CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, came and went last week, with not too much new to offer. In my previous post, I discussed a couple of the top items that went on display at the show, but I only touched the surface on one of the most hyped items there: Samsung’s “Youm” flexible display.
Youm, as it has been named, is an approximately 5-inch OLED display (Organic Light-Emitting Diode, a newer form of pixel display) that shows deeper blacks, has a higher contrast ratio and can produce better power efficiency; in other words, the picture looks better and your device’s battery will last longer with screen. The only question is, how viable is a bendable screen? If you think that technology is at the point where the next iPhone is going to be bendable, hold your horses.
For starters, Samsung’s Youm is still in the concept phase. When a product is a concept, all of the bugs have not yet been worked out; it is not yet ready for mass production. But even if Youms were production ready, society probably would not be ready for it. When something this new and different is changed to the hardware of the device, people have to adapt. Everyone knows how to take care of and handle their inflexible devices, but having a phone that could touch both ends together would definitely need a whole new protection strategy (this can be everything from user safety to preserving the life of the device and being able to develop cases for a new format). Samsung did have a couple different uses of the concept screen and one of them was an edgeless screen that ran down the sides of the phone as well. This allowed for the owner to see notifications, like text messages, without having to pick up the phone.
If Samsung quickly finishes up on the design and build of Youm, then simpler ideas, like the phone discussed above, could be seen on the market as early as this year. But the practicality of a phone that bends just does not seem like something the consumer wants. I see this becoming something sort of gimmicky, like motion gaming; it will have a demographic, but it won’t take over the industry, it will just become another option that you have to weigh when buying a new device.
If you want to weigh in on bendable screen technology, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey. Enjoy!