The globally renowned search giant Google, which has not manufactured its own phone hardware until now, is apparently experimenting with foldable display technology, similar to what we have seen in Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X.
As per a recent patent application spotted by Patently Mobile, Google is experimenting a relatively simple outward folding device with a wide-gap hinge. It might be quite interesting to see that the patent details two methods of folding: a single fold that transforms the device into a clamshell, and a Z-fold design that allows users to bend the phone at two places. The patent filing also explains that it’s challenging to build a durable display that folds at two places. As it reads;
“In particular, creating sturdy, durable Z-fold displays (i.e., displays with both inward and outward folds) is greatly complicated by the fragility of the thin-film layers in the display stack.”
In contrast to Samsung or Huawei’s foldable phones, this potential Google handset doesn’t close flat, alternatively, there’s a space between the two sides of the display due to the hinge we first saw in Microsoft Surface Book design. At this point, it’s still unclear how this hinge will affect the overall thickness of the device, rest assured, the display itself could be a lot thinner than typical smartphone screens.
Meanwhile, it appears that Google’s interest in foldable phones is now focused on hardware as well as the software side of things. Just last year in November, Google upgraded Android by adding support for foldable displays in its UI.
In times when almost all phone makers are looking forward to build a big foldable phone, it’s nice to see that the search giant Google is working to set a new trend by designing a relatively smaller foldable device in a a compact form factor. However, it must be kept in mind that this patent doesn’t necessarily means that Google is sure making an attempt to launch a foldable phone but if it would do so, it would certainly be exciting.