Samsung shows transparent flexible tablet in concept video

By on December 5, 2011, 11:30 AM

Samsung has released a concept video showing what the future of mobile phones and tablets could look like. The clip opens with a ringing phone which is then rolled out and turned into a video conferencing tablet as others look on in amazement.

The remainder of the half minute clip shows potential uses for such a device in multiple scenarios using augmented reality. One scene shows the user snapping a photo of text on a restaurant menu which then shows a 3D image of the dish. Another scene demos a translator app where both participants can speak into the tablet on opposite sides of the transparent screen. The tablet correctly translates and displays the conversation in each user's native language.

The technology in the clip is still several years away but it’s interesting to see how tech companies envision the future. Some aspects, like augmented reality, have been around for several years but have yet to make a huge impact on mobile devices.

Samsung has shown us working prototypes of flexible AMOLED displays earlier this year and Nokia demoed a flexible phone prototype in October.

Although, as impressive as these real-life displays are, creating something like we see in the video from Samsung still presents some challenges as the physical hardware like the processor and memory has to reside somewhere.  Additionally one must wonder how the display would be powered if there are no visible batteries inside the transparent panel.




User Comments: 20

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Guest said:

Powered by wind, driven by power of the force :)

Guest said:

the hardware is limited now yes .. but software is not..

Samsung tables are not as smooth are advertized there ...

how about we get the nice silky smoothness NOW! ?

p3ngwin said:

simple, use transparent batteries

[link]

Guest said:

Telekinesis is a lot cheaper and better for the environment.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

I hate concept videos. They're nothing more than science fiction. I mean, seriously. How is a sheet of fiberglass with no hardware and no wires going to be such a powerful tablet?

Arris Arris said:

Obviously the tech isn't quite here, and they have to link it to something familiar in todays market (tablet). Really once this technology arrives I doubt a tablet format will be the one to go with. Nokia had a video like this years ago with a flexible phone that could be folded up, worn around the wrist as a watch and unfolded into a larger size when needed.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

matrix86 said:

I hate concept videos. They're nothing more than science fiction. I mean, seriously. How is a sheet of fiberglass with no hardware and no wires going to be such a powerful tablet?

I'm sure there were similar questions & conversations in the past... "How is just a screen and keyboard going to be an actual computer?" or "How can a computer connect to a network without any wires?"

Technology and innovation find interesting paths to solve problems. Just consider how many things we use today that were considered "science fiction" only 10-20 years ago. Start going back 30-50 years or more, and what we do today starts looking more and more like magic

Guest said:

Samsung is so cool... in the future.

Guest said:

they shoud patent this hahaha

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Vrmithrax said:

I'm sure there were similar questions & conversations in the past... "How is just a screen and keyboard going to be an actual computer?" or "How can a computer connect to a network without any wires?"

Technology and innovation find interesting paths to solve problems. Just consider how many things we use today that were considered "science fiction" only 10-20 years ago. Start going back 30-50 years or more, and what we do today starts looking more and more like magic

Amen brother, imagination leads to innovation!

Guest said:

Samsung needs to make more of these videos, so Apple can not claim it's their idea.

waterproof said:

Are you serious? Have you seen Space Odyssey 2001? They had touchpad screens, way before Apple or any other companies claim the touch screen madness. And the movie was made more than 30 years ago!

Guest said:

Apple patents the color black and the rectangular shape.

On the smartphones, Apple design suggestion for Samsung:

Front surface that isn't black.

Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.

Display screens that aren't centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.

Non-horizontal speaker slots.

Front surfaces with substantial adornment.

No front bezel at all.

For tablets:

Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.

Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.

Front surface that isn't entirely flat.

Profiles that aren't thin.

Cluttered appearance.

Guest said:

Where did they put the battery, speakers, chips and other stuff that's so simple they put them on the left and right edges where the user holds the device with their hands.

Samsung has and produce the flexible transparent AMOLED displays already and could produce this thing next year or so.

Apple has and produce **** so they won't be able to produce anything like this.

Guest said:

Where did they put the battery, speakers, chips and other stuff that's so simple they put them on the left and right edges where the user holds the device with their hands.

Samsung has and produce the flexible transparent AMOLED displays already and could produce this thing next year or so.

Apple has and produce SH*T so they won't be able to produce anything like this.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Vrmithrax said:

matrix86 said:

I hate concept videos. They're nothing more than science fiction. I mean, seriously. How is a sheet of fiberglass with no hardware and no wires going to be such a powerful tablet?

I'm sure there were similar questions & conversations in the past... "How is just a screen and keyboard going to be an actual computer?" or "How can a computer connect to a network without any wires?"

