While it's obviously hard to predict what the next big thing for the smartphone industry will be, it's likely that phone manufacturers will at least try to commercially implement some kind of flexible display technology in their future devices. Being the biggest smartphone maker in the world, Samsung is naturally spearheading this initiative, as evident by the company's many investments in related fields. The South Korean tech giant has been pushing the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology for years and has already filed for numerous patents utilizing it for the purpose of creating a smartphone with a flexible display.
In fact, we've been hearing about such patents for a couple of years now, with the most recent one surfacing earlier this month. Today, a report emerged that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just approved another one of Samsung's patents pertaining to this technology. The filing with the USPTO was originally made back in mid-2014 and describes a flexible display device which includes a bendable panel configured for displaying images along with its inner workings. The creation encompasses two electrode layers separated by a dielectric elastomer film. When a certain amount of voltage is applied to both electrodes, this invention is capable of bending without any physical pressure exerted by the user. In addition to that, the design documents state that this display would be resistant to impact and allow for both bendable and completely foldable smartphones.
In other words, Samsung is describing a display which would be able to bend on its own, as soon as it's given the go-ahead to do so. For example, imagine using a regular smartphone, pulling down a notification panel, and tapping on a shortcut to order your device to either bend to some extent, or fold over completely. Of course, this is all just hypothetical, but it's an example of how this technology could work in practice. Speaking of which, there's obviously no way of knowing whether this patent will ever be implemented at a commercial level. So, while we're waiting for more news on that front, you can check out Samsung's complete filing with the USPTO by following the source link below.