Samsung promises that flexible and foldable screens are coming to devices soon, even going so far as to say they’ll arrive in 2016. The company’s latest patent, which was spotted by Patently Mobile, is for a flexible phone that morphs into a smart bangle you can strap onto your wrist. It’s an entirely bizarre and futuristic idea that certainly puts more focus on accessibility than style, but it sure sounds awesome.
The patent features a flexible OLED screen that’s so flexible you can curl it into a bracelet and wear it on your wrist as a smartwatch, or stretch it out flat to use it as a smartphone. The screen can be attached to rotatable segments that allow the device’s shape to contort without destroying any of the less-than-flexible components. Much like the links in a metal watch band, the segments will allow for full flexibility.
The device will be able to control your music, show pictures, make calls, send texts, and perform all the tasks you normally associate with a smartphone or smartwatch. Overall, it sounds like the device is effectively a smartphone that curves to become a smartwatch on your wrist. Of course, the device wouldn’t resemble a watch at all, but rather appear like a huge bangle. Based on the illustrations in the patent, the device looks totally bizarre.
Naturally, the point isn’t really to make the thing attractive, but rather to make it functional, versatile, and accessible, by combining the smartphone and smartwatch into one crazy hybrid gadget. It’s unclear whether Samsung will ever actually make this chameleon of a device, but it’s a possibility. Still, don’t expect to see somebody walking down the street wearing a phone curved around their wrists any time soon.