Samsung Gets US Approval For Bendable Screen

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Bendable smartphones on the way? Samsung says unbreakable, flexible screen passes US safety tests

Samsung Displays has achieved an important milestone that could herald the mainstream adoption of bendable smartphones in the years ahead.

Samsung Display has according to Reuters said its recently developed unbreakable, bendable screen has passed safety testing in the United States.

It comes after leaks way back in 2015 showed Samsung’s foldable ‘Project Valley’ smartphone. That new Samsung device which reportedly able to be folded in two to be carried around, with screens on both sides.

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Bendable smartphones?

But now Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, on Friday said its recently developed unbreakable, bendable screen has passed safety testing in the United States.

It reportedly said that the new screen could be used in devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, portable gaming machines and even on the consoles in cars.

The new bendable screen protected by plastic rather than glass, increasing flexibility and making it practically unbreakable, the firm reportedly said on its website.

The screen has improved transparency, almost akin to glass, allowing it to be installed on devices used close-up, such as smartphones, a Samsung Display official is quoted as saying.

It seems that the Samsung bendable screen has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories, a testing firm for the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Testing apparently saw it being dropped 26 times from a height of 1.2 metres, Samsung Display said.

After testing, the screen continued to function normally, with no damage to its front, sides or edges, the firm reportedly said.

With the all important US certification achieved, it could allow Samsung Display to consider a global rollout of this new technology.

Long time coming

The reality is that the innovation of flexible and bendable screens has been a goal for many researchers, for many years now.

Samsung for example has long been rumoured to working on a super-flexible smartphone with a foldable display.

LG on the other hand has revealed a concept “Active Bending” device featuring an edge-to-edge curved display, and have previously released the G Flex 2 smartphone, which sported a curved build designed to fit into a user’s hand.

Even Nokia back in 2011 unveiled a bendable concept phone, dubbed the Kinetic, which could be controlled by physical actions, such as squeezing the handset.

That Kinetic prototype was not a touch screen but, instead, allowed the user to drive the controls by bending and twisting actions.

Motorola in June filed a patent that seemed to solve one of the biggest problems with upcoming foldable phones, by overcoming a problem caused when a screen is repeatedly folded in half, which is highly likely to leave a visible crease in the screen.

Microsoft meanwhile at Christmas filed a patent for a mobile device that boasted a dual-display and 360-degree rotation support. But Microsoft has precious little creditability left in the smartphone sector following its Windows Phone debacle.

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