The patent filings themselves list a wide range of uses for such a device, including "dual homepages, mode-switching capability, a pocket mode homepage screen, a gallery map, a task manager, a private broadcast, a clipboard, an electronic book, a video conference, a cooperative game, a calendar, a phone conversation, a camera...."
But one of the patent applications covers even more innovative user interfaces, whereby one of the screens is held steady and the other is moved, so that the two screens swivel relative to each other, and at the same time the user touches or swipes on one of the screens. This UI mechanism truly leverages the uniqueness of the dual screen.
Would such a device take off? Recent indications are that e-book devices are effectively displaying paper books even among non-early-adopters, including in older age markets. The heavy involvement of Amazon and Barnes and Noble has sped up what seems to be a steady transition from paper books to e-books.
But many people indicate that they still like the "feel" of a real book. And let's face it - most of us prefer relaxing on the couch or in bed with a paperback than with a pad of paper. So an e-book reader that mimics this feel more closely would appear to be a real winner.
The idea of two-screen devices certainly isn't new - other devices are already on the market. But they're not catching on significantly.
But Samsung, with the strong success of their Galaxy line, including the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Player, might be uniquely poised to succeed with such a device. Might these patents be showing us the soon-to-come Galaxy Reader?