The foldable smartphones from last year are more of a gimmick than a feature, but that won’t stop companies from innovating after something similar makes the headlines. Samsung, one of the first companies to unveil a proper foldable smartphone, has now shown a glimpse of what is to come. Samsung Display has teased some of the screen technology currently being worked on at the company.
Samsung Display teased foldable displays, slideable displays, and even an under-display camera as part of the Display Week 2021 virtual conference. One of the concepts shown by Samsung is the S-foldable screen. It consists of a 7.2 inch OLED display with a double fold. Meaning a bigger screen that can be folded twice into a smaller unit.
Samsung still hasn’t narrowed down a proper production method for the S-foldable but once the production process is in place and Samsung has enough confidence in the durability of the design then we can expect to see this concept on a future consumer product.
The next product Samsung showed off was a 17-inch tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio that becomes a tablet when folded but a laptop when unfolded. The display came with the tagline “carrying small, seeing big”. The concept showed off two applications, i.e. Powerpoint and Word being run on the tablet, divided in the middle where the tablet is supposed to fold.
Samsung also gave a glimpse of their new rollable screen technology. It enables the phone to stay compact for carrying with the option of extending the display. The technology requires the use of a complex system of rollers and hinges but could be more durable and robust than standard foldable displays.
Samsung also showed off their new Under Panel Camera or UPC. The UPC works by getting the display layers above the lens to be transparent enough for the camera to see through them.
Everything Samsung has shown is still a work in progress and chances are that the real product and design could very well be different from what was shown today. Though it means that exciting things are coming for smartphones in the future as many other manufacturers are working on similar ways to make foldable screens better.
The end goal should be to get this technology to an affordable level as right now foldable smartphones are a more premium option than regular smartphones and come with durability issues.