Foldable phones and wireless healthcare checks

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 11 Jul 2013

Samsung has revealed its vision for the future of consumer technology, and in particular the look and feel of the smartphone, at the opening of the annual VentureBeat Mobile Beat 2013 conference. 

According to the South Korean tech firm, the evolution of flexible screen technology — which is already well underway — will mean future smartphones can be folded inwards and outwards, expanding to tablet format or closing down again into a device easier to hold in a single hand. 

This is because AMOLED screens don't require rigid backlighting units in order to work. 

Samsung has been one of the pioneering companies in flexible screen technology (as has LG, one of its closest competitors), and is already rumoured to be bringing flexible display components to its future handheld devices as soon as 2014. 

Meanwhile, the same technology will enable the development of non-invasive sensors that, when applied, can monitor and analyse physical condition. The patch sensors use radio frequency waves to penetrate the skin, meaning that they can gather information that would usually require the drawing of blood. 

What's more, the sensor can be inserted into a smartphone and the results of the analysis transmitted to a healthcare professional. If there's a problem the user will receive an alert that a doctor's appointment has been made. 

However, Samsung's presentation is just a proof of concept. Although flexible screens are already a reality, flexible batteries, processors, RAM and flexible internal storage are not. 

During the presentation, Samsung screened an eyes-only video demonstrating its concepts, which an All Things D journalist managed to capture, though admittedly at less than HD quality, via her smartphone. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2013 

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