Samsung has patented a hologram projecting dock accessory.
It's believed that the dock could be for the Galaxy S11, according to a new report. This also isn't the only patent that's been discovered. The same report also mentions a patent for a smartphone that comes with a camera under the screen.
This smartphone patent was granted back on August 20 of this year. In that patent, the examiner refers to a report that was covered in July of 2018, which focused on a design of a possible upcoming Samsung smartphone.
That phone featured an edge to edge display and no visible front-facing camera. The design drawings on the patent also mimic the design in last year's report almost exactly.
The patented hologram dock is interactive
Judging by the drawings in the patent for the dock, Samsung envisions it being interactive. Users can slot their Galaxy smartphone into the dock and have it project holographic details above the phone's display. Depending on the graphic, users are able to interact with it much in the way they might a touch screen.
The patent drawings show possible examples, like pressing pause or play buttons to manage music playback. Another example is sharing content to with social media or other applications, or reading through incoming notifications. The GIF image below also depicts a possible visual of how this would look.
While it's important to remember this is just a patent that may never go anywhere, it's still an exciting prospect of Samsung's future products. The fact that Samsung patented a hologram projecting dock accessory at all is in and of itself a sort of wild idea, too.
But, it appears Samsung may think it isn't too wild to keep from patenting it.
The dock would use a "retro-reflection member" and "half mirror"
Samsung's patent refers to the technology in the dock that would make this all work as a "retro-reflection member" and a "half mirror." This wouldn't be the only tech comprising the dock, but certainly the bigger parts. According to the patent description, images output from the display panel would be reflected by the half mirror.
The half mirror is also slightly slanted towards to the retro-reflection member. So, when the display image is reflected by the half mirror it then shows up on the retro-reflection member which projects the image in the air.
Whether or not Samsung actually implements this design in a future product is entirely uncertain, but the possibility is there.