Can Apple Beat Samsung's Foldable Screen

Foldable smartwatch patented: Apple and Samsung united

Simply fold up your smartphone or watch on your wrist and pack it away? Sounds unimaginable actually. A new design concept for smartwatches shows what the future of wearables could look like.

This is what the Oppo smartwatch can look like.

Photo: LetsGoDigital

Smartwatches adorn many a wrist. They make it possible to read messages, answer chats, track your own fitness or check incoming e-mails. Currently, some of these gadgets require a connection to the smartphone in order to be able to use all functions. A new design concept for a smartwatch is now a topic of conversation in the online world.

Patent for a bracelet with a foldable screen

The patent application of the Chinese manufacturer Oppo was discovered by the "LetsGoDigital" portal on the World Intellectual Property Organization page. The description specifies a device with a bracelet and a foldable display. The screen folds down to the size of the bracelet. In addition, the sketches make it clear that the display of the smartwatch can be enlarged by 200%.

Oppo, a subsidiary of the Chinese BBK Electronics group, is based on the big players Apple and Samsung for its smartwatch.

Apple and Samsung are usually crazy enemies, as they are fighting for the buyers' favor with their smartphone and laptop models. Those who love the clean Apple design will usually not own a Samsung Galaxy cell phone. Consumers can be divided into Apple and Samsung lovers. Now both companies (involuntarily) come together in the new design concept.

Oppo has combined the best of both companies for its smartwatch design. The present design corresponds to the elegant style from Apple. The foldable display is derived from the Samsung Galaxy Fold model. Should Oppo's smartwatch ever hit the market, it could have great potential.

Small computer on your wrist

The minimalist model has a recess from which the screen can be removed. According to the design, a push mechanism is built in, through which the display can be pushed and opened.

The sketches of the design concept.

Photo: LetsGoDigital

The challenges of the foldable display

Samsung has not postponed its launch of the Galaxy Fold for nothing. Developing a functional foldable display is not a sure-fire success. The 7.3-inch display, which is almost the size of an iPad Mini, is characteristic of the Galaxy Fold. When folded, it creates a compact device with a 4.6-inch display. According to Samsung, it took 8 years to develop the display. It is still unclear when it will be launched.

Start-ups have also worked on the future of the smartphone in the past. One end product is the Royole FlexPai. The company Royole, which was founded in 2012 by engineering graduates from Stanford, presented the cell phone with a foldable display last year.

But the idea of ​​a foldable screen is not only used in the mobile sector. A canvas that can be rolled up when you no longer need it? The electronics company LG has developed such a TV set. The display can easily be stowed in a box. Ideal for everyone who does not want to have a permanently large TV screen in their living room in order to create more space in the living room.

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Before Oppo, IBM had already filed a patent that provides for a smartwatch that could completely replace the smartphone. Such gadgets are sure to be a real must-have for technology fans. So far, however, it has been more about the ideas of engineers from the mobile companies.

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  • Sarah Janczura

    Sarah Janczura is content manager and responsible editor for ingenieur.de. After an internship with a focus on social media, she worked as an online editor in a digital agency. She writes about technology, research and career topics.