We’ve had flip phones, sliding screens and HTC even revealed the world’s first ever ‘squeezable phone’ last week. But Samsung is gearing up to go one gimmicky step further by unveiling the inaugural ‘stretchable’ display panel.
Designed to be used in wearables, foldable phones and cars, the 9.1-inch stretchable display will be showcased at the US tech fair this week, according to news reports coming out of South Korea. The reports suggest that the 12mm-thick display will be able to fold both ways, can be curved and rolled.
A Samsung spokesman told the Korea Herald that the company is ready to unveil the new screen at the US tech fair which begins tomorrow and runs until May 25. “While current flexible OLED is able to [bend] on only one side, this stretchable OLED can be transformed — whether curved, bended or rolled — in both sides, above and below," a Samsung spokesperson said. “The technology is however still in its early days.”
The news isn’t entirely surprisingly given the onslaught of patents submitted from tech companies in relation to flexible displays. In February Apple submitted a patent for a stretchable input/ output device (i.e. a stretchable iPhone) while Samsung has been linked with a malleable Galaxy X smartphone and tablet range.
Whether or not we see a stretchable smart phone this year – or even next – remains to be seen. What is for certain is the upcoming growth of the flexible display markets. Fetching $3.7 billion last year, the global flexible display market is predicted to rise to $15.5 billion by 2022.
IHS Markit analyst Jerry Kang said: “The varieties of flexible displays include screens that are bendable, curved and edge-curved, but fully foldable form factors are expected within the next two years.”