Mar 09 AT 3:18 PM Edgar Cervantes 34 Comments

Samsung patent filing: Convert your whole device into screen real estate


Samsung has been getting creative lately. As if devices with flexible displays weren’t innovating enough for 2012, Sammy has just filed for another cool new patent. The concept revolves around “smart device skins,” a technology that will extend your display to the bezel, sides and back of the device.

Virtually converting devices into displays, this technology could bring a whole new definition to customization and screen real estate. It would break multiple limitations that we currently experience. For example, one would be able to change the design of the device at will. It would also be possible to extend images to a larger size, taking advantage of all available space.

The good news is that this will not only be implemented to Samsung’s future line-up. According to the patent filing, the manufacturer also plans to sell this technology as an accessory. The product is described as a “film layer” that one can install in the device, leaving holes for important hardware (display, cameras, etc.). Much like a regular smartphone case.

This film layer will somehow be connected to the main display. We are not sure how that works exactly, but it raises one concern – battery life. This issue has been haunting Android users since the operating system’s release (not to mention other platforms). And while we do not yet know how power efficient this technology will be, it is something to keep in mind.

Regardless of how exciting the concept sounds, it may come with some downsides. We will simply have to wait until more details are released. That is, if this project ever sees the light of day; we have seen many patent filings never been carried out. Is this something you guys would even want if it did came out? Would you enjoy extending your display to the whole device?

Here is a concept video of something similar Nokia has been considering. It is taken a step further, though. Nokia displays a much more integrated extended display. Check it out and hit the comments section to share your opinions.

Via: Patent Bolt

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • jsweetser2

    I’m all about innovation, i do however fail to see the application of this technology in the mainstream. Meh

    • CactusCat

      I remember your grandfather stating “Those horseless carriages will never catch on…” So to you I say, MEH.

    • King Chris Scott

      ya this is so amazing, and the moment they release this product I’ll be getting one

  • professandobey

    Unless I’m missing something here , I don’t think this would have an appreciable effect on battery life. This seems to just be a system of coordinating the wallpaper with a decal around the whole phone. Am I wrong?

    • LukeT32

      Sounds like a display the size of the phone…. Aka battery hog.

    • redman618

      Well if i’m seeing/reading it right, it would be like another screen. Hence taking juice to provide that beautiful Sammy display that we have all become addicted to. But hey I could be wrong, it has been known to happen; just ask my wife ;).

      • masoidfhu

        Cheap fashion Ainol of Novo 7, Paladin First the Android 4.0 the Tablet PC $ 97.99

  • temp

    Those are the most adorable drawing ever for a patent filing.

  • kwills88

    Oh man, with this we can have large screens, while maintaining a small body devices.

  • Joel

    So far it sounds like viewing entertainment and gaming would be the most practical application.

  • ranwanimator

    I’d be ok with edge to edge screens like in this tech demo (unfortunately for iPad)

    The trouble would be with touch detection near the edge when you are holding it. That’s why they have bezels now.

    • Ishken

      I think people need to try using the devices without holding onto the front of the device. I have never used either my phone or tablet by holding onto the bezel to stabilize the device. It really wouldn’t take much getting used to for a user who does to not do it any more. Use your thumb to homd it along the side while the rest of your hand is used to cradle the device from behind.

  • Matthew Reynolds

    Wife: “I can’t find my phone”
    Me: “muhahaha”

    • thekaz

      you could use the rear camera to project an image on the entire front of the phone, thus making the phone “invisible”!

  • Futureboy

    I’m sure it would have to be without touch capability (or touch enable/disable), but this would be the ultimate in customization. Not that it’s anything you would really need, but just imagine skinning your device with motion video or changing colors, live audio meter, etc.

    Still trying to think of a practical purpose for this outside of perhaps gaming as already mentioned, but still.. it’s a very slick idea.

  • spazby

    keep innovating sammy

  • CTown

    I wonder what’s coming next! *wink*

  • aranea

    If they use a film with passive display like the color e-ink battery life shouldn’t be problem. It would change only so often. I can see use something similar to but more advanced than Sony’s color changing bezel light on their phones.

  • Raptor

    damn I should patent similar idea of virtual bezel…

  • rashad360

    It looks cool, but I highly doubt it would make the phone more useful. Also, pocket dialing would be a nightmare!

  • Nathan D.

    The concept video makes this tech look cool and makes me want to see the prototype of this tech.

  • Y314K

    is this suppose to be the March 9th At SXSW “Exciting Special Announcement” ???? If not where is that announcement… It’s past the dateline for it… ????

    • Y314K

      Never mind.. Seems the “Exciting Special Announcement” ended up being Samsung Exclusive Angry Birds Space Content… blah!

    • aranea

      Yesterday’s post said that the “big” announcement was angry birds in space on galaxy note. Nothing to get excited about.

  • Matt Yearian

    Very neat! Will be nice to see something new from a design standpoint!

  • fc1032

    I quite like the idea of a scrolling banner on the side of the phone :)

    In fact the whole nokia video was impressive, I just didn’t like the icons and that weirdly shaped phone.

  • villardlee

    android is better

  • rainai

    Duh! Apple already had this patented in 2015! Duh! (Trolling)

  • Sander

    To me it seems that this film layer is passive: it has a single print on it. Only the image on the screen will change. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that this is about the same as Gelaskins ( does, except for that it allow for different (fitting) images for the screen.

  • Ps3y3Ops

    I wonder if Google is utilizing a similar concept in their upcoming HUD glasses? This all sounds very Terminator-like, doesn’t it? If that is the case, I wouldn’t mind being “Terminated”

  • Ironzey Lewis

    Is this a “real” technology or just more patent manipulation or a place holder?

  • haters on the rocks

    Damn that’s a nice ass patent concept I wouldn’t mind having a phone like that. Samsung make some creative thing thinking outside the box. I hope it comes out next year when I can upgrade but by then the next nexus would be out.

  • Carol

    That’s how you can tell that companies have totally run out of *USEFUL* ideas… and are now desperately trying just to add ANY new feature… just for the purpose of adding SOMETHING, anything.

    How about a 100% bugfree OS instead?

    How about coming out with a new phone that doesn’t use a very old version of Gingerbread from 2010?

    How about 2x or 3x battery life, instead?

    How about a “0 glare screen” in all lighting conditions?

    How about devices that do NOT cost $700 each?

    How about a device that isn’t destroy just from 1 drop on the floor?

    Gee, even a basic, average use can come up with ideas far better than the manufacturer can think of.

  • KRS_Won

    Samsung seems to be going bezel-less. And the main problem with that is touching the rim only to accidently open an app. This seems like a niche way of solving that problem. Then, being able to full screen it during videos and games..
    I know my MAXX missed an opportunity on having more screen (HD) real estate.