Jan 09 AT 5:12 PM Dustin Earley 32 Comments

Samsung demoes flexible OLED prototype device


Now that smartphone manufacturers have mastered multi-core processors capable of handling the most intense of computing tasks, camera sensors that rival $300 point-and-shoots, massive full HD displays that look like vibrant, glowing printed paper and radio technology that provides handhelds with faster data speeds than home connections, what’s next? Samsung is putting their money on flexible displays.

At CES 2013, Samsung has a functional flexible OLED display prototype available for attendees to get a look at the future of mobile displays. The device, while lacking a bonafide smartphone operating system and other key components, features a 5-inch display sitting at “about” 1280×720. The display wraps around the side of the prototype with a soft bend. In the demo software on the device, the extra screen space that follows the bend is used to display easily accessible information like message details and a stock ticker. This is the kind of practical application Samsung sees for a device with a flexible display.

Samsung’s flexible OLED prototype device certainly carries that second-look, futuristic vibe, but a glance-able stock ticker is a little uninspiring. Still, it’s always fun to see what the next generation of mobile technology may hold.

Source: The Verge

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • http://midweststitch.com ajonrichards

    I feel like there’s got to be some useful application for this, so kudos for them for trying to think outside the box and create some new concepts.

  • 787 Coffinliner (burns every day)


  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I *wish* these flexible screens could mean fewer shattered phone screens but that simply isn’t a reality since 1) It’s usually not the screen that cracks/shatters but is usually the glass in front of the screen 2) these flexible screens will still have brittle glass in front of them that will continue to shatter.

    Definitely interested in some *real* applications for these! (no, not a stock ticker…)

    • Sean Lumly

      Considering the curved, transparent front, it would be interesting to find out if Samsung used a thin plastic (eg. optical plastic) rather than glass to cover the display. This would virtually eliminate shattered screens, and with a Diamond Like Coating, could provide excellent scratch resistance as well. One can only dream!

      I hope to see this technology in their upcoming smartphone line, but something tells me that the production capacity, price, resolution, etc, will miss the mark for this to be realistic for this generation of devices.

      • cb2000a

        It won’t be glass covered. Hopefully the Note 3 will have some of this tech.

    • WlfHart

      I’m hoping sometime they just remove the glass entirely and get the flexible screen to a point where it can roll up into a handle when not in use. Somewhat like the devices in Earth: Final Conflict. Maybe still have to “stock ticker” feature for the little bit of the screen that is at the outside of the rolled up mass.

    • uknowme

      How about if they put a quarter inch strip all the way around the bottom instead of a notification light. That way you could see an actual text or who called at a glance.

  • Nathan D.

    Well interesting, not very useful or practical yet, I’ll pass on that.

  • spazby

    Twitter feed on a side?

  • Nate B.

    I would rather see the middle concave in and very little bezel to none. They can come up with a better design but its an introduction at the least.

  • sylvan

    If it was *much* bigger, maybe a cylindrical display kiosk with touch screen? The kinds of curvature needed for a pocket sized device make it almost unusable.

    • Futureboy

      Exactly. I think large scale is where the future of flexible displays is. I see it in shopping malls, airports, movie theaters, etc.

      For mobile, if they could somehow flex the display around the back for a 360 degree display AND resolve the touch problems from simply holding it, that would be amazing. It would give both front/rear facing cameras a screen, Could also enable sharing photos/videos with friend, NFC enhancements? Perhaps, auto enabling touch on the “up’ side of the display and disabling the touch on the “down” side?? Could have possibilities…

    • cb2000a

      It will be used in folding screens. I saw a lab demo of this. So your cellphone can be smaller with a large fold out screen.

  • Ben Rollier

    “camera sensors that rival $300 point-and-shoots”

    Examples please.

    Also, I’d rather they work on implementing some sort of optical zoom lens system, rather than a bendable screen.

  • rashad360

    I want to see a smart watch with the screen curving around my wrist!

  • mattcoz

    I have a feeling if a jacket is on top of the phone it will be covering the side as well… maybe if a book was on top of it.


    Cool tech, but I’m waiting to see a more practical way to use it rather than on a smart phone for a stock ticker or notification area. my guess is that this takes off on something other than a traditional display device like smartphone or tablet.

  • iPad mini was the megaseller in December 2012, dominating

    Another useless device from Samsuck

    • snowbdr89

      Kinda like you and your I crap mini?

  • aranea

    For the near future the flexible electronics are the ones that excite me most. I want to see the whole device to be flexible though not just curved screen.

  • donger

    So sick.

  • Irfan Samuel

    So it’ll be like smartphone + pager. But I wonder how are they going to use it properly since the phones are getting thinner and thinner? So you won’t have enough curved screen space to show text.

  • nivekkev

    I could see this possibly being used to extend screen real estate without having a big device. Phone could have what ever is the “normal” or “average” screen size and when you need a bigger screen, you could roll or slide it out to what ever size you need, when finished convert it back.

  • Alan Reboli

    I think a screen that won’t break is pretty important but a battery that will last 5-8 hours screen on time should be every manufactures next triumph.

    • Alan Reboli

      No this should have also said “I think a LCD Screen that won’t break is pretty important” not including the front glass.

  • romy134

    Is it just me or were you expecting a phone that bends, which was going to hopfully make it drop proof

  • lapak_zapak

    I thought they gonna show more….

  • Richard Yarrell

    Plain and simple Samsung is the creators of innovative solutions for android in general. What was shown on stage at CES is further along much more than what people assume. They wouldn’t have shown it if it wasn’t going to be used. Rest assured that the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 will be utilizing this screen technology at 1080p.

    • squiddy20

      You obviously don’t understand the word “prototype” or “experimental” -_____-
      Wish all you want, this won’t be used for another year or so.

  • jonstle

    Looks interesting. At first I was not sure what the flexible screens would bring to phones but seeing that helps to get my imagination going about the possibilities.

  • Artificial Bacon

    If the screen actually wrapped around to the back (or at least the edges of the phone) and made the screen have no bezel but instead, it could detect when being gripped for games and whatnot à la the PS Vita’s touch-sensitive back, it could definitely have its uses for game mechanics. As for day-to-day purposes: Swipe up a side and it unlocks your screen and brings you straight to the last open application; run your finger halfway down the side to turn the volume up or down; double-tap the uppermost corner to lock/turn off/on your screen; this definitely has potential if an OS was optimized for it.

  • rbcameron1

    I would like to see this tech adapted for a monitor or television, except curve towards the viewer so that the screen is equal points away from the viewers eyes, makes sense right? As for in a phone, I don’t really see any great application to do this since most screens are around 4 to 5.5 inches. Does it provide value or is it a cool gimmick like the 3DTV was…?