LG Patent Shows Off Tri-Fold Smartphone With Ingenious Hinge Design

Folding smartphones are coming and are poised to become more commonplace in the future. LG has a new patent application that shows line art teasing a device of the future with a tri-fold design and a very cool hinge. Unlike Samsung's devices that come with a stylus that stores inside the body of the device; LG's patent shows a hinged display that curved around to accommodate the stylus.

lg patent folder

The cool part about the ingenious hinge design isn't only that the pen will always be close by, but the pen will also help prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the folded device and damaging the screen. Samsung knows all about debris getting inside folding smartphone. Debris getting under the screen was cited as the reason for the failure of the Galaxy Fold shortly after getting into reviewer's hands. Samsung says it has now fixed the issue.

A tri-fold display with an 18:9 aspect ratio per section of the screen when folded would give it a 3:2 aspect ratio when open. That is the same aspect ratio as Microsoft Surface PCs, which work quite well. That would make the folding LG smartphone a perfect device for pen input using its stylus and make it a handy tablet.

There is no guarantee that LG will ever use this patent, but the company is sure to be looking into folding devices. Last November, LG filed for trademarks on names that seem to hint folding smartphones. The trademarked names include LG Foldi and Duplex. The name Duplex would seem to indicate a two-panel folder while Foldi could be a name for this tri-fold device. Folding screen devices, if done well and at a decent price, could lure users into upgrading at a time when people are holding onto their devices for longer periods of time.