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Samsung Galaxy Edge phones could become more intriguing with backside touch controls

samsung galaxy edge phones could become more intriguing with backside touch controls s  buttons
Giuliano Correia/Digital Trends

Samsung’s Edge smartphones have proven to be more about looks than anything else, but that could change according to a recent patent application.

According to the patent, Samsung will implement a touch panel on the backside of the phone. This touch panel could be customized via the settings, possibly by means as simple as touching a certain spot to adjust the volume or to scroll a web page.

Related: Would you wear this? Samsung’s bizarre flexy phone that’s also a smart bangle

The controls could also get more complex depending on the user’s grip of the device. The display would detect the placement of the palm, thumb, and fingers to determine what the user wants to do. Holding the device a certain way might automatically open the Phone or Email app. Placing both hands on the device might open the onscreen keyboard.

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This patent application was filed in November 2014, but it wasn’t the first such application from Samsung. Back in 2013, Samsung filed a patent for backside touch controls for devices with transparent displays. In that application, Samsung demonstrated the ability to open folders and move objects around the main display from the backside. Users could control video and unlock the phone as well.

Backside controls aren’t new, but this particular method would be. LG has been offering simple power and volume buttons on the back of its devices for a couple of years now, but a touch panel would give users more flexibility.

Related: What if phones were clear and had touchscreens on both sides? Samsung has a patent for that

Unfortunately there is no word on when Samsung might implement such an innovation, but next year is a definite possibility.

The Galaxy S6 Edge might turn heads, but most users will agree that the edged display offers no real advantage over other smartphones. That will hopefully improve as developers jump onboard, but backside touch controls could be yet another feature that attracts more buyers to the Edge concept.