The future is transparent - Sony's New Smartphone Patent
Remember when people used to carry cell phones the size of bricks? This is around the time when instead being an economic necessity, the cell phones only served a singular purpose - calling. Let’s quickly go through some of the key milestones ( focusing on the basic embodiment) that helped shape what would now be referred to as man’s most loved invention.
1973 - The first ever phone call was made by Doctor Martin Cooper, a Motorola employee in New York using a prototype Dyna TAC phone. This phone however, wasn’t just another one of your accessories you could carry around in your pocket. It weighed more than a kilogram, and took 10 hours to charge.
1983 - The first mobile is launched in the market, named Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, that would leave you $4000 USD lighter if planned on buying one.
1989 - The Motorola 9800X hits the shelves - a device which we could legitimately call the first portable phone. It showcased a flip down mechanism that could cover the keypad.
1994 - IBM launches the first touchscreen phone called Simon, that even had a primitive version of what is popularly known today as Apps. It has also been called the first Smart phone, though no one at that time really knew what the term meant. Operable in only 15 of the total no of states in America, this phone would have costed you $899 to buy the Simon.
In a different part of the globe, Nokia launches it’s 2110 model in Europe, and became the smallest GSM phone available at the time.
1997 - Ericcson brings out a phone with colored keyboard panels, while Siemens launches the first colored screen phone - the S10.
1998 - Nokia launches it’s customisable 5110 which incorporated replaceable faceplates.
2000 - The Sharp j-SH04 becomes the first camera phone on the market, although, available exclusively in Japan.
Blackberry launches their 857 which supports email and web browsing.
2004 - Motorola launches the Razr V3. With it’s ultra sleek finish, it was no doubt the most good looking phone back in the day which definitely set design standards for its rivals.
2007 - Apple launches the first generation iphone which changed the tech industry. Nobody had seen anything like it before and it was an instant success.
2008 - The first android phone is released called the G1. It has limited touchscreen and a slide out keyboard
2011 - Samsung establishes itself as the biggest smartphone vendor. The Galaxy S II is a hit, packing an 8MP camera with a phenomenal AMOLED display.
2013 - Apple implements a fingerprint scanner in the touch button of its iphone 5s, after which the concept became mainstream.
2017 - Screen design dominance is on the rise, with Samsung S8 and iPhone X adopting over 82% screen to size ratio.
Impressive right? We went from shaping the cell phone to the cell phone shaping our lives. Studying this exponential climb of technology, one thing is certain - there’s always scope for something new, and Sony’s new patent sure proves that. Sony’s Patent “Display device and electronic apparatus” got published on 22 November 2018.
The patent describes a smartphone with dual screens, both at the front and rear. The first display is equipped with light emitting elements while the second display has light controls that would manipulate the reflection of incoming light, with the aim to create a transparent display.
As reported by LetsGoDigital, the display is made up of self-illuminating pixels that are two-dimensionally arranged in a matrix arrangement. Each pixel has an individual light control element that controls the transmission and reflection of incoming light. The light emitting element radiates light to both sides of the display surface (front and rear). Due to the amount of light emission and the amount of light variation, the optical transparency of each pixel changes, resulting in a transparent display.
The smartphone also consists of a light sensor and a gravity position sensor, such as an acceleration sensor and/or a gyro sensor. These sensors would determine whether the display is being used in the front or rear. The front side is also provided with buttons that could be either physical or touch responsive.
The user has the option to choose from 6 different modes, 3 for each side. They range from transparent, to semi - transparent, to non transparent.
Next the patent talks about different smartphone designs where the patented technology can be implemented - a foldable phone for instance. It would constitute of 4 screens, with two displays opposite each other. Each screen would have a separate control, with the help of which the user gets the option to customize each screen with the mode of his choice (transparent, semi - transparent, non - transparent). In addition to this, the patent also describes the possibility to produce three or more foldable displays. ( 6 screens in total).
Now with multiple screens implemented on the device, what remains to be seen is how Sony plans to monitor its power consumption. A high performance screen like this one would definitely pose a challenge concerning the battery life. Most devices that involve a display today are heading towards transparent screen technology, so it would be reasonable to say that this move by Sony might just prove to be their ticket to revive themselves in the Smart Phone industry.