A patent application filed last week reveals that Samsung has been working on new ways to turn smartphones into laptops.
The patent relates to an Android mobile device which becomes a Windows laptop when it is inserted into a dock. Such an idea has been attempted in the past but with limited success, but now it appears that Samsung is going to have a go, writes Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge.
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Intriguing possibilities of dual-OS system
Although tech companies file hundreds of patents related to technology which never becomes a reality, this particular example is fairly detailed. Samsung shows how the core would be a smartphone or a tablet containing everything required to run Android and Windows operating systems. The accompanying dock would feature a keyboard, a large display and potentially a trackpad.
However a trackpad may not be strictly necessary due to the fact that the mobile device’s touchscreen could be used instead. On the other hand, should the dock include a trackpad, the mobile device could be used as a second display.
According to the patent, Samsung believes that the mobile device could display Android while the dock displays Windows, or alternatively the mobile device could act as an extension of the Windows desktop.
Samsung interested in combining operating systems
Windows and Android are the focus of the patent application, but it does note that other operating systems could be used instead. Samsung has previously messed about with switching between the two. The Ativ Q was introduced in 2013, capable of switching between a Windows notebook and an Android tablet.
The challenge arises from making both form factors good to use, with the added difficulty of drawing all of their power from a mobile device. Despite current limitations, it is intriguing to think that a single device could one day act as the core for all of our computing needs, and Samsung is evidently looking into the idea.
The move could mark an interesting foray into the enterprise sector by Samsung. Apple and IBM recently announced their MobileFirst enterprise strategy, and Samsung is struggling to keep up. A dual-use device could shake up the competition.