A collapsible iPhone patent application shows how Apple could solve one of the problems posed by a collapsible display.
The app was released at a time when several Android manufacturers have announced collapsible smartphones, and speculation about Apple's projects are numerous …
One of the big problems encountered when designing a foldable screen is to avoid damage when the screen is folded and unfolded repeatedly. The Apple patent application implies that this is a particular problem when the display is cold, and therefore less flexible. The patent suggests that heating this part of the screen would reduce the risk.
Electronic devices often include screens for presenting images to a user. Screens are usually formed from rigid flat substrates. Although satisfactory in many situations, such rigid screens may be difficult to integrate into some devices, such as foldable package devices.
An electronic device may have a hinge for bending the device around an axis of curvature. A display can extend on the axis of curvature. To facilitate bending around the bend axis without damage when the screen is cold, part of the screen overlapping the bending axis can be heated selectively.
A temperature sensor in the device can perform temperature measurements on the portion of the display covering the axis of curvature. The device may also include user input devices for collecting user input and a motion sensor for determining when the device has been entered for use.
In other words, the screen will only be heated when the phone detects that it is in use or has been picked up and may be folded or unfolded.
The foldable iPhone patent application describes two possible ways to heat.
The portion of the screen that overlaps the axis of curvature can be self-heated by illuminating pixels in the portion of the screen that overlaps the axis of curvature or can be heated at the same time. Using a heating element or other heating structure providing warmth to the screen part. overlapping the folding axis.
The first idea – presumably applying maximum brightness to the area of the screen that folds – would be particularly effective, requiring no additional hardware.
The patent recognizes that heating can sometimes not be fast enough and that the phone can force users to wait until it is safely folded.
The control circuitry may engage a locking mechanism that prevents folding of the electronic device and the display when the temperature of the portion of the display that overlaps the axis of curvature is less than a predetermined temperature.
As always, the fact that Apple has filed a patent for a foldable iPhone does not mean that it will ever make one, but that seems like a logical evolution once Apple can make it a good experience. We saw images of concepts and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he really wanted one.
Via Patently Apple
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