Vivo’s new patent hints at a hinge-less foldable phone with a laser projection keyboard

Vivo’s new patent hints at a hinge-less foldable phone with a laser projection keyboard
Vivo via USPTO

  • Vivo has filed a patent for a foldable device.
  • This device is likely to have a hinge-less folding mechanism.
  • It may also come with a projection virtual keyboard.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Flip series devices are one of the most prominent foldable phones in the market, many rumours and leaks have been doing rounds that suggest foldable devices from Oppo and its subsidiary, OnePlus. And now, a patent of Vivo suggests that a hinge-less foldable device may be on the cards from the Chinese smartphone maker.

Vivo’s hinge-less foldable

According to LetsGoDigital, Vivo’s patent suggests a double-folding smartphone with a projection virtual keyboard. The patent was filed in June this year with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) and it documents a smartphone that is like a regular smartphone when folded, but it can unfold into the tablet.

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Interestingly, this foldable device uses a hinge-less mechanism to fold and unfold. The folding process will be powered by a telescoping system that does require hinges and can prevent the creases that form with regular uses of these foldable devices. The telescopic system may feature additional components such as a groove to hide it from the outside.

Vivo trifold device

Parvez Khan, a graphic designer, teamed up with LetsGoDigital to create a 3D product render of Vivo’s trifold device based on the patent. According to the render, the smartphone will have narrow edges, with the top and bottom edges equipped with the camera set-up and other sensors.

The folding would be similar to that in Samsung’s foldable phones, Z-fold, and it will not require an additional front display as the top screen automatically converts into the front display. This is different from the expected OnePlus foldable smartphone, which is likely to have a “6” or “G” fold.

Projection Virtual Keyboard

The product render suggests the phone unfolds into an 8-inch tablet and the company wants to offer a 16:9 screen ratio screen, which is similar to laptops.

And with the addition of a projection virtual keyboard, productivity can be increased manifold. This will mean that you would be able to use the smartphone like a compact notebook if it can be supported by an accessory for the keyboard to be projected at the right position.

Although the renders are based on the patent, Vivo might not launch a device exactly similar or even close to the product render. However, Vivo may use some of the technologies from the patents to launch its devices in the future.

The virtual keyboard may be a concept that Vivo wants to deploy on its future tablets and regular smartphones. While the foldable device may altogether be a separate device having its own unique features. However, we will only get more details once Vivo announces the specifics of its foldable device.

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