Flexible displays have been around for years now. Every CES the technology is previewed, with manufacturers promising that new smartphones will implement the technology. Even Apple has been rumored to be testing out flexible OLED displays for its devices.
That hasn't happened, though. Displays in new smartphones are as rigid as ever. However, the new focus on smart watches might actually give the flexible display industry some room to grow in the coming years.
Market research firm ABI Research today predicted that flexible display technology will be widely used in smart watches. In addition, wearable computing devices are also expected to take advantage of the technology.
“Samsung’s YOUM technology (flexible display) has been highly publicized and it is clearly understandable why people can see the ‘wow’ factor in the technology," said Joshua Flood, senior analyst at ABI. "Nevertheless, the use of the technology in smartphones and tablets is still unlikely to become hugely popular in the next twelve months. There are a number of questions that need to be addressed. First and foremost, how useful is a flexible display on a mobile device like a smartphone?"
Both Samsung and LG have touted prototypes of the technology, but neither manufacturer has yet released a consumer product putting the technology to use. Even Samsung's new Galaxy Gear smart watch has a rigid display. Though ABI's report on the technology questions its usefulness, it's clear that flexible displays will make their appearance in smart watches in the near future.
(Image courtesy Samsung)