Samsung has patented the technology for a new device that will function as both a smartphone and a smartwatch.
That’s because the device is designed to be flexible, and will be able to lie flat on a table or bend around your wrist.
This is made possible by securing the flexible screen onto a ‘plurality’ of interlocking segments that can be curled or extended out flat, as explained in the filing with the US Patent & Trademark Office (via PatentlyMobile).
The device will carry a large touchscreen OLED display, which the patent explains can be used to display content.
The patent also goes on to detail how the futuristic device would be able to play back audio, video, and other forms of multimedia.
Samsung also reckons its next-gen wearable will be able to work as a communication device i.e. you’ll be able to make phone calls.
There’s also a brief mention of the device’s display rotating to match your arm position, providing an optimum viewing angle at all times.
Unfortunately, there’s not much else in terms of detail, so we can’t say for sure what Samsung is actually cooking up in its research labs.
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While flexible OLED displays are still a long way off for consumers, it’s certainly a realistic technology. We’ve already seen slightly curved screens on devices, namely the LG G Flex 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, which is a forerunner for the bendier tech.
Combining a smartphone and smartwatch would also mean that consumers wouldn’t need to shell out cash for two devices in the future.
While the technology described in the patent is certainly interesting, there’s no way of knowing when, or indeed if, Samsung actually plans to capitalise on the idea.