This week in hinges: foldable smartphones bite back again and this time, there’s no one-piece pivot.
A patent from LG Electronics submitted in 2015 and published last week by the US Patent and Trademark Office shows one possible way the company may fold up a phone with a flexible display. The display would follow the chassis curvature while the device would end up almost flat except for near the hinge itself, much like a wallet — it would comparable to a Surface Book and, perhaps, less apparent than the folded appearance given off by this Samsung patent.
The hinge system may vary: one idea uses four spring-loaded pen tips that can skate into one of two positioning chambers while another uses a ball-in-joint segmenting system. The phone would be equipped with dual front-facing speakers and a camera at back near the hinge so that it can theoretically shoot chest-level video when the device is folded to clip onto a shirt with a pocket protector.
Barring any other innovations, patents and obstacles that may get picked up — this piece of intellectual property in particular was passed along from LetsGoDigital — LG may have its path forward for foldable mobile phones.