Samsung Display has reportedly developed a 360-degree rotating display. According to a report, the foldable display prototype, first showcased at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023, can be folded in both directions to a full 360-degree range. Samsung Display (a Samsung subsidiary which makes its displays) calls it the “Flex in and out” display and while it's not a new form factor when it comes to foldable devices, it sure has some interesting use cases. Samsung had showcased several display prototypes at CES 2023, including a new Flex Hybrid display which both folds and slides simultaneously.
According to a report in The Verge, Samsung recently showed off this prototype display at CES 2023. The “Flex in and out” display, as its name aptly describes, can fold both inwards and outwards. This means that the display can open up like unfolding a newspaper or fold outwards and wrap itself around the device, like the hardcover of a book.
The report claims that the display showcased also utilises the water-drop hinge design, which makes the inwards and outward folding mechanism possible. This new hinge, which holds the display in a tear drop shape when folded inwards, is quite different from the current one used in Samsung's outgoing Galaxy Fold models. The brand claims that the new hinge design, apart from leaving a much less visible crease, will also help reduce stress on the foldable display, which should in theory help with long-term reliability.
The “Flex in and out” display also appears to be attached to a functional device with a software interface and in appearance closely resembles the currently available Galaxy Fold models. So, it is a possibility that Samsung could bring it to the upcoming Galaxy Fold model which, going by tradition, should be announced in August this year. The Verge mentions that Samsung did showcase a similar display, but with multiple inward and outward folds at an earlier event held in Korea.
A dual function fold in and fold out display primarily reduces the need for a second external display, which is often used when the device is folded. This is possible, as the internal display can double up as the external one when folded outwards, where the device can be placed on one side on a surface, such as a table. While this design has been experimented with in the past, it was shot down mainly because foldable displays weren't durable when exposed back then. If Samsung does go ahead with this new hinge and foldable display for its next Fold model, it will reduce the need to have a secondary external display, unless Samsung expects the user to keep the display folded inwards and protected by two outer clamshells, when in pockets or in storage.
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