Samsung may want you to close your fingers in a Galaxy Z Fold 3 on purpose. And it's all in the name of health tracking. A new patent found by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) details the company's idea for adding new biometric sensors into a foldable device to monitor your heart health.
The illustrations in the patent show a foldable a lot like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, including the rear camera module and front cover display. The text of the patent also mentions this system could be used on a clamshell-style foldable; therefore, it's possible that either the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Galaxy Z Flip 3 models could get this tech installed.
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Titled "Foldable electronic device and method of estimating bioinformation using the same (opens in new tab)", the patent details how the hypothetical system could be used for measuring health factors like blood pressure and stress levels, as the best fitness trackers and best smartwatches can do now. In addition, the patent mentions taking more complex readings such as for "vascular age, arterial stiffness, aortic pressure waveform, vascular compliance,... and fatigue level".
The system will account for the user's age, gender and BMI when making the measurements, much like health apps you can already find on your phone. In addition, the patent says it will account for either environmental factors to make for more reliable testing.
To track these stats, the phone will contain multiple sensors fitted beneath the display. The sensors are mounted on the outer edges of the device's display, and closing the phone on your finger helps ensure a consistent amount of pressure for the measurements. The results will then appear on the internal or external display depending on the test you're performing.
If the thought of closing the fragile display of your $2,000 foldable onto your finger is stressing you out, Samsung has alternative ideas. One is to have the user hold the phone open with their fingertips on both edges of the display, while the other involves mounting the sensors on the back of the phone and then resting it across your palm.
A new type of Samsung foldable
LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) has also found another interesting piece of Samsung documentation: a trademark for "Samsung Z Fold". By itself it doesn't mean much, but with some extra context it could reveal Samsung's future plans for foldables.
Previous trademarks for Samsung's foldable phones have included the phrase "Galaxy Z" and "Z Flip," which only apply to phones. This new trademark, which has a more generic name, also applies to tablets. It's looking like Samsung is laying the groundwork for a foldable tablet, such as the recently rumored Galaxy Z Fold Tab.
A foldable Galaxy Tab is unlikely to appear this year, but Samsung looks to already be working on it. One rumor even says we'll see it launch in January (opens in new tab).
As for new Z Fold and Z Flip models, Samsung is rumored to be preparing for a launch event in the summer for them both. If that doesn't turn out to be true, then we'll likely see the new foldables in the fall, a full year after the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. As our current best foldable phones pick, we're very excited to see how Samsung improves on the Z Fold 2 for the Z Fold 3.