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Patent Shows Amazon's Design for Two-Sided Tablet

By - Source: Mashable | B 24 comments

Amazon was awarded a patent for a tablet sporting a screen on both sides.


Mashable has uncovered a patent awarded to Amazon -- called Multi-Display Type Device Interactions -- that reveals a tablet design sporting a screen on each side. The patent suggests that one screen will be e-ink-based for static reading, while the other will be LCD-based and optimized for watching video. A camera will also be embedded on each side to determine which screen the user is currently using.

"A device might alternatively utilize at least one camera to determine which side of the device is facing the user, and might activate the display on that side of the device to convey content," the patent reads. "A device might display notifications on an edge of the device, such that a current orientation of the device might be less important."

According to the patent, each display will be touch sensitive so that the user can move content between the two screens. Battery consumption will actually be improved, as slow-moving to non-moving content will be shifted to the e-ink screen.

"An electronic device including two or more display elements can provide enhanced functionality with improved rates of power consumption," the filing reads. "A user can cause information that does not change rapidly to be provided or moved to a relatively static display element, such as an electronic ink display, which enables that information to be displayed for a period of time with little additional power consumption."

The patent was filed by Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nevada on February 25, 2011 and finally granted on August 30, 2012. That said, don't expect to see a dual-screen Kindle Fire appear during Amazon's big reveal next week. If anything, maybe this will be the Kindle Fire 3 design for 2013, possibly eliminating the base Kindle device for good.

 

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    zoenphlux , August 31, 2012 11:58 AM
    Its like a Paradox. No mater how or where you lay it, a screen is at risk.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    zoenphlux , August 31, 2012 11:58 AM
    Its like a Paradox. No mater how or where you lay it, a screen is at risk.
  • -4 Hide
    zoenphlux , August 31, 2012 11:59 AM
    This just seems like a Customer Service nightmare. TWICE the chances to break it. TWICE as much time cleaning the screens. TWICE the chances to be letdown by android. lol jk on the last part.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    NuclearShadow , August 31, 2012 12:05 PM
    It is just a bad idea with little practical use and no doubt going to cause a much higher price tag. Because of this it will also need a locking system that cannot be accidentally done on the other side which means it will be a annoying one when you actually do want to unlock it. Tablets should he handled as gently as a baby too, and with two screens for each side... I would never feel comfortable resting it anywhere.
  • 1 Hide
    jaquith , August 31, 2012 12:27 PM
    Idiotic idea.

    I could see a 'folding' tablet 'V' with screens on the right & left (or top & bottom), but this front & back will never see the light of day outside of a lab.
  • 5 Hide
    waxdart , August 31, 2012 12:36 PM
    Toggle screen button too good for them?
  • 2 Hide
    kinggraves , August 31, 2012 12:47 PM
    This is what happens when companies are afraid to do anything that looks anything like what could possibly be an Apple device. In b4 Android icons become triangles.

    Oh, and isn't it nice how vague patents can be? "Well maybe it can do this, and possibly it will look like that..." No, exact description of the product youre covering and that alone, bad patents office, no treat for you
  • 0 Hide
    ihavenoid4u , August 31, 2012 12:49 PM
    if you could get twice the amount of battery time then im sure it would be successful. who doesnt buy a case for their products anyways
  • 1 Hide
    Jarmo , August 31, 2012 1:01 PM
    At first glance, a totally idiotic idea. On a second thought... I might want one.
    E-ink is a lot better for reading ebooks and the battery lasts forever compared to LCD. Pricing is a concern, but what does adding an additional screen cost, when all the rest is already in place? $20? $50?
    Add covers on both sides and it's a go. There's also weight and thickness to consider, but how much extra is that anyway?
  • 4 Hide
    shafe88 , August 31, 2012 1:24 PM
    NuclearShadowIt is just a bad idea with little practical use.
    Well if it comes with at stand to set it straight up in landscape mode at least it's good for electronic battleship.
  • -1 Hide
    elcentral , August 31, 2012 1:38 PM
    the only cool use i can find in the concept is to get a holder with build in mirror to double the device screen without eny expensive devises.
  • 4 Hide
    beardguy , August 31, 2012 1:50 PM
    Man you guys are hating, lol.

    I agree about the two-sided screen being a magnet to break. But honestly all the device would need would be a sort of filp-cover on a hinge. You could just flip the cover over to the screen you are not using. I don't think the idea is that you would actually use both screens at once.

    E-ink is f'ing awesome for reading. And while I don't mind reading on my Kindle Fire, it does wear on your eyes after awhile. A two-in-one device could be great. I mean, even better would be a switch that you can flip to switch the same screen from one to another, but I'm pretty sure this isn't even technically possible. Either way, to me this idea seems like it could be cool but it has to be executed with perfection.
  • -7 Hide
    killerclick , August 31, 2012 2:00 PM
    I think e-ink is overrated, at least I have no problem reading from LCD screens for 18 hours a day - or at least it's no more uncomfortable than reading from a book.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , August 31, 2012 2:13 PM
    killerclickI think e-ink is overrated, at least I have no problem reading from LCD screens for 18 hours a day - or at least it's no more uncomfortable than reading from a book.

    e-ink is amazing for what it is designed to be used for (b&w text), offering months of battery life rather than hours or days. color e-ink and mirasol displays will make their way into the market soon, and could be a really neat option for portable devices that need color in full daylight settings, mirasol displays can even do passable 20+fps video if you need it to.
    They are not for general computing, as led/oled display technology does a much better job for that. But for things that are largely text, and need to be viewed in daylight there really is very little out there to compete.
  • 1 Hide
    acadia11 , August 31, 2012 2:27 PM
    Now this is an innovative idea. A real patent none of that non-sense that Apple is awarded that is prior art. E-Ink is much better on your eyes for reading, I have both a kindle and ipad for this very reason. Here Amazon has solved a real world problem and should have been awarded a patent for it.
  • -2 Hide
    acadia11 , August 31, 2012 2:28 PM
    waxdartToggle screen button too good for them?



    Uhmmm .. maybe but you do understand e-Ink and LCD are too different technologies. e-Ink is not back lit, why it's easy on the eyes and you can't use it in the dark, lcd is back lit why it's bad on the eyes but you can use it in the dark.
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , August 31, 2012 2:54 PM
    I thought the LCD/E-INK hybrid was going to be layered. IE, E-INK on top with an LCD behind it. When E-INK is appropriate the LCD shuts off and vice versa.
  • 3 Hide
    slabbo , August 31, 2012 3:00 PM
    this is brilliant and so simple. Amazon's gonna sell a gazillion of these. It's so easy to create something to protect the side of the screen that's not in use. This could very well work!
  • -2 Hide
    spartanmk2 , August 31, 2012 4:17 PM
    Stick to distribution, Amazon. That's only what youre good at.
  • 0 Hide
    classzero , August 31, 2012 4:51 PM
    jaquithIdiotic idea. I could see a 'folding' tablet 'V' with screens on the right & left (or top & bottom), but this front & back will never see the light of day outside of a lab.

    Now if it was made by samsung it would be the best thing since . . . Air.
  • 0 Hide
    alcalde , August 31, 2012 5:43 PM
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I love it. All of the drawbacks, none of the disadvantages. e-Ink for reading books, LCD for reading color magazines and playing media. I think it's awesome.
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