This year marks the race between smartphone companies looking to release a foldable smartphone of their own. Big names like Samsung and Huawei are known to be working on foldable smartphones of their own, and Apple is also rumored to be working on a foldable device as well.

One brand worth mentioning here is Sony. The Japanese tech giant might’ve suffered from slow smartphone sales, but it’s not the only one -- other big names like Apple suffered too. Yet, despite that, the Japanese tech company isn’t giving up on its Xperia smartphones yet, and is already working on new foldable designs that might beat Samsung’s unreleased Galaxy Fold.

Sony Xperia The Sony Xperia XA3 might launch in January during CES 2019. Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

According a patent spotted by Dutch-speaking site Let’s Go Digital, Sony is working on flexible displays that contain three sensors: an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, and a temperature sensor. These sensors will be used to detect and interpret how a user uses his device, so that the device can adjust the display UI for a better usage experience.

The sensor-laden displays will be mounted on both the front and back sides of the device. They will detect the users’ hands and adjust how it displays images or content. For example, the device will detect where the thumb is and what it covers, and then adjust the display size so that it would fit on the area not covered by the thumb.

As for the area covered by the thumb, the UI can change its color into something that matches that device’s casing, or would just play a screensaver. By doing this, the device will be able to consume less battery.

Interestingly, Sony’s patent suggests that physical buttons could be mounted on the side or top of the device, so that both the front and back sides can have full displays. BGR noted that this feature could allow Sony’s device to be “transparent,” allowing users to use the phone while walking on the road.

Release date?

Sony hasn’t announced a release date for the said device yet. As of now, it’s only a patent, and since it’s just a patent there’s no guarantee that it will become a real device in the soonest time. Previously, Sony was reported to be working on a rollable smartphone that might be released later this year or earlier next year.

For now, readers are advised to take it all with a grain of salt, and stay tuned for more updates.