- A team of Korean researchers have created a display that can be folded like origami.
- The so-called 3D foldable display can be folded into airplanes, pyramids, and more.
- It has a number of downsides at this stage of development though.
Foldable phones have become more popular thanks to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, but what if you’re looking for more ambitious foldable tech? Well, we’ve seen a number of official concepts for devices with dual or even tri-folding displays. But new tech has emerged that could up the ante even more.
Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science Nanoparticle Research Center (h/t: Maeil Business) announced a QLED 3D foldable display that allows users to fold it like origami. Some of the shapes shown off by the research team include pyramids, butterflies, and a paper airplane.
In saying so, a video clip (seen at the top of the page) suggests that it’s not nearly as complex and versatile as actual origami. It looks like you’ll require a butterfly-shaped display to begin with if you want a butterfly, for example. Nevertheless, the researchers do have a few mooted use-cases in mind.
“It will be useful in places where user-customized portable displays such as electronic newspapers and tablet PCs are required,” Taekhwan Hyun, a member of the research team, was quoted as saying.
This 3D foldable display technology has a number of limitations right now though. The team notes that the display can be folded and unfolded more than 500 times without affecting performance, which still pales in comparison to traditional folding screens on commercial devices. For example, Samsung claimed that the original Galaxy Fold could be folded and unfolded 200,000 times.
The new tech also has an extremely low screen resolution, consisting of a total of 64 pixels. So those expecting even VGA-quality screens will be disappointed. But the team noted that the resolution can be increased in the future.
It’s clear that this technology is early in development, but a more paper-like foldable display that can be folded multiple times could have commercial potential if the resolution and durability concerns can be addressed.