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Smartphone manufacturers are steering the industry into an era of the folding phone. Sure, the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X are not available until later in the year, but they show a new direction for mobile technology. Not wanting to be left behind, Google seems to be developing its own Pixel smartphone with folding screen tech.


A WIPO Patent filed by Google and discovered by Patently Mobile shows the company is exploring bendy screens. Titled "Foldable display neutral axis management with thin, high modulus layers", the patent describes on device components that would allow a smartphone to bend.


Google's apparent entry into the foldable phone market is significant as it suggests bendy screens are here to stay. Samsung and Huawei are already on board, the two largest smartphones manufacturers on the planet. Now Google seems to also be on board, the owner of the Android ecosystem.


In fact, it really isn't any surprise to see Google move into the foldable phone market. After-all, the company has tweaked Android to provide the software underpinning for devices with bending screens.


Stopping to think about the potential, it is easy to see how folding smartphones will be revolutionary. Users can have a video chat in WhatsApp going on one side of the screen, while posting on Facebook on the other side. Or what about consuming media while also using an online service. For example, a user could be watching a ball game live on one side of the screen while making in-game bets with a New York sports betting website.


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Patent Details

 

Google's plan for folding technology centers on Young's modulus to create layers that move independently of the neutral plane. If you are unfamiliar with Young's modulus, it is a number that measures the elastic abilities of a given material. Foldable displays are easier said than done because separate layers of the screen bend at different angles, creating a bump at the fold.


In its patent, Google has its own way of overcoming this issue. By using materials to make elasticity adjustments, the company's tech would theoretically remove the bump that is currently visible on folded smartphone screens.


The obvious question is what material will Google use? Well, the company is working with a material comprised of glass fibers and polymers for the transparent layer.


Another notable piece of information from Google's patent is that the company seems to be pursuing a clamshell design for its foldable phone. Samsung and Huawei have opted for a book style device, which would allow the handsets to be tablet sized when unfolded. Google's approach could mean a smaller device in the pocket, which unfolds to be the size of a modern smartphones.


As is always the case with patents, it is worth remembering that there are no guarantees the technology will ever be developed. Still, it does show that Google is working on folding screens and that could one day mean a folding Pixel smartphone. 



The mobile market is expected to take a huge leap in a bold new direction with foldable smartphones. As is expected for release by Samsung and Huawei this year, this approach means that smartphones will be able to have tablet-sized screens but still remain pocket-sized and convenient. Mobile gaming and media consumption have influenced the gradual rising size of smartphone screens. This recent folding innovation could have come about in order to enhance the gaming experience. This ingenious invention could boost the thriving mobile gaming sector even more.



The mobile gaming market is already booming, and was worth $137.9 billion in 2018. It is projected to grow to an astonishing $180 billion by 2021 - and this rapid increase could be helped by foldable smartphones. Looking at the Galaxy Fold from Samsung, the screen will open up to a size of 7.3 inches. Its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S10, has a screen size of 5.8 inches. Given the fact that the S10 is considered among the larger smartphones ever made, it highlights just how much bigger the foldable offering will be.



According to GO-Globe, over 62 percent of smartphone users install and play games on their devices, and it makes sense that to be able to enjoy the games fully they would require a larger screen. This is one of the reasons why tablets came about, but the bigger devices are bulkier and harder to carry around than smartphones. Foldable smartphones could bring about a happy medium.




The iGaming industry has played a major part in boosting the mobile gaming market, with a lot of slot games now being made with primary considerations focusing on the smaller devices rather than desktop. Games like Action Bank Slot and Ace of Spades, offered by Lucky Pants Bingo, can be played from mobile or desktop, but are arguably better suited to mobile play as the reels are enlarged to fit the whole screen. This creates a more immersive experience. On a larger surface with high definition graphics, these games will look even more impressive.



Another huge success story of the mobile gaming industry is the MMO genre, with titles like Ragnarok Online leading the way. These games have encouraged mass cooperative play online, and have challenged more established offerings like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls for supremacy. The reason why they don't totally dominate over desktop offerings could be down to the fact that some players need to see these types of games on a larger screen. This is where the foldable smartphones could come in and help bring more players over to mobile.



With foldable smartphones yet to hit the market, there is still a lot of uncertainty around them. Samsung has said that its offering will be durable enough to last 200,000 folds. But the company has also had some disastrous products in the past which it has had to recall due to serious faults. If foldable phones don't have any major problems, they could become the norm in the near future. And if this happens, it is likely to be a major boost to the mobile gaming market.


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