Samsung developing an ‘unbreakable’ flexible display

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Samsung revealed Thursday its


The days of dropping your phone and smashing the screen may soon be a thing of the past. 

Samsung revealed Thursday its ‘unbreakable smartphone panel’, a next-generation organic LED display that’s protected by a shatter-proof ‘substrate,’ or coating.

The screen also features a ‘fortified plastic’ that means users can theoretically drop, throw or bend their phone without worrying about cracks. 

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Samsung revealed Thursday its 'unbreakable smartphone panel' (pictured), a next-generation organic LED display that's protected by a shatter-proof 'substrate,' or coating

Samsung revealed Thursday its ‘unbreakable smartphone panel’ (pictured), a next-generation organic LED display that’s protected by a shatter-proof ‘substrate,’ or coating

This differs from current flexible-display designs, which use a glass-covered window that ‘often breaks’ when dropped, according to Samsung. 

Other flexible displays on the market, such as those used in the Apple Watch, have glass covers on top of the flexible display. 

This means that if the device is dropped, the glass cover will shatter, which partially defeats the purpose of including an unbreakable display underneath, Engadget noted

To see whether or not the display is truly unbreakable, Samsung said it was tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which conducts safety tests for the US Department of Labor. 

This involved dropping the display 26 times in a row from a height of four feet, as well as temperature tests that included a 71-degree environment and an environment that was -32 degrees. 

‘The Samsung unbreakable panel continued to function normally with no damage to its front, sides or edges,’ the Korean tech giant said in a release. 

It's unclear when the unbreakable display will start to appear in Samsung devices, but chances are it'll be used in one of its smartphone models sometime soon. Pictured is the Galaxy S9

It's unclear when the unbreakable display will start to appear in Samsung devices, but chances are it'll be used in one of its smartphone models sometime soon. Pictured is the Galaxy S9

It’s unclear when the unbreakable display will start to appear in Samsung devices, but chances are it’ll be used in one of its smartphone models sometime soon. Pictured is the Galaxy S9

The phone also managed to survive a 6 foot drop test without signs of damage. 

Samsung released a video showing how the display doesn’t sustain any damage after being hit repeatedly with a rubber mallet.  

It’s unclear when the unbreakable display will start to appear in Samsung devices, but chances are it’ll be used in one of its smartphone models sometime soon. 

‘The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass,’ said Hojung Kim, general manager of Samsung Display’s Communication team, in a statement. 

Samsung added that the unbreakable screen could be used as display consoles for automobiles, mobile military devices, portable gaming consoles and tablets.

The unbreakable screen could be used as display consoles for automobiles, mobile military devices, portable gaming consoles and tablets. It's also likely to appear in phones

The unbreakable screen could be used as display consoles for automobiles, mobile military devices, portable gaming consoles and tablets. It's also likely to appear in phones

The unbreakable screen could be used as display consoles for automobiles, mobile military devices, portable gaming consoles and tablets. It’s also likely to appear in phones

SAMSUNG’S FOLDING PATENT 

Samsung has previously been awarded a patent for a radical design that allows a phone to fold in two.

It could lead to a handset that can easily transform into a tablet – simply by unfolding it. 

A complex hinge allows it to be folded

A complex hinge allows it to be folded

A complex hinge allows the device to be folded in half

The document shows a narrow Samsung device with a screen that bends and folds like an old-school flip phone handset, with a large hinge.

The device is described as something that can be ‘folded or unfolded semi automatically.’  

Given that the display was just certified by UL, it seems unlikely that it will appear in Samsung’s soon-to-be-released Galaxy Note 9 phone, which is due out in the next few months. 

Other, novel screen designs may reach the mass market first, such as a foldable screen, which Samsung recently said is ‘in development.’

Samsung has patented several foldable screen designs and a recent report from the Wall Street Journal said the company is working on a folding device, codenamed ‘Winner.’

The reported device has a screen that can be folded in half like a wallet and features a 7-inch display.    





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