iPads, flexible displays, and Windows 8

We've known for a while that Samsung and Nokia have their sights set on getting flexible displays into the hands of consumers as early as next year, but the new technology may be more of a threat than Apple realizes. While folding up your tablet to fit in your pocket sounds like a bit of a gimmick right now, Forbes thinks that it could leave Apple in the dust.

As far as we know, Apple hasn't really put any work into creating competing technology (there would probably be a lawsuit by now if that were the case), since it sounds downright gimmicky. Flexible screens are like 3D video; it's might be fun to twist and bend at first, just because it's new, but does it really do anything any better? Forbes thinks that it could.

 

For instance, bendable screens could actually offer a more elegant solution to impact protection than Apple's iPhone airbags, or even let you mold your smartphone into glasses. And everyone likes new form factors for gaming. It's not hard to imagine bending the screen to send Angry Birds flying through the air.

Besides Samsung, Nokia is also hard at work on flexible displays of their own. If all goes well, there might be just enough time for Microsoft to bake some of the functionality into Apollo, the next version of Windows Phone, and, of course, Windows 8. If they can actually pull it off without losing any much of the quality we expect from our displays, flexibility might just be the beachhead Microsoft needs to take on the iPhone and iPad. It's all riding on the hardware maker's shoulders, and it's hard not to be a little (read: very) skeptical.

Image courtesy of CNet

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Facebook still working on Timeline feature

Next Story

TechSpot: Cooler Master Storm Trooper Case Review

31 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

if someone comes up with a foldable smartphone/tablet hybrid then the entire computer industry will change

Like with most of their 'innovations' Apple will sit back, then buy the company that makes it work and claim they invented the thing..

paulheu said,
Like with most of their 'innovations' Apple will sit back, then buy the company that makes it work and claim they invented the thing..

Like Microsoft basically did with the Kinnect? But then again I keep forgetting most like to apply double standards.

.Neo said,

Like Microsoft basically did with the Kinnect? But then again I keep forgetting most like to apply double standards.

Microsoft integrated technology they bought into it, they didn't just slap the Apple logo on something...

.Neo said,

Like Microsoft basically did with the Kinnect? But then again I keep forgetting most like to apply double standards.

So, does Microsoft claim they invented this magical, revolutionary feature?

Sounds like a gimmick right now. Apple will wait until someone perfects the technology, then they incorporate into the iBend and everyone will say it's "revolutionary" and "only Apple could do it".

I think this could be quite nice for people like me who put their Smartphone into their pocket. If it bends, it wouldn't tend to poke you in the side when sitting down. But that's about it.

But I don't really see that it will help much when dropping it. Sure, there might be some energy lost while the display bends a little. But the true counter to this would be a more "break resistant" material.

A year ago I heard Samsung was working on a material for displays that should be as scratch resistant as Gorilla glass, and also much more resitant against breaking. What is up with that?

even if it is bendable... i don't see the big deal... Now tell me I can FOLD it then yes, that will be useful, but bendable why?

Bending a little and folding a tablet to fit in your pocket are totally different. Folding display would be amazing. Bending, so-so but kinda gimmicky

SpyderCanopus said,
Bending a little and folding a tablet to fit in your pocket are totally different. Folding display would be amazing. Bending, so-so but kinda gimmicky

+1

L1ke 20 N1njas said,
That image has got to be stretched. What's up with the person's thumbs?!

Hadn't noticed that, lol. I played around with it, and it looks like that's just how the image is. The guy just has freakishly long thumbs

offroadaaron said,
Gimmick. Cool but gimmicky.

I agree. Would I like playing around with one, sure. But I honestly don't think I would ever buy one...

Panda X said,
Wouldn't it be annoying if you had one and after a while it was always bent one way?

Exactly, and that pretty much happens with everything that's foldable

Wombatt said,
This will be even more useful when PCB's and components are flexible.

Flexible PCBs are easy.

Flexible (generally organic, hopefully printed) transistors dense as what we need for this? Not so easy. Gotta have a rigid handle to house the brain.

Also, batteries.

Enron said,
The new question: But will it bend?

Not a personal insult, but this really isn't funny anymore..

Richio said,

10 people disagree

Not likely, there's a difference in time between when his post has been posted and when my post has been posted.

Wait, so this is coming soon? I thought flexible screens were in extremely early prototype stages...

EDIT: Like, in the lab kinda prototype stages.

MASTER260 said,
Wait, so this is coming soon? I thought flexible screens were in extremely early prototype stages...

EDIT: Like, in the lab kinda prototype stages.

Microsoft show off some laptops with flexible screens somewhere. I can't find the video now.

MASTER260 said,
Wait, so this is coming soon? I thought flexible screens were in extremely early prototype stages...

EDIT: Like, in the lab kinda prototype stages.

I think it's getting close. The companies seem to see it as being a make or break thing to get out soon.