For better or for worse, few companies manage to be as crazy as Samsung. Just a few days ago we showed you their gigantic Galaxy S7 edge-like billboard hulking amid the highways that link Moscow to one of its airports. But as it turns out, there may be some even crazier screen-related tech the Korean company wants to show off.
It may be not an 80m-tall, LED powered panel, but this rollable display (via SlashGear) certainly is a little technological marvel…
Unveiled at San Francisco’s SID 2016 meeting earlier this week, the screen essentially packs all of Samsung’s expertise in OLED technology.
When flattened out, the panel has a 5.7-inch diagonal, and its resolution is a standard 1920×1080, at 386ppi, but quality-wise it is apparently not so far from the screens mounted on the company’s best flagships.
“It’s just as bright and the colors just as vivid as we’ve come to expect from the company’s displays on production devices like the Galaxy S7 edge,” the report says.
What’s really interesting about it, however, is its very contained dimensions. When rolled up, the display could easily fit in a slightly lengthened 35mm film canister. Samsung can do that because the actual panel is only 0.3mm thick, and has a feather-like weight of 5 grams.
“It has a rolling radius of 10R, which basically means that it could be rolled into a tube with a 10mm radius,” SlashGear’s report reads.
However, the prototype screen itself lacks a touch-sensitive layer, and considering that such a component would be essential in building any kind of actual device, both thickness and the panel’s very flexibility would be compromised to a certain extent.
And then, of course, there’s the battery problem; the units on display were powered externally, and a phone (for instance) would need somewhere to physically place a lithium cell, which could lead to unusual form factors or dramatically reduced roll-ability.
In addition to that, when asked how many times the panel can be rolled before compromising its structure — risking to being damaged or outright broken — a Samsung rep declined to answer, sarcastically dismissing the query as a “good question”.
We do not expect to see any of this tech to hit the mainstream consumer market anytime soon, but were Samsung to actually build something out of this (indeed fascinating) tech, they would need to make a case for why someone would want a rollable display in the first place — and that may turn out to be their actually biggest challenge.
Take a look at the rollable display for yourself in the video below.