obscuring the face screen with your finger. In the example shown, the user is expanding a folder to see the contents using a backside touch. This way the user's finger isn't obscuring their view of the contents of the folder.
In Samsung's patent figure 5 noted above you're able to see a user sliding a folder to a new position on the display by controlling the folder from the backside of the display without obscuring the view of the folder (or app) on the face side of the display as with a traditional smartphone.
Hiding/Revealing Text on a Second Level
Samsung's patent FIG. 7 illustrates two examples. The first involves screens 710 and 720. In this example we see that information could be hidden on a second level and only come to the fore when a particular part of the display is touched on the backside. It could be additional information, a note, a photo and so forth.
In the second example using screens 730 and 740 we see that user is able to switch from a transparent display to one that is opaque with a slide down gesture on the backside of the display.
Moving Overlapping Objects Simultaneously
In patent FIG. 8 noted below you're able to see that the display is presenting overlapping objects. Samsung states that you'll be able to slide a bottom object with backside interactivity or a top object by touching the face of the display – or even move both objects in different directions at one time using back and front touch controls simultaneously if need be.
Screen Unlock using Complex Combinations Utilizing Back & Front Display Touches
In Samsung's patent FIG. 9 you're able to see an unlock screen process whereby the password is a combination of front and backside interactivity giving the user 18 possible space combinations instead of 9 on the face alone.
Controlling Video from the Backside of the Display
In Samsung's patent FIG. 14 you're able to see a video playing on a smartphone with a transparent display. The user will be able to fast forward, rewind and play by using backside gestures without blocking your view of the movie or presentation. Taking a photo of a scene on the screen could be as simple as a drag-up gesture as shown below on screen 1420.
In our last examples of controls on the backside of a transparent display, we see Samsung's patent FIG. 16 which shows a user controlling an alarm clock on the face display of the smartphone and on the backside, control the settings like time or date. In patent FIG. 20, we see another example of multitasking whereby a user is able to move items/apps/documents simultaneously by using both back and front side touch gestures.
Samsung filed their patent application back in Q2 2013 in the US and one year earlier in Korea. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time. Below is a Samsung Overview Flowchart.
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