Could foldable smartphones one day look more like a book, with pages for each open app? Google is at least exploring this bizarre possibility, judging by a recent patent filing.
A recently granted patent, discovered by Let’s Go Digital, shows the internet giant is pondering a ‘smart book’ that would enable users to literally flip the page between Gmail and Maps, for example.
Just like a regular book, the patent shows a hinged spine individual screens could be attached to. The outer covers would offer non-flexible displays, but on the inside Google is considering how to use flexible screens as pages. Such is the design, it would be possible to customise how many pages are included.
Google envisions the smart book’s spine harbouring many of the necessary components in order to keep those pages slim and flexible. That’s necessary. The patent, which was filed last year (via DigitalTrends), also outlines how close the screens would be to each other, with as little as 0.005mm between them. So, we could expect the battery, processors and connectivity hardware to sit within the spine.
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All of this would take a radical redesign of what we’ve come to expect from the finely-tuned internals of a modern smartphone, but it’s certainly exciting.
The drawings are about as basic as possibly imaginably and it would obviously be much more refined if Google brought such a solution to market. In the patent, Google explains the design could eventually strike the perfect balance between portability and functionality.
At Google I/O back in May, the company confirmed that is has been working on a number of different foldable prototypes. Right now such a design appears to be fantastical, especially given the issues Samsung is having with the straightforward-by-comparison Galaxy Fold, but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.