4 years ago, the idea of seeing a flexible screen mobile was still something that we knew was underway, but it would still take a couple of years to arrive at the earliest. We jump to 2021 and we have brands like Samsung, the first to bet on the roll-up panel concept as this 2014 ad showed, it already has up to 3 iterations of models like the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Flip -this 2021 it has presented the Fold3 and Flip 3.
What is the next logical step? Flexible screen TVs already exist, so it is necessary to adapt this type of screen to other smart devices such as tablets or smart watches. And this is precisely what Samsung has done, because the Koreans they have already patented your first flexible smartwatch.
Samsung Foldable Smartwatch
On June 2, 2021, Samsung Electronics filed a patent with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) for a “Electronic device comprising a roll-up screen and a display method for the same”. The 96-page documentation was released and published on December 9, 2021.
It’s about a Samsung Galaxy Watch with roll-up screen. In its most compact form, it is a full-size watch, with two semi-circular display sections. Samsung’s flexible watch screen is touch-sensitive. Between the two parts of the screen there is a narrow frame that allows the roll-up screen to be extended. From the center, the surface of the screen is enlarged. In the fully unfolded position, the screen surface is approximately 40% larger than in the most compact position.
A smart watch screen that opens and closes
The user can “zoom in and out of the Samsung roll-up watch screen by pressing the small crown on the side of the watch case“. It is also possible to make a swipe gesture on the screen, after which the screen area is reduced / enlarged, as also shown in the illustrations of The patent.
In its expanded position, “the user has an oval-shaped screen, which of course can show more content than in its most compact position “. You can choose if you want to display only one or both sections of the screen. This can also be set depending on the application. For example, the small screen part can show the controls and the big screen part can show the corresponding application.
The central frame also houses a camera. Optionally, several camera sensors can be incorporated, as well as a flash. Both photos and videos can be captured with this camera.
When will the Galaxy Watch flexible?
It is not the first smartwatch in the world with a flexible screen, there is the Nubia Alpha smartwatch for example, although this watch does not have a roll-up screen, but rather makes use of a relatively long flexible screen. However, Samsung’s proprietary technology is clearly more advanced.
It is also a very detailed patent that covers not only the design, but also various operating options. At the moment it is unknown if and when Samsung intends to launch a rollable Galaxy Watch, but with the patent already registered, it seems that it will be a matter of time.