Samsung has unveiled a prototype phone with a flexible display, meaning it can be folded almost like paper.
During its keynote speech at the CES 2013 trade show yesterday (January 9), the Korean firm showed off the bendy display technology, as well as a phone with a curved display.
Instead of glass, the flexible phone features super-thin plastic that means it is bendable and unbreakable. The device demonstrated at the keynote ran Windows Phone 8 rather than Android.
Samsung is creating a whole new range of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) flexible displays under the Youm branding.
The screens can be made super-thin and flexible as they use OLED technology, which generates its own light and so does not need to be backlit like traditional LCD screens.
Microsoft’s chief technical strategy officer Eric Rudder came on stage to show a working Windows Phone 8 prototype phone with Samsung’s new Youm screen.
The demonstration unit had the bendy display attached to a box containing the processor. The phone was shown to flex and bend without any major distortion to the colours or icons.
Samsung has been working on flexible displays for several years and previously released a video showing the potential applications for ‘bendy’ smartphones or tablets.
Samsung said that the Youm technology will allow its hardware partners to create a whole new range of devices with “bended, foldable and moulded screens”.
At the keynote, Samsung Display executive Brian Berkeley said: “It won’t break even if it’s dropped. This new form-factor will really begin to change how people interact with their devices, opening up new lifestyle possibilities … allow our partners to create a whole new ecosystem of devices.”
The company also showed off a Youm device with a display that was curved at the edge, designed to give extra screen real estate.
Samsung suggested that the curved edge could be used to display messages to the user while keeping the rest of the display free.
Some reports have suggested that Samsung’s Youm flexible display technology will debut with the firm’s Galaxy S4 smartphone, which is expected to be unveiled this spring.