Samsung’s latest Edge smartphones have introduced a novel new way to interact with your handset and the company’s R&D division is looking at ways to bring edge controls to regular smartphones with a flat display.
The company’s latest patent contains details for transparent sensor pads that can be embedded along the edge of a smartphone’s casing, rather than relying on a curved touchscreen for interaction. Although the technology appears to be based on similar materials to touchscreens.
Samsung’s patent application suggests that the sensor pads could be used to control various smartphone functions. Photography options seems like an avenue that the researchers were particularly keen to explore, moving the buttons off-screen and allowing users to take a picture, start a timer or switch to video by pressing on a part around the edge of their display. Options could also be moved around to best suit the user’s preference.
Gaming is also another use case that seems quite promising. This technology could allow a smartphone to more closely mimic common game controller shoulder buttons and move controls off the screen.
A separate patent from Samsung also suggests that the company is taking another look into its own 2-in-1 tablet notebook hybrids, which the company previously had a go at with its Series Slate 7.
Of course, patents don’t necessarily mean that any of these products will be coming to market, at least not any time soon. Still, it’s interesting to see what Samsung is working on.