Samsung shows off stretchable screen, and it’s both awesome and weird

You can always count on Samsung to show you a glimpse of the future.

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Samsung Display unveiled the world’s first stretchable touchscreen display at the Society for Information Display (SID) in Los Angeles this week, and it’s absolutely as bonkers as it sounds.

Samsung’s no stranger to showing off non-flat screens. The company has a history of making sci-fi-riffic displays that curve, flex, and fold.

Its latest screen, a 9.1-inch “dynamic stretchable AMOLED display,” is merely a proof-of-concept prototype, but still impressive nonetheless.

It’s a little difficult to see in the image below, but the screen can stretch 12mm in concave and convex positions, effectively making it bulge out or depress inwards.

IMAGE: SAMSUNG DISPLAY

According to OLEDnet (Korean), Samsung says the stretchable OLED screen is based on Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon (LTPS) display technology, which helps with deforming the necessary pixels for stretching.

Imagine having a phone-sized display that you could stretch into a tablet-sized screen.

There are a number of scenarios a stretchable screen would be useful. Imagine having a phone-sized display that you could stretch into a tablet-sized screen for watching movies, or reading an e-book, or when you have a bunch of people crowding around it.

For video games, certain elements could cause the screen to pop out or in, adding another layer of visual depth or haptic feedback. It could be both awesome and terrifying, especially for games designed to scare you.

The most obvious use would be for clothing. Digital elbow pads, anyone?

Cool as the display is, it’s still only a prototype and Samsung hasn’t said anything about plans to ¬†commercialize it.

Still, that’s the same response Samsung said about foldable displays years ago, and those will reportedly be integrated into a foldable phone either later this year or early next year.

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