Tech giant Samsung has filed patents for a number of different smartphones which feature non-rigid screens.
The Korean company has previous for working on flexible screen technology, including a non-rigid YOUM display that demonstrated how smartphone screens may soon bend, fold and roll.
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Samsung files patents for bizarre flexible smartphones
The technology has moved beyond a pipe dream and into the realm of serious possibility. Samsung for one appears to be devoting some resources to research and development of flexible screens.
A recent patent filing from the company reveals plans for rollable, foldable and bendable smartphones. The first is a rollable handset that looks fairly similar to a scroll. If such a device becomes reality, it could offer the perfect compromise between portability and screen size.
While many companies are offering bigger screens on so-called “phablets,” portability becomes an issue. With rollable technology the bulk of today’s larger smartphones could be drastically reduced into a tube-shaped device which unfolds before use.
Will we soon see cellphones which fold up in your pocket?
Another part of the patent reveals that the flexible screen could be made up of an OLED or flexible LCD unit, in which glass is replaced by plastic film. With continued research we might not be too far away from bending screens.
The second item on the patent is a device which boasts a hinged tab that folds down over the screen when the device is not in use. When it opens out, it almost doubles the size of the device.
Lastly there is a bendable smartphone which simply folds over itself at the top of the handset. On the outside of the flap are icons for quick actions, including shortcuts to WhatsApp and text messages.
The filing of patents does not mean that these madcap devices will ever be brought into production. Technology companies file plenty of patents with the aim of heading of rivals rather than bringing the devices to consumers.
While flexible screens have a decent chance of becoming reality, it is highly unlikely that Samsung’s rollable, bendable or foldable handsets will make it onto the high street.