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New material technologies have facilitated an enormous leap in the development of more complex hi-tech displays for mobile devices. The next five years are promising to bring smart-flexible displays for phones to the global market. Users will fold, twist and roll them like paper at their convenience. This dramatic technology advancement will transform both the user experience and affect application development.


By 2020, flexible screens are predicted to make as much as 50% of the display market. The development of flexible displays won’t fully terminate glass-based technology screens since they play an important role in television apps. Instead, bendable displays will give rise to new formats of tablets and smartphones. The foldable technology, though looking futuristic, will cost approximately the same as a current display technology used in smartphones and tablets.


What’s behind the foldable technology?

Plastic has foldable properties and technology innovations are the foundational elements of bendable mobile devices. Flexible displays are based on the use of a soft polyimide plastic material that doesn’t get damaged or shattered if folded in two.


foldable display smartphone

Image credit to ReFlex


Presently, the rectangular form of a phone is predetermined by touch-based interaction with a glass-based display and a group of standard screen sizes for effortless use of the phone as a computerized device.


What to expect in smartphone form design and UI

The design of a foldable smartphone will impact the user interface. Flexible displays will help produce lightweight unbreakable mobile devices and create a new sense of a third dimension for gaming experiences, reading or looking for driving directions.


Foldable phone technology has been talked about for years, but it is the arrival of voice command and gesture recognition that will be some of the factors that will shape the new smartphone form. New technology will enable functionality that will remove many tasks a smartphone has to perform. This change in functionality will trigger dramatic shifts in device design, including screen properties and size modifications.


2016 is seen as the beginning of foldable phone commercialization. Among the global manufacturers that are getting ready to enter the market in the near future are Samsung and LG. Foldable displays will come into play more as manufacturers search for effective solutions for flexibility of other phone components, such as batteries and cameras.


Read more:

1. Smartphones in 2016: 5 top technology trends

2. 3D touch is transforming mobile technology and the digital experience