Motorola Solves a Potential Foldable Smartphone Problem
June 25, 2018
LetsGoDigital reported Motorola, a Lenovo subsidiary, which doesn’t make displays is apparently making a contribution by solving a problem causing the display to crack when folding. Motorola’s patent shows a smartphone with an OLED display that folds in two places. While OLED displays can be very flexible, frequent bending can cause permanent deformations at the crease. The patent suggests Motorola will use heat to fight off damage to the OLED display caused by folding and unfolding the display. The company plans to place a heating element in the hinges of its smartphone that will increase the temperature of the display to counteract creasing and other damage caused by repetitive use. In addition to using heat, the Motorola patent also uses movement to correct screen bend imperfections. The patent explains that the phone will automatically bend slightly in an opposite direction when heating the display to correct creases and other damage at the phone’s hinge points.
The patent doesn’t deal with the potential acceleration of OLED aging caused by the heating. Heat has always been problematic for OLEDs, which are just now able to operate effectively at 85° C as required by the auto industry, so adding heat doesn’t seem to be a constructive solution unless the OLED is insulated from the heat.
Figure 1: Motorola’s Heating Approach for Foldable Display