KEY POINTS

  • A new patent application shows Samsung is working on another foldable device
  • This time, the device will have three panels connected together by two hinges
  • The device could possibly be a mobile TV

A new patent application reveals that Samsung could be working on a foldable TV, among other things.

Foldable displays allow tech companies to produce different kinds of devices. Samsung, for one, was able to produce the first ever mainstream foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, using a flexible display.

The technology allowed the South Korean tech giant to create a device that can be used as a regular, albeit thick, smartphone while it is folded. Unfolded, the device then lets users enjoy a wider screen estate that allows them to do more things. Now, a new patent application shows that Samsung wants to use the technology to create more things – even possibly a foldable mobile TV.

The patent application, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Patently Apple, describes a foldable device that has three panels connected together by two hinges.

The patent application shows different folding styles, but the principle is the same: a three-panel device that can be used in both folded and unfolded configurations.

According to the patent application, titled “Foldable Display Device And Sound Providing Method Thereof,” each of the three display panels can be used depending on whether the device is folded or not. Users can opt to use only one display panel, two display panels or all three panels, simply by unfolding the corresponding portion of the device.

Samsung Foldable TV Fig. 2 (above) is a perspective view illustrating a foldable display device according to an embodiment of the disclosure in its folded and unfolded states. Photo: Samsung/USPTO

Interestingly, as the patent title indicates, Samsung is also working on equipping the said device with sound generators that will allow it to output audio via the display, similar to how LG's Crystal Sound feature works.

LG's Crystal Sound technology allows huge screens, like the one it used on its 88-inch Crystal Sound OLED TV, to output audio via the display itself.

Tom's Guide reported last year that the device doesn't need the usual soundbar or home theater system to produce sound – the screen itself also works as a “giant speaker.”

That said, Samsung's new invention could possibly be, among other things, a foldable TV. It could also be a sleeker foldable tablet of sorts.

Considering how LG uses Crystal Sound OLED technology, however, it's also possible that the Galaxy Fold maker wants to make foldable devices with screens larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 2.