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Samsung transparent rollable smartphone designs emerge in sketches

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Last updated: April 15th, 2022 at 16:01 UTC+02:00

Samsung has been developing foldable display technologies for about a decade now, and its efforts really paid off with the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 last year. The clamshell device especially has become the world's best-selling foldable smartphone by a wide margin.

But theoretically speaking, Samsung's foldable display technology isn't bound to the book-like or clamshell form factors of the Z Fold and Z Flip lineups. With further tweaking, this technology could be adopted by a wide variety of smartphone and tablet designs, and rollable displays could be the next evolutionary step after foldable devices — and even smart TVs.

Will Samsung develop rollable phones with transparent displays?

Samsung has experimented with its flexible and foldable display technology in numerous ways before. But according to a WIPO application published yesterday, the company could be building smartphones with transparent rollable displays at some point in the future.

The sketches enclosed in the WIPO application (seen in the gallery below) depict two device designs. They're both equipped with a transparent rollable display, except one design has the rollable panel popping out from the side while the other rolls out vertically.

In both cases, the display portion that rolls out from the top or side is transparent. This could allow for some really interesting use cases for AR (Augmented Reality) applications and others.

As usual, though, the recent WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) application is somewhat abstract and doesn't guarantee that this type of rollable transparent design will ever be pushed into production. But Samsung secured its ideas and intellectual property with WIPO should it decide to push this ambitious idea into production.

Either way, it's worth noting that Samsung stepped away from developing transparent OLED panels all the way back in 2016 due to low demand, but things have changed in the past few years, and we could see this technology making a comeback.

Recent reports indicate that Samsung could be developing a mysterious third foldable device for launch next to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 at Unpacked 2022 in August, though it probably won't have rollable display technology. Time will tell.

 

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