Bending the Rules: What does the Future hold for Samsung’s OLED Flexible Screen Prototype “Youm”?

We were proud to attend the 2014 International CES Event in Las Vegas where a range of incredible new technology was unveiled, including Samsung’s flexible screen prototype “Youm”.  Samsung unveiled the world’s first smartphone to feature a flexible screen, the Galaxy Round, in October 2013, but not under the “Youm” brand name. This series was introduced at CES 2014 with the use of some very exciting new prototypes.

How are Flexible OLED Screens Made?

OLED screens, unlike rigid television screens, produce their own light and therefore do not require a thick, heavy back plate making it extremely light weight. Already we can see large benefits for this new prototype, backed by Samsung who clearly believe in a future for this new series as they explain to their audience “we’re so confident about the market potential of flexible OLED’s that we’re creating an entire new line of them under the “Youm” brand name.”

These unique screen types are created with plastic based panels called LTPS – Low Temperature Poly Silicon LCDs. The plastic material melts under the heat of the mechanical operations occurring within the screen so the LTPS are put on to glass which is divided in to segments to prevent damage.

What are the Benficial Features of Samsung’s “Youm” Range?

Samsung explain that these OLED screens omit more vivid, vibrant colours, and since they’re integrated with plastic, they are notably much more lightweight. They are also thought to be far more durable than original screens because they're less likely to shatter when dropped. Screens could also be completely stored away when not in use, preventing them from being subject to every-day bumps and knocks.

“Imagine the Products you could design with this.”

The “roll-up” “Youm” prototype was used to demonstrate just how flexible future devices could be in their design. Their advertisement video introduces the concept of a USB stick with a roll-up screen, and a smartphone which unfolds in to a tablet as a result of a flexible Youm screen. According to Samsung these prototypes “will change how people interact with their devices” and will succeed in “opening up new lifestyle possibilities”. The Youm could allow us to create anything from smart watches which feature curved screens, to foldable, interchanageable smartphones and tablets.

What do you think the Youm series could bring?