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At the Consumer Electronics Show this week Samsung Display showcased a number of advanced display technologies, including prototypes of flexible OLED displays. While flexible screens are impressive, it is still unknown when such technologies are expected to become commercially viable and are set to hit the market.

Prototypes and real-life scenarios for Samsung’s line of flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays were demonstrated at CES, promising various mobile application opportunities for consumer electronics manufacturers. Dubbed “Youm”, the flexible display line-up uses extremely thin plastic instead of glass, making it bendable and virtually “unbreakable”. Brian Berkeley, senior vice president of Samsung Display, featured a smartphone prototype equipped with a curved edge that showed contiguous content along the side of the device.

“Our team was able to make a high-resolution display on extremely thin plastic instead of glass, so it won’t break even if it is dropped. This new form factor will really begin to change how people interact with their devices, opening up new lifestyle possibilities [and] allow our partners to create a whole new ecosystem of devices,” said Mr. Berkeley  


Demonstration of a flexible Youm display at CES 2013. Image by PCMagazine.

One of Samsung’s partners that bring the company’s state-of-the-art components together is Microsoft, adding more layers of value to the final product with its software solutions, devices and services. Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer of Microsoft, took the complete Ativ family of devices as an example through which Samsung’s component solutions and Windows 8 together present new potential in user interfaces. Rudder reported that Microsoft Research has been continuing its work on next-generation display technologies, enabling new modes of human-computer interaction.

Unfortunately, at its press conference Samsung did not provide any updates regarding its flexible AMOLED technology that it demonstrated in the previous years. Besides, it is completely unclear when the company will be able to manufacture flexible OLED displays in volumes so that to install them into flagship smartphones, such as Galaxy S-series. In any case, it seems that the forthcoming Galaxy S IV handset will not feature an unbreakable screen, despite of the report, but will likely utilize recently announced Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with additional scratch resistance.

Tags: Samsung, OLED, AMOLED, Galaxy, Microsoft, Youm

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