Samsung and the flexible display technology Samsung, as a global leader in smartphone technology, is growing fast on the technology market and acquire new adepts day by day. The most amazing device has been shown this year and could be … Continue reading →
The two biggest Korean smartphone producers, Samsung, and LG are developing different technologies at the moment. While LG has a better flexible device than Samsung, LG G-Flex and G-Flex 2, the attention seems to be directed to transparent screens. Transparent screen is not a new technology and it has been showed many times in prototypes and other concepts. At the moment, LG and Samsung hold 50% of the display market.
LG flexible display seems to be more developed, and G-Flex 2 has acquired more public than Samsung Galaxy Round. With all of this, Samsung continues the development of flexible display and according to a Korean report, Samsung will release next year the first foldable smartphone. Today, Samsung show us just two steps from the number of four big steps for a complete foldable device. If we take a look at the Galaxy Round we could identify the first two steps, curved display and bent the display. Next two hardest steps are foldable and rollable.
Those last two steps are the hardest part of the future Samsung device and the most interesting part. Galaxy Round use ITO(iridium tin oxide) which offers a fixed degree of bent while a foldable display is like a piece of paper, that’s meant that you could roll and roll and after that the entire display to function like in the beginning without malfunctions.
LG release its first transparent display in 2014 using OLED technology. The most interesting thing about this 18-inch display is that is rollable. That means LG has the ability to minimize the display and transform it into a smartphone display. LG Transparent and rollable display have an HD resolution 1200 x 810 and almost one million mega-pixels. This kind of display can be rolled to a radius of 3 cm without ulterior malfunctions.
The most expected device at the moment is the rollable smartphone and seems that LG has the display technology while Samsung press release announces a bendable device next year.
Well, everybody heard about flexible display until now and many of us has a device with a flexible screen like a wearable device or a smartphone. Term of flexible display appeared with many years ago, in 1974 when Nicholas K. Sheridon a Xerox PARC employee made the first flexible electronic paper display. Sheridon technology has been dubbed Gyricon and was able to mimic the properties of a normal paper. Gyricon has been grown and in 2003 Gyricon LLC was formed as a Xerox subsidiary to commercialize the new technology. Gyricon has a short life unfortunately and in 2005 Xerox closed it.
After Xerox, a new company formed by HP and ASU start to develop the flexible technology at Arizona, USA. The name of the project was called ASU Flexible Display Center. ASU received huge funds from Army Research Lab to develop a new e-paper technology and a new prototype has been released one year later. After a while, the project has been transformed in a simple way to make thinner and lighter displays.
Another time another producer.
German producer Plastic Logic with the factory in Dresden developed and manufacture monochrome and color plastic flexible displays. German producer displays could have various sizes and are still used in wristwatches, wearable devices and recently in the automotive market. Technology used by the German producer is OTFT (organic thin film transistor). The advantage of this technology is that the main material is plastic and not include glass. This offers a high resistance making them unbreakable. Also, this technology could offer a thinner display than the glass-based display and low power consumption.
In 2004, a Canadian team developed PaperWindows. This prototype is the first bendable paper computer and Organic user interface (OUI). An OUI display is a flexible multi-shape display. The great ability of an OUI display is that can change its forms passively or actively upon analog inputs. In May 2010, has been announced the PaperPhone produced by Human Media Lab in partnership with ASU Flexible Display Center. PaperPhone is called the first flexible device(smartphone) with electrophoretic technology(flexible display).
After all of these prototypes, bigger producers announce the interest for electronic paper development. Some of the are LG Electronics and Sony Electronics.
One of the most discussed device using e-paper technology from Sony is the FES watch. This device is using the e-paper technology and weights only grams. Also the battery life is amazing, more than 60 days. Is like you have a Nokia 1100 and you forget to charge it more than a week and talking and talking and the battery life is great. Sony Flexible electronic paper display prototype creates also many articles and rumors.
Sony has also started a project with Riken and developed a rollable display with just 0.35 mm thick and a resolution of 79dpi. This project was created that time for the TV displays and smartphones. LG electronic paper has been announced in 2012 with 6 inch display size(diagonal) and a better resolution of 1024 x 768 (XGA) resolution. Technology used is TFT electronic display and weight only 14 grams with just 0.7 mm thickness. The advantages of this new technology is that can be dropped from 1.5 meters and no resultant damage, being also an unbreakable display.
Another announcement comes in 2010 from another big Korean producers, Samsung about the development of a new flexible display with another technology. The prototype has been presented at CES 2011 as a 4.5 inches flexible AMOLED display. The first Samsung device using a flexible display was released on 8 October 2013 featuring a 5.7 inches curved display. Galaxy Round was only 7.9 mm thick and weighed 154 grams. Samsung released this device as something new and special, but the success wasn’t as they wish. The curve on the long side of the device makes it a little bit strange ant the public was skeptic. Probably a design like LG Flex could acquire more adepts.
As we can see technology evolve quickly and devices are transformed into curve devices(TVs, smartphone, gadgets). Curved TVs are fascinating and offer new viewing experiences with the actual technologies.
Which can be the next technology used for a fully flexible display in the near future? A good question and an unknown answer.
