The patent in question (which was actually published in July of last year, but has only just been spotted by Windows Latest) describes a ‘portable information device’ with a screen that operates in a foldable configuration.
The idea is that the display folds in half using a hinge mechanism in the middle, which effectively connects two separate elements of the chassis.
So this sounds rather like the Royole FlexPai smartphone revealed at CES, in that it is essentially two separate displays connected (seamlessly) by a hinge element that facilitates folding in half.
As Lenovo observes, larger-screened tablets or hybrids aren’t exactly convenient to carry around, so the idea is that folding the screen in half makes for a far more compact device in terms of portability on the move.
Whether or not we will ever see this concept hit the production lines is another question entirely, as manufacturers tend to file a lot of sometimes quite speculative patents to cover all their bases while exploring future avenues for their tech. In other words, the device may never make it out of the research labs.
Still, it seems like Lenovo is certainly serious about moving forward with some kind of flexible device, as earlier this month a patent for a foldable Windows 10 laptop was discovered, with an OLED screen and a ‘watchband’ style fold.
Given that foldable also seems to be very on-trend at the moment, it’s a fair bet that we will see some manner of such a device from Lenovo perhaps in the near future.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).