The smartphone or tablet of the future will be as flexible as paper — enabling users to fold and bend their screens to more easily read maps and other documents.
During Samsung's keynote event at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, the consumer tech giant previewed its future concept for a bendable smartphone device. Brian Berkeley, head of Samsung Electronics Co.'s display lab in San Jose, California, showcased a device that features a matchbox-sized hard casing and a flexible color screen.
The bendable smartphone devices are being branded YOUM. In a news release, Berkeley spoke about the device's potential:
This new form factor will really begin to change how people interact with their devices, opening up new lifestyle possibilities ... and allow our partners to create a whole new ecosystem of devices.
The flexible screen utilizes OLED technology and a thin layer of chemicals that produces a bright, colorful screen. Samsung facilitated flexibility by laying the chemicals over thin plastic instead of glass.
Berkeley also demonstrated a smartphone with a rigid screen that can be bent at the edges.
Samsung followed up the bendable smartphone showcase by airing a concept video that shows a phone-sized device that opens up like a book, which goes on to unveil a tablet-sized screen within. The entire press conference can be seen below:
In 2011, Nokia also gave a sneak peek at its line of future bendable smartphones at the Nokia World show. Video footage of that device can be seen below:
Stephen Bell, technology consultant and president of Keystone Global Partners, told AP, "The concept of the flexible screen has been around for some time, but it finally looks as if Samsung is really going to deliver on that technology."
Samsung offered no official word on when these flexible smartphone screen displays would be ready for sale.