Sony’s new foldable phone could have a transparent display

by Bimal Man Shrestha
Sony foldable smartphone

Foldables just conquered the smartphone dream of 2018. And for 2019 we are dreaming even bigger. The transparent displays for a smartphone could be a thing next year, all thanks to Sony. A patent filed by Sony describes a method for a new kind of transparent display on a smartphone. First spotted by LetsGoDigital, the Sony patent shows a smartphone with two displays, one on the front and one at the rear. This brings us a step closer to making the sci-fi-bound technology into a reality.

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“Sony was tipped to be the next smartphone vendor working on a device with a foldable screen”, the Dutch news outlet reported citing a recent patent filing by the company. They also gave light to a new Sony concept for its Xperia range. The new device will be foldable and feature an amazing transparent screen. Sony filed this patent with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) under ‘Display device and electronic apparatus’ in May 2018, and WIPO published the patent on 22nd of November.

This could be an exciting development for smartphones. However, it is unlikely that transparent devices will be hitting the market anytime soon. As of 2018, the vendors have only just begun to embed fingerprint scanners into displays. Samsung and Huawei have, recently, revealed their plans to release a foldable smartphone in the near-future. But as Sony’s plans of packing a transparent screen came up, the game took an interesting, yet significant, turn.

Also Read: Google announces support for foldable Android Devices

The main application here seems to be how it will evolve augmented reality (AR) technology. This transparency makes the world around the user readily accessible. The handset looks to offer a degree of versatility for users who prefer traditional handsets when using the device for calls and texts, as the patent also unveils the ability to block the transparency of the phone.

The patent leak also shows a large bezel at the bottom of the device. This looks to potentially house a front-facing camera and presumably most of the necessary components to run the smartphone.

As per the Sony patent, the display has self-illuminating pixels that are arranged in a 2D matrix arrangement. The first display is equipped with light-emitting elements, while the second has light controls, using the reflection of incoming light. Also, to create a transparent display, two displays need to be placed opposite each other. This makes four screens in total for a foldable Sony smartphone.

Additionally, the patent description and illustrations also show six different display modes. There are three modes for the front and three for the rear. These modes vary from transparent, to semi-transparent to non-transparent. The user will also have the option to select the desired mode or switch between times.

Sony foldable smartphone

So what do you think of the new transparent display concept? Is this technology practical for the day to day use? Let us know in the comment section down below.

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