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For what has felt like decades now, LG has been teasing us with the prospect of bendy screens for our smartphones. And, yet, it’s never really come to pass, until now.

Oooooh, Flexible!

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make a smartphone into a slap bracelet any time soon; this is designed less for us to wave around in a silly fashion and more to allow different form factors for different devices, such as curved screens. Nonetheless, though, the technology is really, really cool.

It works by using plastic substrates that can flex without damaging the LEDs; instead of a rigid layout, the screen is design to be bent so that the screen retains its integrity and performance. As you might have guessed, that’s harder than it sounds, but it has benefits. Like, for example, if you drop your phone, a flexible screen in a rigid frame will just wobble a little bit, not crack.

The First Step To Full Flexibility

LG isn’t the only company that’s been working on bringing flexible screens to the masses; part of the reason it might finally be rolling these new screens out is that Samsung has its own bendy screens on the way. And despite being fixed in rigid frames, this is actually good news; the technology has been sitting on the sidelines for so long, some were thinking that it had turned out to be a dead end.

Now the question becomes… when will we see these bendable screens?

Soon, But Not Soon Enough

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LG will only say 2014 at the latest, but it seems more likely to be sooner rather than later, especially as they’re in a race with Samsung to get the first bendy screen on the market. The good news is, though, that no matter who gets it to the market, we’ll have tougher, stronger phones in the future… so really, we’re the winners.



Dan Seitz

 
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.