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  • A new Huawei patent details a new control method for a rollable phone.
  • The company describes how air gestures could be used to retract or extend the display, and control the speed of this process.
  • The patent builds on previous rollable phone documentation from the company.

Rollable phones promise the convenience of a tablet in a form factor of a traditional smartphone. But controlling how and when that screen extends is seemingly the next development battleground. Huawei has now formulated a solution powered by gesture-sensing smarts.

Per a new patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, Huawei further builds on its rollable phone patents with its latest documentation and provides a further explanation of how a user might be able to control it.

For starters, Huawei could let users control the screen extension through physical finger swipes, complete with haptic feedback and audio alerts. However, the company also details an air gesture control method. Users would be able to activate the screen by swiping their hands above a camera or dedicated sensor. The sensor would then translate this movement to either retract or expand the display. Notably, Huawei’s gesture system could also allow users to slow down or speed up the screen’s scrolling speed. This could be done by holding a certain number of fingers above the sensor.

Huawei has previously experimented with hand gesture controls on its Mate series. It was developed for users who intended to use their devices hands-free, but it could be more useful on a larger device like a rollable smartphone. It might be more fluid to activate a display with a free hand gesture in certain situations instead of using two hands on the device.

See also: Oppo’s rollable phone is pure magic, and I can’t wait to buy one

This is by no means the first rollable phone patent we’ve seen from Huawei. Previous documentation described a phone with a wrap-around display, while another set detailed the display’s actuation system.

There’s no telling if or when Huawei will debut a rollable phone. If the stream of patents is anything to go by, it’s by no means a dead project.