Patents offer a nice window to see what kind of innovative and quirky ideas manufacturers have for new devices. Sadly, many of these don’t come to fruition, sometimes due to lack of practicality or marketability. Sometimes, patents are way ahead of their time and only see actual application years after. One of HTC’s latest patents shows off the Taiwanese company’s knack for experimentation, although we will have to see whether these will actually make an appearance on actual products.
The latest documents to be awarded to the Taiwanese manufacturer show that they were looking into a dual-screen format for their smartphones. Whilst one screen would remain on the handset, the other would emerge from the side and slide across to combine into one complete display.
With the dual-screen patent being awarded to HTC, it shows that the company is certainly looking to move away from traditional screen formats. However, the patent is likely to not see the light of day on smartphones anytime soon, if we are to trust market response from precedents.
Several manufacturers have tried to utilise the technology on smartphones, such as with the Kyocera Echo. While innovative — or at least interesting — for its time, the Echo was a commercial flop and failed to catch on with consumers. On top of that, HTC is not in the best financial shape at the moment and the company is much more likely to keep its attention fully focused on developing the recently-released One.
However, with many companies now looking at different screen formats, don’t be too surprised if we see devices changing their shape in the not-too-distant future.