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Samsung Demos the Flexy Sci-Fi Media Player Screen of the Future, Today


We know OLED tech will hit the mainstream sometime, and we know flexible screens are in the future too. Clever then of Samsung to demonstrate a flexy-screen OLED media player ... now.

In some ways OLED screens are the bees knees: They have higher contrast than LCD, they can have better viewing angles and lower power consumption, and while their sunlight readability isn't all that hot, their eye-pleasing image brightness is a big plus. Apple was strongly rumored to want the tech for its iPad 2, only selecting LCD in the end because of manufacture-supply chain restrictions.

We've also read a ton about flexible electronics, on how it will enable new form-factors for mobile devices (perhaps akin to rolled up parchment scrolls of yore) that will make them still more portable, and even enable odd tricks like integrating computers and displays into clothing. The concept is also a sci-fi staple, surfacing most recently in foldable computers in Caprica and the maps in the improbably movie Babylon A.D.

Enter Samsung, which at CES showed off a pocket-sized media player with an "unbreakable" palm-sized flexible OLED screen.

There's not much more to say here, other than this tech really must bust into the mainstream soon for about three distinct reasons: Imagine what innovative gadgets designers will be able to create, imagine how handy it'll be viewing on a large screen in places you'd never take one at the moment (unfurl a 12-inch media screen in the bath?) and imagine how much further the battery on your mobile device will go. 

Interestingly enough, the supposed source of Apple's potential iPad 2 OLED was actually Samsung. Which raises all sorts of intriguing possibilities for iPad 3, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2012.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.