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Is Samsung’s ridiculous extendable display concept the future of phones?

In a climate where tech companies are hell bent on finding a way to get a tablet-sized display into a human-sized jeans pocket, Samsung continues to push the envelope.

With its problematic Galaxy Fold finally set for release before the end of 2019, and the company pushing its rollable display tech to new limits, the Galaxy-maker looks set to lead us into a new frontier.

However, looking at this sliding smartphone-cum-tablet patent filled by Samsung, we’re suddenly not so sure. LetsGoDigital has discovered the recently-filed patent, showing dual displays that roll-out from beneath the main smart display, in order to form one tablet-sized display with three-times the viewing area.

Related: Foldable phones you’ll love or hate

The mechanism, rather than being pulled-out by the user, looks like it has a drive motor for a rolling mechanism. The front and rear-facing cameras  remain in the middle of the display and there’s a physical button that powers the mechanism.

Picture of a man wearing silver-black Fidelio X3 headphones

Image credit: Let’s Go Digital

The site has also had some renders mocked-up (main picture) based upon the patent sketches, which are sure to divide opinion among future-gazing smartphone fans.

Filed on June 11 this year, the patent shows Samsung is thinking deeply about different form factors around flexible displays. Just last week, the company spoke of devices like the Galaxy Fold being stopgaps ahead of a near future where displays are wearable.

“[The] previous 10 years, it was an era of the smartphone,” said Samsung CEO DJ Koh (via ZDNet). “From this year, maybe a new era is opening because of the emergence of the internet of things, 5G, AI, and all these technologies mingling together. The new era is in front of us.”

Koh said that the switch from foldable to wearable phones will be so “seamless” that “in five years or so, people will not even realise they are wearing screens.” He added that “smartphones may decline, but new devices will emerge.”

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