Thursday, September 21, 2023

Samsung Display’s latest foldable concept can slide as well as fold

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Samsung displays Flex hybrid is a new prototype device with a screen that is both foldable and sliding. The left side of the “smart mobile device” concept folds out to reveal the display, while the right side can then slide out for even more screen space. It will be shown at CES 2023 alongside a new 17-inch sliding display, as well as car panels designed for self-driving cars.

While there are no details on specs like resolution or peak brightness, Samsung Display says the Flex Hybrid can expand from a 10.5-inch 4:3 screen to a 12.4-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s not hard to envision the screen eventually being used in a foldable smartphone, allowing the device to be unfolded for a small tablet-like experience and then extended when you want to enjoy a movie or game on a larger screen.

Samsung Display Flex Hybrid.

The Flex Hybrid, almost fully extended.
Image: Samsung display

The prototype builds on concept devices that Samsung Display has been showing off for years (not to mention the foldable phones that Samsung Electronics has actually released to the public). Last year, we saw Samsung show off a variety of folding and sliding concepts at its Display Week expo in May, though none combined folding and sliding screens in the same device quite like this. It’s also worth noting that Samsung has yet to release any of these more advanced displays in a consumer-ready product, meaning it could be a while before we see the Flex Hybrid concept reach the masses (if ever).

Samsung Display's sliding Flex Duet.

Samsung Display’s Slideable Flex Duet expands on both sides.
Image: Samsung display

Samsung Display also has a few larger 17-inch sliding prototypes intended for future laptops. CES will be the first time the concept has been shown publicly, following its debut at Intel’s Innovation keynote in September. The Flex Slidable Solo can expand in one direction, while the Flex Slidable Duet can expand in two directions, ranging from 13 to 14 inches to 17.3 inches in total.

Finally, Samsung also has a new range of displays it’s showing off for self-driving cars that combine 34-inch and 15.6-inch panels. Again, there’s no word on if or when these displays could appear in a consumer-ready product, but Samsung Display wants the world’s self-driving car startups to know it has the equipment ready for when their vehicles hit the road.

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