Foldable phones are coming, in fact the long-rumored Samsung Galaxy X could arrive as soon as early 2019, but one of the main problems any folding handset will have to overcome is the fact that actually folding the screen repeatedly would likely leave a visible crease in it.
That’s not a good look, but it’s one that Motorola might have come up with a solution for.
In a patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, Motorola details a ‘method to recover permanent set in a foldable display’, with its solution taking the form of a thermal element and sensors built into the foldable part of the device.
These sensors would detect when the device is completely flat with the screen off, then activate the thermal element, to heat the hinge and remove the creases, which Motorola calls ‘semi-permanent deformation’.
Patents aren't products
Of course, as ever with a patent this might not ever be used in a product, but it shows that there are potential solutions to the problem.
Chances are the likes of Samsung and LG – which will probably be among the first to market with foldable phones – are coming up with solutions of their own, so whether or not we start seeing heated hinges it looks like creases needn’t be a problem for folding phones after all.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.