Ford has filed a patent application for an “articulated display” mounting that would let touchscreens swivel from side to side.
Published on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Sep. 26, the patent application details the use of a ball joint attached to the back of a screen that would allow it to move. A locking pin would keep the screen in place once it’s set at the desired angle.
This type of mounting would be used with a freestanding screen, which is already becoming fashionable in new cars. With no other attachment point other than the cylindrical mount, the screen could be rotated from a portrait to landscape orientation like a giant smartphone, something that’s already possible in the Fisker Ocean.
Ford doesn’t go into detail about possible uses for this design, but it makes sense alongside other recent patent filings from the automaker.
Ford swiveling display patent image
In recent months, Ford filed a series of patent applications for reconfigurable interior features, including swivel seating, a retracting steering wheel, and an in-cab work station. Other applications filed earlier in the year cover a dashboard desk and and lay-down front seats.
None of these features are guaranteed to reach production, but if Ford is considering making interiors that can be reconfigured into work stations or hangout spots, a movable screen would add even more flexibility. All of these features would also be a logical extension from the fold-flat seats and foldable shifter already available on the F-150.
Speaking of pickup trucks, Ford is planning to launch a new electric pickup code-named T3 in 2025. Ford CEO Jim Farley has called the T3 the “Millennium Falcon of trucks,” so it seems like as good an application as any for new interior features.