Samsung's next big smartphone innovation will reportedly involve foldable display technology. But what comes after might be even more interesting, according to a recently filed patent from Samsung.
The patent, via Patently Mobile, showcases a device that can be expanded to create a wider area for viewing content. So, imagine the Galaxy S9's display expanding when pulling on the device's sides. In essence, you'd be transforming your smartphone into a tablet.
The patent's abstract explains the idea in more detail:
A display device may include a support plate, a first display unit, a second display unit, a third display unit, a pad, and a circuit board. The first display unit overlaps the support plate. The second display unit is connected to the first display unit. A portion of the second display unit may move relative to the support plate. The third display unit is connected through the first display unit to the second display unit. A portion of the third display may move relative to the support plate.
The above images illustrate what such a device might look like. Needless to say, it's a wild idea, but one that will likely never come to fruition—at least not anytime soon. Having the technology to expand a device like a scroll seems incredibly difficult, though we hope we're wrong.
Smartphone displays are already big enough thanks to the trend of shrinking bezels, so Samsung's patent may not have any useful applications if the tradeoff means a phone that's less durable. But just because a patent is filed doesn't mean it'll appear in a future product.
For now, we'll have to wait and see if Samsung can pull of the foldable, which will reportedly show up in the Galaxy X.