Motorola Patent Could Yield Dual-Screen Awesomeness


Motorola has gained a patent for a “Reconfigurable Multiple-Screen Display” that both GoRumors and Engadget seem to make fun of – but I think the end-result could be rather awesome. They’ve suggested the patent is for putting multiple devices together to achieve one large screen, but I think Motorola has a much different agenda. Maybe something like:


Or how about the clamshell form factor like my formerly beloved LG Voyager? That way the two screens could be flush with eachother:


I think people dismiss a lot of patents these days because of how ridiculous many seem (ahem apple ahem). I think this dual-screen version, or even something more outrageous where you unfold a device 3 or 4 times to reveal a huge screen, could be an incredible development. But still… should that be patentable? I can see how touchscreen technology should be patentable but unfolding/fitting a bunch of already-patented screens together to make a bigger screen and patent that – should you be able to?

Of course Motorola could have something COMPLETELY different in mind and many/most patents don’t ever make it to mass market in product form, but I thought it would be fun to speculate on the possibilities, especially since I personally think a pocketable dual/huge screen device would be a great idea.

Here is a pic from the patent filing:


What about having one screen be the actual multimedia and the second screen be thumbnails for picture galleries, album covers, book covers, YouTube videos or something else… so you can browse other selections while you watch the main one? There are already a bunch of “dual screen” offerings out there… but not many (if any) pocketable ones that fold out into larger screens. Unless you can name some/one?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Prior art should take care of that.
    How is this different for example from a Nintendo DS.

  2. Why is this patentable.

    It shouldn’t be.

  3. why not.
    it reminds me of a ds.

  4. Why is anything Apple patents patentable? Same concept

  5. It’s quite possible you are becoming the Xeni Jardin of Phandroid.

  6. So essentially Motorola has inb4’d Apple?

  7. Worst…photoshop…ever…

  8. I smell photoshop

  9. so you call that picture “flush” ?!

  10. BOOO more patents I like android but boo patents

  11. Have you guys seen the concept videos for the Courier?

    It’s based on Microsoft stuff as far as I can tell, but there are some really intriguing gestures. I really like the way the applications (few though there are) are seemingly designed to work together side-by-side.

    Maybe this is what Motorola is trying to get at?

  12. I believe HTC has already patented this. I don’t believe it has been approved though. After learning of the Apple lawsuit I was looking to see what types of things HTC and Google patented.

  13. Scratch my last comment.. This is the patent I was talking about:


    I glanced at the 1st pic but didn’t read it fully. This is something different.

  14. Damn! Looks like Motorola beat me to it. Looks like an idea I was working on, not the using-two-screens-to-make-a-larger-image part, but using two screens for a customizable interface. one screen a dedicated display screen with higher resolution and graphics capabilities, and the other one a lower res screen (maybe some e-ink possibilities)you can customize depending on input needs, i.e. a soft keyboard where you can move the D-pad to the left side or right side depending on preference, and then toss it aside to bring up soft gaming controls.

  15. @James
    Yup patents on everything i should patent how to breath oxygen, then you all would be screwed. (Though if we can patent anything good to see its on the Android side.)

  16. Hmm… I posted earlier and it never appeared; rejected again…


  17. Don’t they do this already. Its like when they have 6 or 9 monitors or TVs combined together to make one giant screen. are they trying to clam a patent on something like that?

  18. You shouldn’t be able to patent a device because it uses new technology like an am-oled screen or a flexible oled screen. However if you develop the flexible oled screen then you should be able to patent that.
    When larger flexible oled screens are ready to be implemented the line between phones and Pc’s will really be gone.

  19. everyone go check out the link posted by JokeyRhyme its awsome

  20. so , after the psp phone .. we get DS phone ?

  21. If they haven’t come up with a way to do it, I can’t see why a patent is allowed.

    I’m glad no one patented the *idea* of a car….

  22. what’s the last pic’s mean…I really don’t konw..

  23. most seems to have missed the ‘.’?

  24. Now if they did this so they could bring any phone next to it and set it up as a second screen, that would be something to patent. Not sure how the phones would share info, but thats not my department.

  25. @joel, bluetooth. they already do it with mobile games such as, (cant believe im saying this), that ipod touch commercial with the 3 people playing soccer.

    i think it would be pretty interesting to see what moto does with this. there has yet to be a phone (other then flip phones) with two screens and this could potentially allow people who want larger screens, but a very compact phone, to get what they desire. just think, having a screen with a total of 6″ of real estate, but can be the size of a 3″ phone when put away.

  26. Why so much hate on patents? If it weren’t for patents many of these companies couldn’t afford to invest in R & D. Intellectual property rights are crucial. Just because a company has a patent doesn’t mean other companies can’t use the design. The patent owning company could sell licenses or choose not to enforce the patent. Anarchy is not preferable to the rule of law.

  27. You can’t patent multiplexing…….wtf is wrong with the patent system?

  28. LOL! The phone in the picture is an LG Voyager and the images on the right are not real. Anyway, this does have some real potential for practical application, if properly deployed. More effective Screen space is generally beneficial, as long as they do not sacrifice a real keyboard for a soft one! IMO

  29. Yeah they could make it a touch screen keyboard only…and maybe a hard keyboard one for keyboard lovers…this is going to be interesting to see unfold…needless to say

  30. @ Rob…sometimes/most times if you do not see your post on your phone…go to the website on your computer and it willll be there

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