Samsung’s foldable Galaxy X may feature a screen capable of identifying numerous levels of pressure exerted on it, as suggested by one of the company’s recent patents that appeared in the database of the World Intellectual Property Organization in late December, having first been spotted by Dutch tech blog Mobiel Kopen. The patent application itself was filed last June, suggesting Samsung may already be able to commercialize the technology described in its filing. While no specific products have obviously been named by the company’s attorneys, the fact that its solution utilizes a highly flexible display panel capable of bending in a single direction is highly reminiscent of numerous reports about the Galaxy X which most insiders claim will be a much more advanced take on the concept embraced by the ZTE Axon M.
The South Korean tech juggernaut apparently came up with a system that may initially seem similar to Apple’s 3D Touch present on the last several generations of the iPhone lineup, though it serves an entirely different purpose and the full extent of its capabilities remains unclear, with the patent being as vague as such applications usually are. The only capability of the technology that’s been specifically outlined by the filing is the one pertaining to its flexibility control, with Samsung envisioning a panel that users can simply press at certain points in order to command it to automatically bend as they see fit. The degree of bending curvature would depend on the amount of force applied to the screen, though the number of different curve levels supported by the panel hasn’t been specified. Unlike Apple’s 3D touch, Samsung’s patent doesn’t describe a technology capable of measuring pressure levels in all areas of the screen, at least not with equally high accuracy. Instead, the company’s patent mentions several specialized sensors placed under certain areas of the screen where the panel is meant to bend.
A number of Samsung’s executives already said the company’s first foldable smartphone will be released at some point in 2018, though it’s still unclear whether it will truly be marketed as the Galaxy X, which is a name that’s been circulating the industry for several years now. Besides the experimental Android flagship, Samsung should also release three more traditional premium devices in 2018 – the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, and the Galaxy Note 9.