The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 proves that Samsung isn't afraid to try new things with its smartphones, and a new patent application suggests that the company has even greater ambitions for the future.
The patent application (via XDA Developers and SamMobile) suggests that Samsung is considering developing a phone with two screens—one on the front and one on the back—and if that's not weird enough, the back screen would be see-through.
Samsung has previously been speculated to be working on both transparent phone displays and screens that expand and contract using a rolling mechanism. It appears that the same sort of technology is at play in this filing.
You wouldn't be able to see through the phone's casing if it had a transparent display, but the device would have the ability to display content on the back while still appearing to have a conventional rear casing (with the manufacturer logo and so on).
It can be viewed as a second screen that is always active on the rear of the phone. A social media feed or notifications, for instance, could be displayed using this method. Even if your phone is face down on a surface, you may still be able to access certain features, such as seeing who is calling or the day's forecast.
However, as is customary with patent applications, this does not mean that the patented invention will actually be produced at some point in the future. However, they do reveal the kinds of things that businesses are thinking about and, potentially, planning to implement in finished products.
Although there are only so many ways to design a slab of glass, metal, and plastic with a display attached to the front, we have heard many complaints in recent years about the lack of innovation in the smartphone market.
But smartphone manufacturers never stop trying to break new ground. Examples include the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, which has a main display that folds and a secondary display that can show you your notifications at a glance.
More is on the way, as evidenced by this new Samsung patent, including possibly see-through smartphones like those featured in Season 4 of Westworld. Smartphones can now fold or roll up, and display technology is becoming increasingly adaptable.
Samsung is the only company that has a shot at making a phone with a see-through screen. Samsung is ahead of the curve when it comes to flexible displays for mobile devices, and it appears that Apple and Google will follow suit.