Skip to main content

Samsung's stretchable 9.1-inch screen will make its public debut in L.A.

galaxy s8 active
Samsung has been developing flexible displays for years, but it is finally ready to take the wraps off a prototype. On Monday, the company announced it would exhibit a bendable, stretchable screen at the upcoming Society for Information Display 2017 conference in Los Angeles.

Samsung’s new display, which measures 9.1 inches diagonally and uses organic light-emitting diode technology to display images, can be flexed, bent, rolled up, and dented up to 12 millimeters without losing its original shape. Samsung sees it being used in wearable displays, Internet of Things products, and car infotainment dashboards.

“While current flexible OLED is able to be transformed in only one side, this stretchable OLED can be transformed — whether curved, bent, or rolled — in both sides, above and below,” a Samsung Display spokesperson said in a statement.

It could be bound for a future phone, too. In April, ET News and the Investor reported that Samsung produced a limited number of Project Valley, a prototypical dual-screen phone with a pair of flexible 5-inch, nearly bezel-less OLED screens joined together by a hinge. Samsung plans to make between 2,000 and 3,000 units in the first half of 2017, ahead of a pilot test with “tens of thousands” of prototypes during the second year.

LG shows off it's rollable OLED display

In addition, Samsung’s reportedly developing a smartphone with a “wraparound” screen that reaches all four edges of the handset’s sides. But the company’s run into problems with its lamination process — wrapping the screen on all four sides of the phone creates a “blind side” on each corner that will not respond to touch.

Meanwhile, the competition isn’t lying in wait.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, the successor to last year’s Mi Mix, boasts a 93 percent screen-to-body ratio and both ZTE’s Nubia Z11 and Oppo’s R9s both have screen-to-body ratios above 74 percent. At an event in June 2016, Lenovo showed off a concept phone that uses a flexible phone that folds into a wristwatch. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, LG Display showed off a prototype 18-inch screen that rolls up like a sheet of paper.

Flexible and curved screens are a burgeoning business. Analysts at London-based research firm IHS estimate that flexible display sales will hit $15.7 billion in 2020, up from $5.3 billion in 2017.

Samsung is showing its flexible display alongside a 5.09-inch, 3D panel that displays three-dimensional objects without the need for glasses (like Nintendo’s 3DS), and a 1.96-inch UHD (3.840 x 1,260 pixels) display intended for augmented reality, virtual reality, and hologram applications.

Editors' Recommendations

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
Samsung patent for flexible screen suggests a bendable device is on the way
samsung flexible display

Rumors of a flexible Samsung device have been swirling for some time, but concrete evidence emerged on Monday. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the Seoul, a South Korea-based patent that describes a device with a foldable display, a mechanical hinge in the middle, and a screen that folds inwards.

The patent, titled "Electronic Device with Flexible Display," was filed by Samsung on June 9, 2015.

Read more
Samsung's newest quantum dot monitor, the CH711, makes its debut
samsung introduces ch711 quantum dot monitor 001 c27h711 front white

Quantum dot display technology represents an alternative to OLED that's equally capable of producing extremely accurate and vibrant colors but still relies on LED panels for backlighting. Samsung has a number of quantum dot displays available for purchase, including the CFG70 and the CF791 curved gaming monitors announced at IFA 2016 in September.

Today, in conjunction with CES 2017, Samsung announced another display utilizing quantum dot technology, the CH711 Quantum Dot Curved monitor. The CH711 will come in two sizes, 27 and 31.5 inches, and offer incredibly accurate color reproduction with 125 percent sRGB color coverage and WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution.

Read more
Motorola is mad at Samsung for stealing its always-on screen idea
Lenovo Moto Z and Z Force

It’s ever-so easy to get caught up in the instant, type-what-you’re-thinking world of social media, but sometimes it’s essential to have a filter. Take a moment, and consider whether you should tweet something out, or at least consider your wording if you can’t hold back. Those in charge of Motorola’s U.S. Twitter account have no time for such nonsense, judging by a tweet sent out accusing rival Samsung of stealing its always-on display feature.

In what galaxy is it okay to steal competitor phones’ cool features? #TheOriginalAlwaysOnDisplay #motozdroid
— Moto US (@Moto_USA) August 18, 2016

Read more