Samsung has said that it will start to ship ‘bendy screened’ gadgets in the first half of 2012 – with the first ‘flexible’ gizmos on the market certain to be mobile phones.
At technology shows, the Korean company has also demonstrated flexible screens just 0.3mm thick.
But its latest video demo shows off truly out-there technology – a ‘tablet of the future’ that offers instant translation, video, and a level of 3D beyond anything yet available.
But while Samsung’s video demo might be ‘concept technology’, factories in the Far East are already working on ‘real’ versions – flexible phones that will hit the market in early 2012.
Both Samsung and Nokia are working on the technology.
During a company results conference, investor relations chief Robert Yi said, ‘The flexible display, we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part.’
Yi said that the first devices to ship with flexible screens would be phones.
Other possible applications include ‘foldable’ iPad-style tablets.
It’s not an out-there prediction, either.
Rival smartphone giant Nokia unveiled a basic prototype of the Nokia Kinetic – a bendable smartphone – at Nokia World
Kinetic allowed users to bend the screen to control functions such as music and video.
Nokia refuses to say when its Kinetic smartphones will be on sale.
Earlier Samsung demonstrations have shown off OLED screens which can be folded over.
The company demonstrated ‘bendable’ AMOLED screens 4.5 inches across and just 0.3mm thick in January this year.
Another paper by Samsung scientists showed off an AMOLED screen with a section that could be folded over completely without cracking.
Earlier this year, reports leaked that Samsung had the capacity to manufacture large amounts of such screens by ‘early 2012’ – but no one knew what they might be for.
Pictures of a concept phone using the technology – the Galaxy Skin (pictured) – also appeared.
Skin was a project carried out by design students using the Samsung logo and Galaxy trademark.
‘Flexible’ screens have been demonstrated in various forms since as early as 2004 – with tech insiders suggesting that laptops or e-Book readers might one day take the form of a ‘pen’ housing a processor with a ‘sheet’ of paper-like screen wrapped around them.
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