Samsung Files Patent for Flexible Screens
Well it seems like there’s no shortage of tech news these days. Samsung is the latest company to turn heads following their latest patent application which is definitely unlike anything we’ve seen to date. The patent shows some extremely abstract ideas relating to what appears to be a flexible smartphone.
This goes way beyond the current generation of curved oled screens like we’re seeing on TVs or wearable tech like Android gear. The main difference between the current line of curved screens available is that the current technology is curved but is still rigid. In contrast, Samsung’s patent seems to show a device that can be bent into shape, and will retain its shape until the user manipulates it again.
While it may be a little hard to wrap your brain around what you’d do with this the Samsun patents seem to point to a couple of potential uses envisioned by Samsung’s engineers. For example, imagine shaping the phone into an “L” or “^”. In either of these configurations the phone will sit upright and cane be used as something like a desk calendar, or music player, or a clock. The one that struck us immediately is laying the phone down along it’s length with a slight inward bend at the middle. By creating this triangular shape, you now have an instant phone stand anywhere you are! I know it’s a little hard to envision but there’s a gallery at the end of the article with all the images. Those are just two examples; I’m sure the world’s geeks will figure out ever more imaginative ways to make use of this upcoming feature. Once it’s released that is.
While there are some similar currently in development; the big issue has always been protecting the screen from wear and tear. Currently, there is no prototype that can withstand the constant manipulation which seems to be Samsung’s goal. The patent seems to indicate that the new design will somehow endeavour to allow the screen to flex and maintain its shape via a system of “controlled sliders” and “free stop hinges”.
Of course, there are no guarantees that this kind of tech will ever end up in any consumer products but the concepts here seem too big to just be a smoke show from Samsung. It’s a bold move from a Company that has begun to stagnate slightly after being a dominant force in the mobile phone industry for years. Analysts are universally praising the move which may just bring about the next big shift in computing.
Photos courtesy of Patently Mobile