Samsung has acquired a couple of new patents for a rollable display device equipped with a fingerprint recognition sensor. The concept has been envisioned in two different designs, however, both seem to revolve around the same idea of a cylindrical or rectangular device attached to a rollable flexible OLED display which can either be tucked away inside the cylindrical base or rolled over the square exterior. In both scenarios, the flexible panels seem to be locked in place through a series of magnets, and the device appears to be secured by a fingerprint sensor embedded within the metallic body.
The main difference between these two concept designs seems to lie in the metallic body's form factor and the method employed for tucking away the flexible panel. In one instance the device is envisioned as a metallic cylinder inside of which the flexible display can be retracted and wound up in a spiral. On the other hand, Samsung's patents describe a metallic rectangular base attached to a flexible panel that can be folded only in certain designated spots and wrap around the exterior. Having said that, both patents appear to tackle the same problem in different ways, and to an extent this seems to highlight the idea that Samsung continues to experiment with a variety of form factors in order to determine the best usage scenarios for flexible OLED display technology.
Samsung Display is the world's largest OLED display manufacturer and as many readers are aware, the company acquired numerous patents over the past few years revolving around flexible display technology. Its first foldable smartphone equipped with this type of panel is rumored to be unveiled before the end of the year and possibly as early as CES 2018 bearing the Galaxy X moniker, however, over the past few years the Korean OEM also entertained the idea of creating larger, tablet-grade devices bearing rollable screens. Some of these prototypes have been showcased at previous trade shows over the years, but none of these products have yet seen the light of day in the consumer market. Samsung may once again bring its flexible display technology at CES 2018 next week, though as usual these latest patent applications should be treated accordingly as they rarely showcase a final product meant for commercialization.