The concept of a hybrid device that seeks to combine the benefits of both a phone and a tablet is not exactly new. Samsung was reportedly working on such a device last year, while other companies have filed patents for similar technology. Recently, yet another phone company has joined folding device arena - LG.
The Korean electronics company filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization back in July, which was recently published on January 12th. The patent includes a number of sketches that show off a device seemingly aimed at bridging the gap between phones and tablets.
The patent describes two variations of the device, though both are quite vague and ultimately open to interpretation. The first version appears to be a true phone-tablet hybrid - when unfolded, the device seems to have a larger tablet-like display with a camera on the back side.
When folded, the opposite occurs, turning the device into what appears to be a dedicated phone with the time displayed on the front and the same previously-mentioned camera on the back.
The second device variant is quite different. To begin with, the sketches don't seem to include a true phone display at all - when unfolded, the device has a large tablet-like display, as you might expect.
When folded, however, the device's back cover merely shifts slightly to display a small slit where information like the date and time might appear. This certainly doesn't appear to be enough space for a dedicated phone screen.
To be clear, a patent filing alone means very little coming from LG. Companies file patents for technology they never intend to use -- at least not for a long while -- on a fairly regular basis. However, with other companies seemingly working on similar technology, LG might actually make an effort to bring a device like this to market.