Although HP has made a bunch of smartphones, we bet printers and PC hardware are the top things that come to mind when you hear their name. But it looks like the company has loftier ambitions, with a recent report revealing that HP has filed a patent for a clamshell phone not unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
The patent which was approved by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) last month talks about putting flexible displays on devices like phones, tablets and computers. The description filed mentions a moveable hinge that can fold the gadget in question into different positions.
This means HP might not be planning to work on a smartphone that merely folds in half. As seen in the images, it may be able to bend exactly into half or pulled back a little, enabling a small portion of the screen to still be visible.
It would eliminate the need to include a separate cover display for notifications like incoming calls, messages or mails, on the other side of the phone. Users might also be able to fold the smartphone into a half open position to resemble a small laptop.
As LetsGoDigital notes, HP is mainly concerned with solving the issues plaguing bendable displays. The company is betting on auxetics – structures or materials become thicker when stretched – to deal with the problem of screens getting thinner (thus affecting durability) when they’re folded.
Also see: Huawei Patent Reveal New Clamshell Foldable Phone Similar To Galaxy Z Flip
HP hasn’t been in the smartphone game since the launch of the 2016 Elite X3 powered by Microsoft’s failed Windows 10 Mobile OS. It’ll be interesting to see the results if the company resolves to make another go at this market.