Philips Fluid concept has been created by a Brazilian designer and is designed to be wear like other smaller devices from the Android Wear class. The name of Fluid comes from the design particularities to be bent and worn as a bracelet. To be worn as a bracelet, Philips Fluid phone has a flexible display and also, a flexible battery made by many smaller batteries assembled together to form a complete powerful battery. Philips Fluid offer a higher mobility than other smartphone being able to be worn on your hand. The most enthusiasts come from the sports area. They can wear the device bended on the hand and forget the “big pocket” problem.
Technology used for the display is a flexible OLED display. Inside the device must be used small and flexible components to permit the bracelet to be bend safely without damaging the electrical inside components. The OLED technology is evolved in the present and the probability of a bracelet-phone is imminent. Looking in the past, flexible display technology has been quickly developed and has been shown on the market in different devices like Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, LG G-Flex, some curved smartwatches and more.
As we see the technology development, the Philips Fluid phone could become reality is a short period. Imagine that you are running with your 5 inches device in your pocket. Your pocket will jump up and down at every step and more than that could jump out of your pocket. With a device like Philips Fluid just forget this problem and take your device in your hand as a bracelet.
Samsung, the world smartphone leader has developed a new patent for a new type of flexible display. The new patent is more than we saw at the Galaxy S6 Dual Edge and more than Galaxy Round. The new patent will make new Samsung devices more flexible and more resistant. With the new development, Samsung is maintaining the first position on the phones market and will release a new device maybe this year Q4 with a new style and a new flexible screen. At the beginning, the flexible display was blamed, but after Samsung released the three flexible screen devices( Galaxy Round, Galaxy Note EDGE and Galaxy S6 Dual Edge) Samsung started a new type of device. Galaxy S6 Dual Edge is an amazing device with two curved sides and a unique design. Actually if we read the reviews, Galaxy S6 is called the perfect phone.
The new Samsung patent presume that the next flexible device will be fully flexible. This means that next Samsung flexible device will have a metal frame fully flexible, a new type of battery fully flexible and also a new type of display, also fully flexible. With these three most important components, the new device will be able to be bended similar to a wallet without cracked display problems.
The image of Samsung patent shows us that the flexible battery is actually composed of many little batteries coupled between them this way could assure a full flexibility. As a new interesting thing at this patent is the main camera. It can be used for video conferences and as we know for video capture. The future device could feature two or more camera like this to be able to capture photos or record 3D videos and images.
Even if Apple has missed the MWC from Barcelona, today, 9 March 2015 Apple announce a special event at 10,00 AM. This event will be probably concentrated on the first Apple smartwatch, the iWatch. A major part of this event will be dedicated for the device customization. Apple Watch has a curved Retina display with high pixel density. This Retina display is an ultra energy efficient which makes the device to be a battery friendly gadget. On the most Apple Watch devices, the display is polished with crystal of sapphire being the hardest transparent material. For the Sports collection, the display protection is Ion-X glass.
About the today event, the focus will be on the functionality. Apple decided to charge the first product which will be worn with functions making it an advanced gadget compared to Android Wear devices which are designed to be a personal assistant. More than sure is possible to see more applications on the iWatch similar to iPhone applications.
Apple investments are huge in the devices which can be wear in the present and in the future and will be disposable more than 100.00 applications at the release date.
At the special event, rumors said that is possible to be released also a 12 inches MacBook device with a Retina display and also an iPad Pro with a 12 inch display. The iPad Pro has been discussed for the first time in January 2015 as a future Apple device to be released.
Apple could release today an IOS update, the IOS 8.2. This new IOS variant has been tested with five Beta variants until now. For the music lovers, Apple could integrate a new live streaming application, Beats Music.
Touch screen is the interface between us and out smartphone or laptop or other touch screen device. Development of touch screen has killed the classic devices with buttons and made the life easier to us. But, after a while, the engineers thinks about a new type of touch screen, a flexible display, a bendable display, even a rollable display. This is a new era of devices when the cracked screen could become history. A classic touch screen display is made of layered thin films of iridium-tin oxide, a conductive material inorganic. This material is a very good electrically conductive and allow electrical signal to be sent from the touch zone to the edges of display.
The disadvantage of this materials is that is very easy to be cracked and the device won’t function normally. What can engineers can do for that? To make a flexible display without loosing any optical or electrical properties. And they made a new flexible hybrid film. Korean scientists A-Ra Cho and Soo-Young Park developed this new hybrid film. The sol-gel technique is using acid wich corrode the metal from the device electronic components and the system can quite quickly. A method of acid-free is needed for optical thin-film application.
The hybrid flexible display
Cho and Park start with a combination of two organic materials “methyl methacrylate and 3-(trimethylsilyl) propyl methacrylate combined with trialkoxysilane”. Those chemicals are reacting with another two inorganic chemicals, tetraethyl orthosilicate, and titanium isopropoxide to synthesize hybrid layers reflective layers. This new hybrid film has been tested and compared to bare glass has a transparency of 96% and 100%. The production price is lower than a classic thin-films being produced at low temperature, without the need for high-vacuum.
The organic materials make the hybrid films to be more bendable and after more than 10,000 bending cycles the hybrid film scored less depreciation. But a little disadvantage of this new hybrid thin-film is that it needs more voltage and this could degrade the material. A new type of battery must be developed for the hybrid film to be used successfully into a flexible future application.