Lenovo, the China-based technology company which holds a strong presence in the laptop segment, has recently been awarded a new design patent for a hybrid laptop with tri-fold display and a few variations of the same. This was revealed through a bunch of documents published by the World Intellectual Property Organization last month.
The patent, which was initially filed in the year 2016, features a laptop having a flexible display with multiple viewing regions. The display consists of an OLED panel which can be folded both ways — inwards as well as outwards. This allows users to triple the amount of screen real estate compared to what traditional laptops offer.
With the flexible nature of the folding mechanism, it allows the device to be folded in a way that the screens are facing both sides. The company believes that such a mode would be useful for presentations as well as for local multiplayer games.
While the filed patent doesn’t explicitly mention that the display panels of the theoretical design are touch-sensitive, such functionality is implied especially given how some possible setups don’t hide the keyboard of the hybrid device behind one of its screens.
The suggested laptop’s both sides are meant to be equipped with a camera and at least one microphone. The published documents suggest that the engineering principles applied to the newly patented design can allow both for dual- and triple-screen laptops.
The patent filing also mentions that smartphones are another possible use case of a similar tri-fold design, along with tablets and laptops. The company has been working on a device featuring a foldable display since last few years. In fact, Lenovo demonstrated its foldable design tablet at the company’s annual event Lenovo Tech World last year.
Apart from Lenovo, several other smartphone manufacturers are working on a device featuring foldable display, including China-based Huawei and Oppo. South Korean giant Samsung is also working on a foldable display smartphone. Devices with a foldable display from Samsung and Huawei are expected to get launched this year. However, the company has not yet made anything official.