After Nokia previewed its upcoming Kinetic device prototypes with flexible displays, Samsung wants to make sure it gets a share of the spotlight too. The company showed off its own flexible display technology at CES 2011, and is now ready to declare that it aims to start shipping them in 2012. The first batch of flexible displays will be for smartphones only, but Samsung plans to put larger counterparts in tablets later on.
This new technology will unlock an entire new world of mobile devices. Perhaps one day not too long from now we’ll see a cell phone you can roll up and slide into a bag, but that’s only the beginning. Nokia already had a UI of its own prepared specifically for flexible displays. To control the contents on screen, you would bend and twist the device in certain directions. Some say this could be the biggest change for mobile user interfaces since Apple’s multi-touch technology was introduced in 2007.
Twisting and turning your device is going to be hard to market, especially since multi-touch is just so natural. It seems like we should have always been using pinch-to-zoom gestures or inertia scrolling because it flows so fluidly with the content. Bending your device back to zoom in, on the other hand, would not only get tiresome, but also would just look like you’re frustrated with the thing.
Samsung may have a different strategy for flexible displays in mind, though. For that, we’ll have to wait until next year. I’m sure Samsung will have more to say on the subject at CES 2012 in January.