Your new flexible friend? Samsung to demo bendy 5.5-inch HD mobile screen

Many sci-fi visions of the future have featured curved screens, newspapers and magazines with integrated video that can be folded away, and even displays that can bend and be reshaped at the will of the user. While so many of the wild and wacky gadgets and gizmos envisaged in TV shows and movies have already come to life in real-world consumer technology, the dream of ubiquitous flexible displays hasn't yet materialised.

Plenty of companies are working on it though, including Nokia - which showed off a prototype over a year ago - and, as we reported back in July, Samsung. As CNET reports, Samsung Display is preparing to demonstrate its new flexible display at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which it hopes will pave the way for a new generation of devices.

The company will show off a 5.5-inch flexible screen which is said to be designed for smartphone use, and features a HD (1280x720px) resolution and 267ppi pixel density. At this stage, the display remains in the prototype stage, and isn't yet at the point of being integrated into a device for market, but the potential that this latest prototype represents is certainly tantalising.

Earlier this year, a mystery Samsung device appeared (above) sporting some very unusual curves, leading to speculation that the company was preparing to imminently release a handset featuring a flexible screen. It seems that we're still some way from that happening, but each new prototype gets us one step closer - and for those of us who love tech, that's a very exciting prospect indeed.

Source: CNET

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actually yeah! That's another thing, it would be pretty much impossible to be a capacitive touch screen because of the required digitiser, a pressure, heat or light activated one would be possible but now where technologies at at the moment!

i can imagine that such displays would allow a broad spectrum of embedded computers in all kind of clothes and uniforms. maybe not really in the private segment, but for officials, police, military, etc. this could prove awesome.

seen movie dredd? he got a little display at his arm to select some simple commands or to retrieve feeded information.

or e.g. my skiing jacket. no need to take out my phone to check time or to see if someone called. the embedded display in my jackets arm would easily show all that because of a low power link using bluetooth 4.

i think i could go on the more i think about it. i find it very promising to have flexible displays.

or do you know the old style round advertisement panels in the sideways? u could flip a huge display around that to show much better kind of commercials, advertisements or even in emergencies, feeding the picture of missed children, fugitives, etc...

ah i need to stop, this is fun :-)

Next generation iPad, which basically looks like a sheet of paper in A5 or so format. Super light and thin, can be easily folded into your bag.

Sooner or later it should be possible to make battery and all the ICs foldable as well. Intermediate solution is to attach small, thin 'bar' to the screen, which would contain required components.

The top two uses I can immediately think of are: 1. Everyone knows how easy it is to break a screen by dropping it. If the screen is flexible, it would never break when dropped, would it? Massive plus. 2. With the sheer size of some phones these days, they would be a lot more comfortable in the jeans pocket if they could flex a bit.

And yes, you're absolutely right that the hardware attached to the screen is going to be the issue. I can quite easily imagine that the chips and circuitry in a phone could all be contained in a square inch within a couple of years, which would leave the rest of the phone to flex and just have a solid bit in the middle of the back. One remaining hurdle: the battery. I'm sure they're working on that...

kaczula said,
Next generation iPad, which basically looks like a sheet of paper in A5 or so format. Super light and thin, can be easily folded into your bag.

The is reminds me of the "lets make cars better, safer":

Couple the cars together so they can't crash into each other, which also means the speed limit can be, well, limitless. Putting them on rails will allow the driver to not require steering - in fact put one driver in the front car. The cars can be more spacious - occupants can walk around...hang on, that's a train.

I don't know about a bendy phone, would be difficult to hold and having kinks in it or it being permanently wonky would **** me off a lot. The main problem with this in a phone is that the processor and memory won't bend and their size isn't going too far at the moment, there will have to be a massive electronic engineering feat to overcome the size barrier that we are nearing. Provided we do engineer something that can either distribute the processor and its memory across the device or make both so small they become irrelevant to flexibility the other two major hurdles I can see are BATTERY but also (I dont think anyone's mentioned this) any kind of wireless antennae.

If we can overcome this then I can actually see this going places, especially for military and hackers like in black ops 2 I want to see this technology get put out there!

King Mustard said,
You have to remember, hardware needs to be attached to this screen...

Exactly, this would require bendable pcb boards, with components that require solder points to be allowed to flex at will. I just don't see this happening yet.

I think it's cool as it sounds like you could drop it and it'd be fine! My iphone has had its screen break twice now...

King Mustard said,

Processor. Memory.

I was joking, but you have to realize you don't even actually need these for a computer to run. You can just have a thin client. Granted with a phone you'll need a little bit more like a mic and speakers, but you honestly don't need a processor or memory on the phone if it's just a thin client.

kaczula said,
Next generation iPad, which basically looks like a sheet of paper in A5 or so format. Super light and thin, can be easily folded into your bag.

Or use to wipe your backside when you run out of loo roll!