Foldable Smartphones Might Be a Reality Soon
Smartphones come in all shapes and sizes. Now researchers are making headway in creating smartphones that are even easier to carry around and flexible enough to fold and keep in your pocket.
We have heard talks of bendable displays for a long while. Japanese phone maker Kyocera had even showcased prototypes of the device with bendable display called Proteus. It could be used as a bar screen, and the could be wrapped around a wrist or a handlebar. Last year even Apple too patented a design for a flexible device. Later last year Nokia joined in and showcased its foldable displays at the Society for Information Display (SID) 2014 conference.
A team of South Korean researchers have been experimenting with bismuth ferrite to bring flexible display to the world. Bismuth Ferrite has electric properties that can be controlled using a magnet. It is being used to create energy efficient electronics. The researchers mixed the material with a polymer solution and the final result impressed them. They found that the electrical and magnetic properties were enhanced. The properties remained stable even when the display was folded into a cylindrical shape.
One major reason flexible devices are hard to manufacture is that the important electronic components are not flexible themselves. As a workaround, the researchers have been using tiny bits of silicon and similar materials and embedding them in flexible plastic displays.
They still need to figure out bits like battery life, storage and more. The 3.5 mm jack that might also become obsolete with flexible displays. These displays would make wearables obsolete as they can be given added features like health sensor. So imagine a display in a near future smartphone that sits on your wrist, and you can unwrap it and use it as a regular phone. Now that sounds fantastic as well as convenient.