Qualcomm patents design for tri-screen mobile device

By on March 11, 2010, 2:56 PM
A recent patent filing by Qualcomm reveals a quirky, though interesting device. While Apple and others are rushing to churn out tablets with one display, Qualcomm is creating a design that has many. The multi-fold tablet would have three touchscreens with a dynamic interface that changes depending on how you use the device.

When folded, the system would have a small form factor and behave has a cell phone. As it unpacks, it could take on various roles based on how the screens are positioned. Mentioned user interface styles include panorama, desktop, application, Web browser, alarm clock, media player, and others.

There's no word on whether Qualcomm's collapsible mobile device will ever see the light of day, much less specifics on hardware or pricing. If you're looking to kill some time, head over to the USPTO site to read the complete patent entry.

User Comments: 42

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theoscentral said:

Too many creases. More prone to break.

jasonk1229 said:

very cool concept I wonder how it will actually pan out

alexandrionel said:

I was thinking a few days ago how it would be to have a flexibile screen, something with a 1" diagonal that you can pull and extend it to 7". This seems really cool and something that can be done and not science fiction.

Neojt said:

if they can make is solid i think this is an amazing concept

i really love the concept

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Looks like a really cool concept. Just have my doubts about its durability.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wow...that's pretty trippy! Definitely be interesting to see a full-blown working model.

Fotis said:

This is awesome! What a device! Hope it isn't expensive...It's the best netbook alternative...

Norino said:

don't understand the need of another screen..

let's see how it'll look like when it's finiished

Timonius Timonius said:

It's nice to see innovation for a change. I'm getting sick of all the 'tablet pc' copycating.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Seems kind of cool, mostly the new gadget part. But from that to real day to day use...I don't see it.

rajmond said:

Seems a completely new concept!

GACrabill said:

I have dreamed of this concept for awhile ... though this implementation is much better than what I was thinking of ... very, very cool.

flukeh said:

This concept seems to boast more of novelty value then actual use. The screens would crack easily if held in a pocket or a bag. Another cool addition to this would be something of a solar panel on the top screen, so when you have it in like a notebook stance, you have the top screen bent over facing the sun, and that powers the device.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That is by far one of the most interesting ideas I've seen lately. If they do release it lets hope they figure out a good way to reinforce the hinges.

tengeta tengeta said:

Looks interesting, but I guess I just don't do enough with my phone to get excited over things like this.

kozman said:

Well sure looks interesting. The biggest issue to me with mobile tablets is durability. I want something I can drop or bounce around with out damaging the unit. I hope I live to see the day when you can roll them up or fold them up anyway you want.


NSiddhu said:

This looks like a more filmy device., but the novelty will surely stand to giv t more rep in the marker (atleast for sometime when introduced)., ppl , jus like me wud luv to see t in their hands.. Waiting for more news on it., But wat i feel abt qualcomm is they are reinventing the wheel ., after apple n other companies giving out best of the touchscreens., this is jus another complicated design of the predecessors., designs to win, need not be complex. . they need to be simple to stand the needs of people..

rskapadia2294 said:

it looks like a futuristic device!it has more screens which implies that it is more prone to breakage and it must be handled delicately! but it is a good approach! i loved the concept!

but the question is - do we need things like this? ( when a laptop can easily fulfill all our needs )

Yoda8232 said:

Sounds really really cool and state of the art, I'm wondering what the warranty would be on these things...all glass phone? LOL, an accident waiting to happen.

yorro said:

I don't see this being mobile just like that, portable yes but you walking around with that thing? no.

zyodei said:

I'd be worried about durability. It's an amazing concept, though...an idea that changes form and function based on physical configuration and/or environment. Hope they can pull this off...

ToastOz said:

Good move to get a patent if you have a great idea but there is either no funding or no market for the product yet.

ansarimikail said:

Probably will be a decade before the "idea" comes to fruition.

Guest said:

This is an interesting patent. The first independent claim is fairly specific, it might make it kind of hard to find prior art. Based on how the patent system works no one will look at this for at least 2 or 3 years.

EduardsN said:

This idea has been in the air forever, also things like having a display you can fold up and all of the processing for the device would be done on a server. I don't see this coming out just yet though :P

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think OLED screens which can fold or roll up sound much more exciting. This looks a bit like a DS but with another screen.

fref said:

They could sell the concept to Nintendo for the next DS...

Serag said:

Interesting as a concept, no idea whether it would turn out being reliable or not..

TuesdayExpress said:

I will be very surprised if this ever sees the light of day before they can eliminate the bezels around each screen. And once the tech is at that point, every possible manufacturer will be jumping on similar implementations. Still, a mobile device that can triple its screen real estate (ah, just imagine with touch-enabled OLED) is a lovely idea.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

flukeh said:

This concept seems to boast more of novelty value then actual use. The screens would crack easily if held in a pocket or a bag. Another cool addition to this would be something of a solar panel on the top screen, so when you have it in like a notebook stance, you have the top screen bent over facing the sun, and that powers the device.

yeah - a lot of potential issues. But i definitely would be interested in a device that could easily fit in my pocket yet provided larger screen space when desired.

InsaneVr6 said:

Looks like it is just asking to be snapped into multiple pieces. I highly doubt this will ever see the light of day.

DryIce said:

That would be a cool product. It's different.

mv670 said:

interesting concept, I wonder how durable and strong it will actually be?

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

while some are trying to make flexible OLED screen & has it applied over normal wear, qualcomm wants to fold-unfold your media world, nice concept & i LOLed at some of your comments ...

must track this product


Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

This would work great as a wallet idea! Digital photos, digital ID, digital money...

... well, maybe not the money part.

gary4gar said:

Didn't like it, three screens aren't practical for everyday use.

chuchu232 said:

this seems like the strangest thing ever. if it comes out, i will definately try to get my hands on it for at least an hour, but im not shure about owning one. seems like a craaaaaazy ipad pc, but probably sooooo much better. i dont know about this thing.

(I said ipad pc because im not so sure about the conventional tablet. mine is an hp pavilion tx 1000 and swivels to be a notebook, but i dont know about the others.)

Kovach said:

Looks really interesting. Waiting for some reviews of performance and "usability"!

drasho said:

lol this is a weird idea =P i like hte alarm clock tough... Wonder if this is really going to come out

techsp10 said:

I like this idea and I just gonna hope that it will really happen...

AimHigh99 said:

This seems like a very cool concept. Even though they are already filing this patent, it probably won't be available to average consumers for at least another 5 more years. Until that time, maybe something more innovative will come along and make this concept irrelevant.

bigclick said:

I don't think its for me but then again I am a sucker for this type of thing. I'll have to see them in action with a track record in any case. I'm wary of the potential durability of this type formed device.

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