At CES 2020, reports have highlighted multiple products that are using flexible display technology. There's the Mirage Smart Speaker from Royole and a foldable smartphone from TCL just to name a few. However, experts are still concerned about the reliability of screens as the substrate will eventually wear out after prolonged usage. Last year, Microsoft came up with a solution when it presented the Surface Neo and Surface Duo. Now, Samsung reportedly filed a patent that illustrates new magnetic hinge system for dual-display devices.
Sources claim that this new tech is likely for a new handset model that is yet to be developed by the South Korean company. After the embarrassing debacle with the review units of the Galaxy Fold it sent out to journalists, its engineers are aware of the shortcomings of flexible screen technology. So far, Motorola appears to be the only brand that came up with a proprietary solution with the hinge mechanism of the upcoming RAZR.
Research shows that a regular display protected by a glass panel is still the most durable type of configuration. Therefore, Samsung might have developed this magnetic hinge patent for a new Fold flagship later down the line.
What's intriguing about it is the fact that there would be two separate modules that can be re-positioned in various ways. If this becomes reality, that would give this model unprecedented flexibility among what's currently possible, as implied by a report from Forbes.
This versatility would also eliminate the need for a front-facing camera. Users can just flip the section that houses the main shooters to take selfies. This seems like a great concept given primary cameras are equipped with better sensors than the secondary ones. From what the illustrations show, the magnets are likely strong enough to create enough tension and hold the display upright or in different angles.
As with most patent applications submitted by companies, the technology might not even reach production. Nevertheless, if the development of the magnetic hinge system does move forward, it would be too early to showcase it at the Mobile World Congress trade show next month. Samsung already sent out invites to the Galaxy S11 launch event on Tuesday, February 11. Consumers just have to wait and hope that there would be more surprises lined up soon.