Foldable screens are quite honestly taking over the tech world! Whether they’re in the form of smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, or even televisions, they’re gaining immense popularity. They are a cutting edge and innovative development in the tech world and are a prediction that these could be the future of screens. On a personal note, I do appreciate them quite a bit, as they do tend to be modular and flexible to various forms! They can function as several gadgets in one go, reducing the need to use and carry around various devices. These foldable screen concepts do exactly that, with a single concept doubling or tripling up as multiple gadgets, for example, a smartphone doubling up as a smartwatch, or as a tablet and laptop. After all, a trend will predict the future of the technology world, and if a single fold is the dominating factor, future will hold more complex permutations of the humble single folding screen. Scroll down to see how a folding screen can impact the tech world.
If you look at the iPhone X Fold’s OS, you see that it’s essentially an iPad Mini folded in half… a desirable #bendgate if you will. It features a secondary screen on the front that resembles the iPhone X, but its most unlikely yet apt inspiration comes from one of Apple’s most reliable products ever, the MacBook. The XFold features an inward screen as the MacBook does, and even comes with the same anodized aluminum finish. Look at the rim and you’ll even see a slight cutout on the frame to slide your thumb in and open the phone, just like the MacBook has. The iPhone XFold concept truly embodies the best of all worlds. When closed, it’s an iPhone X, when opened partially, it’s a miniature MacBook, and when fully opened, the XFold transforms into an iPad.
Designed by Beencent Oh, Unclose is a rollable display concept that is quite intriguing. It’s a rollable curtain that can be positioned above our windows, however, as it rolls down, it exposes a screen that is not only similar to a window but also provides you privacy from the outside world, while you relax in your home. You can select the background of the display through its companion app on your smartphone. You can pick beautiful sceneries or even pretty images of the sky! You can set reminders as well as alarms, and check the weather too on the screen. Imagine waking up to a display of the radiant sun, without actually being bothered by its sunny rays!
Meet the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 concept… It actually folds in the shape of the letter Z, and comes with one singular screen that cascades from the inside to the out, unlike previous folding models that had a dedicated external display and a folding internal one. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 works out the hinges in a way that allows you to use only the outer part of the display when in closed-mode, and the entire screen when completely opened. When opened, the dual-hinge format gives the smartphone multiple ways to orient it. You could potentially open it out completely, turning it into a tablet, or use it in one of many shapes, allowing the phone’s flexible body to work as a stand. The most standout feature of this concept is its ability to be used as a real laptop.
Codenamed ‘Papyrus’, this foldable phone is able to expand beyond the original display size of the Mi Mix Alpha, owing to two scroll-like mechanisms on its sides. This axle allows Papyrus to occupy various sizes, varying from the size of a small TV remote to a medium-sized tablet. Though it is narrower compared to the original Mi Mix Alpha, Papyrus has three versatile modes; compact, standard, and (wide) tablet. In the compact mode, it completely collapses to occupy a folded position, looking much like a chain of lego blocks or a chocolate bar! In the standard format, it expands further (like a scroll) to reveal the three-lens camera with high resolution on the back. And on giving a final tug to the sides, the scroll mechanisms on the axle allow the OLED screen to expand to a tablet of 7-8 inches or even more.
The Rollean TV has been truly designed on the ideology of a built-in-shelf. This rollable TV concept blends with your interiors, it is minimal and sleek, unlike the usual TV stands. You simply roll out the screen when you watch to binge Netflix and slide it back to turn it into a table – ninja skills! You can lean it against a wall and roll the screen down or if you have existing furniture but don’t like the bulkiness of your TV, simply rest it on the shelf and pull the screen up, no bending required. When not being used, only a part of the TV remains exposed and shows the time which means it’s not just a table, it is a smart table that will fit within any interior setting.
Braga is an interactive sleeping aid that specifically aims to help insomnia sufferers. With user-defined technological and personalized features, this design solution makes restful sleep possible. Surrounding the bed is an OLED, a film of an organic compound, emitting light, which bridges digital solutions with the human experience. The OLED screen is the sleeping aid’s primary charm and uses rollable, flexible technology in order to envelop the top half of your body and project images from the depths of your most peaceful, relaxing imagination. By promoting the beneficial and curated use of Artificial Intelligence, stressors such as anxiety and depression can be managed.
The Flexbook is like a laptop met a sandwich. Unlike most laptops, which have a two-part design connected via a hinge, the Flexbook has three parts. A main body, comprising your motherboard, electronics, ports, and keyboard… and around it, a two-part flexible screen that sandwiches the keyboard in the middle. The Flexbook can be traditionally used as a laptop with a 3:2 12.6-inch display, simply by opening it and using one half of the screen, or as a massive Wacom Cintiq-style tablet PC with a neat 4:3 17.8-inch touchscreen. This interchangeability is what makes the Flexbook such a unique laptop because it can alternate between being a laptop and a tablet, much like the Microsoft Surface, but with the advantage of a massive 17.8-inch screen in the form factor of a 13 inch laptop.
Designed by Jeabyun Yeon, Limbo is a foldable smartphone concept that transforms into a smartwatch! Created from materials like T.P.U and high polymer which contribute to its flexibility, Limbo can be used as a smartphone and converted into the form of a watch when needed. Featuring a 4.3″ and 16:9 WSVGA AMOLED flexible display, and measuring 6mm in thickness, Limbo is a unique concept with a modular and ergonomic form that can cater to our various needs in various situations. Maybe the next Apple Watch could adopt Limbo’s design philosophy!
The Apple version of a folding phone could take design cues from the Galaxy Z Fold 2 if they decide to make it an all-out flagship-grade version, or go for a subtle Razr-like form factor if they desire to cater to a niche set of buyers. If we go by the patent filed by Apple, the display will have a crease-less foldable panel (like Galaxy Z Fold 2) and a folding mechanism similar to Motorola Razr – folding like a handy mirror. The early renders of the iPhone 13 are not exactly promising (for either of the versions) but we can count on Apple’s tendency to be thorough in its design testing and the result will be ready to shock and awe. Any way they choose to proceed, a folding iPhone is inevitable and who knows it could be the iPhone 13 Fold or a new model that is positioned separately from the conventional iPhone series.
The Nubia is to smart-watches what the plus-sized displays are to smartphones. The watch comes with an impressive 4-inch display that wraps around the upper half of your wrist, giving the Nubia the largest display on a smart wearable BY FAR. Designed to help lay information out in a way that’s easy to see no matter the angle, Nubia’s vertical display is instantly eye-catching and is conveniently long enough so that you don’t need to scroll away on a tiny screen. It comes with a real-time heart-rate tracker, 4 dedicated sports/fitness tracking modes, the ability to accept and reject calls, find your phone if it gets lost, and summon your phone’s native voice assistant.