Samsung Youm Brand Dreams Up Ideas for Bendable Displays
Samsung officials promised to show off bendable displays at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, and during a keynote presentation Jan. 9, they delivered. Stephen Woo, president of Samsung's Device Solutions Division, announced the launch of a brand called "Youm," which he said "doesn't just bend the rules of display technologies, it completely rewrites them." Woo introduced Brian Berkeley, senior vice president of Samsung San Jose Display Lab, who showed off two prototype devices. The first, a smartphone-plus of sorts, featured a thin box, about the size small jewelry might come in. It emitted a plastic strip that behaved like a smartphone display, flashing video ads as Berkeley bent it forward and backward. The plastic—which Samsung engineers have figured out how to use instead of glass—appeared to have the flexibility of a strip of photo negatives (remember those?). The second device was something of a small tablet or very large phone, with a screen that extended just over its side. This extra "canvas," said Berkeley, could be used, for example, to display an important message when the device wasn't in use. Woo cued a short film that showed off two other concept devices. The first was roughly the size of a thick Galaxy S III, but opened like a book to create a single, larger display. Another, roughly the shape and size of a harmonica, featured a thin, plastic display that shot out from its side at the touch of a button. Are bendable screens the future of mobile devices? Have a look for yourself.