Samsung has shown off a prototype of a flexible smartphone display dubbed ‘Infinity Flex’ at its 2018 developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday morning.
The demonstration was less a product announcement than it was a sneak peek of what the company has been able to achieve so far, which is refreshing news after months of hints and rumours. Plus, it was a chance for Samsung to demonstrate how the display actually works so developers have the information they need to start creating and optimising apps for it.
Samsung showed how the device looks like a regular smartphone when folded, but opens up into a tablet-sized device with a 7.3-inch display when opened up like a book.
Skip to 1:23:00 in the below video to see Samsung SVP of Mobile Product Marketing Justin Denison unveil the prototype to an enthusiastic audience.
During the presentation, Samsung explained how an advanced polymer protective layer is the secret to keeping the display durable yet flexible, and a special foldable adhesive helps keep the device together while folded and expanded.
We acknowledge that this is just a prototype, but you might notice two things from the demonstration. Firstly, the device looks pretty bulky. If this technology is to be incorporated into a practical foldable smartphone, you’d hope it’d be a little slimmer.
Secondly, the room was darkened when Denison pulled out the prototype, and the display still looked quite dim. The company didn’t allow the audience to see the device up close, so it’s clear the tech giant isn’t ready to show their entire hand just yet.
We wouldn’t be surprised if a dim display is one of Samsung’s major challenges, but we’ll have to wait and see to determine what they’ll deliver in terms of a finished product.
According to Engadget, Google has been working closely with Samsung to optimise Android for smartphones with flexible displays.
Samsung claims its foldable smartphone will be ready for mass production within the next few months.