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Bend It Like Samsung: The New Screen Tech Frontier

by Cole Conway

Samsung is set to launch the next big thing in the mobile phone industry. The electronics leader is going to release two new phones in 2017 with flexible screen technologies. These screens are meant to be bent and folded. The devices will use OLED, organic light-emitting diode, displays for this feature. A five inch screen phone could be unfolded into an 8-inch display. Recently the company demonstrated a rollable OLED screen prototype at the Display Week Conference in the well known tech city of San Francisco. Samsung has applied for multiple patents already for this technology earlier this year. The flexible display will piggyback off of the curved screen designs that Samsung has used for its products in the past.

Another acknowledged leader of bendable screen technology is LG who showed off their version of the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show. Their prototype was an 18 inch screen that can be rolled up like a newspaper. Originally, LG had a concept for the bendable screen, but they started releasing the concept to the world when Samsung began to reveal one of their own. Now other companies like Sony and Sharp will soon begin to develop their very own variations of these bendable smart screen technologies.

The first of these design will more than likely have malfunctions. Producing reliable bendable screen products requires precision in product fabrication and also environmental protection. The bendable screens are required to be made from plastic, which requires a lower manufacturing temperature in comparison to glass; the bendable screens will need to have airtight sealing. Natural products of the environment like water and oxygen can damage the plastics if the product is not produced correctly. Samsung and LG have seemingly answers to the questions of bendable screens, yet the consistency is yet to be tested with a consumer market.
Even with the risk of the bendable screen as new technology there is still a lucrative reward for it to be successful. Such smart displays will allow a thinner and more lightweight screen for a number of high valued consumer products. This will allow better energy management of products like phones in need of longer battery life. Whoever pioneers this market will see success from a projected increase from $2 billion dollars to $18 billion by 2020 in the plastic and flexible displays market.

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June 9, 2016
By I&T Today

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