Apple made a great decision back in 2013 to change the materials of their flagship iPhones. The crack-prone glass back panel went out, replaced by a more reassuring aluminum build. But a new patent from the company looks to add new importance to a phone’s rear.
Patent No. 9,367,095 describes a smartphone with an all-glass body that wraps around the entire device. It has a full screen on both the front and back, and appears to have no side bezels, only thin top and bottom panels. The design would certainly look stunning, but, of course, durability will be a talking point. Still, there is hope a two-sided screen will survive poor treatment. Researchers at the University of Akron created a flexible display using electrodes layered on a polymer surface to create a virtually-unbreakable screen.
The device is created with a flexible display placed inside a curved transparent housing. The display shapes to the outside of the structure and all the internals are housed within, attached to the ends of the device. Some applications could be able to take advantage of both screens at the same time for 360-degree viewing.
These days, users still struggle with the battery life a smartphone with one screen gets, so powering a second will require some nifty innovation. According to the patent, the device has face tracking sensors so the displays only activate when the phone knows you are looking.
It will be interesting to see how Apple addresses the concerns of battery life and durability if this futuristic device becomes a reality. Samsung is said to be creating its own dual-screen smartphone, but with much different execution. It reportedly plans to announce a foldable device later this year.