Google Pixel Fold’s custom-built hinge took inspiration from various sources Leave a comment

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What you need to know

  • Google details the inspiration behind the Pixel Fold’s custom-built heavy-duty stainless steel hinge.
  • Google looked at several items such as paper, books, car door hinges, and, ultimately, a passport.
  • The 180-degree fluid friction hinge allows the Fold to sit completely flat when opened at the internal parts are shifted to the ends for the sake of a thinner device.

Google’s first entry into the foldable market is a device many have eagerly awaited and one that’ll land in consumers’ hands soon. For now, Google has detailed the items that inspired the custom-built hinge users will find on the Pixel Fold — and the additional work required to get it right. To start, an industrial designer at Google, Sangsoo Park, stated the company looked at items like books, paper, and various hinges existent in the world already like ones for car doors.

While the inspiration gained from the likes of books and paper was “surprising,” the hinge for the Pixel Fold is actually more like a passport. 

Park stated, “We wanted to recreate the way you can hold and close a book with one hand, and we wanted to replicate how both sides of it seamlessly blend together when shut.” Passports fit the bill for this particular search, as Park stated it had a “nice proportion when closed and opened.”

The unfolded Google Pixel Fold, showing the internal screen with crease

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Before the Pixel Fold launched, it was rumored at the device’s hinge would be thinner than many of the hinges featured on similar phones today. Google explains that it built a custom 180-degree fluid friction hinge for the Fold. Opening the device allows it to sit completely flat as the hinge (internally) shifts out of the way of the display. 

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