The world of patents is special and entertaining, thousands of patents are filed each year and the vast majority of them come to nothing. Apple is no stranger to this trend and each week files dozens of new patents, some of them about the design of future devices and others at the software level. In this case, the company has filed a new patent on an alleged folding iPhone, and it is not the first we see.
This new patent shows a different design than what we have seen in other patents or other devices. The first folding smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X are not perfect and have suffered numerous problems, especially in the area of the screen that folds. With this Apple connector this problem will be partially solved.
Apple's patent application describes a device that uses two completely separate screens they can act as a single screen when deployed. The patent has been discovered by Patently Apple and it has just been published in the US Patent and Trademark Office under the title “System with multiple electronic devices”.
Two screens that act as one
The patent clearly shows two separate screens capable of acting as one. The patent describes a technology that allows two or more devices to act as one when they get closer thanks to the use of proximity sensors, so that both screens are automatically detected.
Multiple electronic devices can be used together in one system. Electronic devices can use sensor measurements and other information to detect when an edge of the first electronic device is next to the edge of the second electronic device.
In addition to holding the displays together magnets would be used that would be able to be brought together and positioned in a large number of different orientations. Its operation largely reminiscent of Microsoft's Surface Duo, a prototype that the company showed a few weeks ago.
Magnetic components can hold devices together in a variety of orientations. The magnetic components can work in cooperation with the beveled edges of the case and other structures to help keep devices in flat configurations.
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There is no doubt that folding devices are a trend today, however it seems that manufacturers they are still looking for real utility. They do not seem to be clear what the design that will end up imposing will be and Apple does not seem that it is going to present an iPhone or iPad with this type of technology soon.
Despite the many rumors about a foldable iPhone, and the odd patent, we are quite far from seeing it. However, that does not mean that Apple is not investigating in this line with multiple form factors and technologies. This in particular eliminates the problem of screen bending, but instead shows a division between the two screens than to be less futuristic.