Technology and innovation find interesting paths to solve problems. Just consider how many things we use today that were considered "science fiction" only 10-20 years ago. Start going back 30-50 years or more, and what we do today starts looking more and more like magic

Yeah, but think about this logically. A sheet of glass...how is a sheet of glass with absolutely no hardware (which includes no way of projecting the image onto the sheet of glass) going to work? I could see it working indoors if there are projectors all around which are able to send visuals to the glass as well as read input. But what about walking down the middle of the street?

I would believe this more if there was at least a thin bar on the side that contained the hardware. I could thouroughly believe hardware being so small that it could fit into a thin bar that goes on the side. But just a sheet of glass with no hardware?

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for imagination and innovation, but ya gotta realize where that fine line between innovation and science fiction is. And this concept is just over that line. Barely, but it's there.

Zecias said:

matrix86 said:

Vrmithrax said:

matrix86 said:

I hate concept videos. They're nothing more than science fiction. I mean, seriously. How is a sheet of fiberglass with no hardware and no wires going to be such a powerful tablet?

I'm sure there were similar questions & conversations in the past... "How is just a screen and keyboard going to be an actual computer?" or "How can a computer connect to a network without any wires?"

Technology and innovation find interesting paths to solve problems. Just consider how many things we use today that were considered "science fiction" only 10-20 years ago. Start going back 30-50 years or more, and what we do today starts looking more and more like magic

Yeah, but think about this logically. A sheet of glass...how is a sheet of glass with absolutely no hardware (which includes no way of projecting the image onto the sheet of glass) going to work? I could see it working indoors if there are projectors all around which are able to send visuals to the glass as well as read input. But what about walking down the middle of the street?

I would believe this more if there was at least a thin bar on the side that contained the hardware. I could thouroughly believe hardware being so small that it could fit into a thin bar that goes on the side. But just a sheet of glass with no hardware?

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for imagination and innovation, but ya gotta realize where that fine line between innovation and science fiction is. And this concept is just over that line. Barely, but it's there.

I could see it working in an extremely complex setup involving the ideas behind telekinesis and quantum mechanics =).

I recently started reading "physics of the impossible" by michio kaku

It's an interesting book that gives alot of insight as to what is realistically possible in the future. I would highly recommend reading it if you are interested in this kind of stuff. It also explains some basic quantum physics and the concepts behind such items. So with it, you might understand how stuff like this is possible.

Guest said:

Hardware is getting much smaller and thinner as well as faster and more efficient when it comes to energy consumption. It is not impossible to design this device right now and have it look about 90% of what you saw in the concept video. However, it would be pricey. How?

Induction charged battery - like the Power Mat

Slim flexible batteries - http://www.powerstream.com/thin-lithium-ion.htm

AMOLED flexible screens sandwiching the hardware package on both sides - http://youtu.be/qsIjfy8g2Pk

Ultra small HD CMOS camera's to project on opposite AMOLED display giving a transparent effect

Xmitters and receivers are so small connectivity should not be an issue

Flat directional speakers - http://www.ted.com/talks/woody_norris_invents_amazing_things
html

I am sure with a bit of imagination, some take-out and a pile of money a viable concept could be hammered out before the end of next year if one was so inclined.

Dare to dream. :)

Guest said:

What if the actual phone was in his pocket the whole time, transmitting the image wirelessly to the flexible screen and Bluetooth headset for sound. use your imagination gosh...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

matrix86 said:

Yeah, but think about this logically. A sheet of glass...how is a sheet of glass with absolutely no hardware (which includes no way of projecting the image onto the sheet of glass) going to work? I could see it working indoors if there are projectors all around which are able to send visuals to the glass as well as read input. But what about walking down the middle of the street?

I would believe this more if there was at least a thin bar on the side that contained the hardware. I could thouroughly believe hardware being so small that it could fit into a thin bar that goes on the side. But just a sheet of glass with no hardware?

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for imagination and innovation, but ya gotta realize where that fine line between innovation and science fiction is. And this concept is just over that line. Barely, but it's there.

Well, to be fair, this is intended to tout the flexible screen, not be a final product concept. Seems like more of a "what could be possible" thing. The screen isn't a sheet of glass, it's a flexible clear (probably plastic derivative) sheet with an AMOLED embedded - which means no backlighting needed, but ambient light can be used to reduce power draw. If you don't do a full pixel fill (keep every other one blank, for example), you can create a bit of a transparency overlay effect for those augmented reality situations.

I do agree with you on the "where is the video coming from?" department - I'd guess a strip along at least 1 edge with the electronics would make the most sense in an actual product. You'd probably need a few hard (aka not transparent) points anyhow, for cameras and such. But things could be done to keep the screen hardware very minimal - use wireless charging + wireless display/input, with a small processing brick in your pocket, for example... I think the point is supposed to be that there is a world of possibilities available with this flexible display technology, and this video is showcasing some ideas.

I think it's best to keep in mind this is a "look what we'd love to do if we could" video to promote the general tech of Samsung's flexible screen , not an advertisement for a finished product they want to market. Could be way worse too - at least they don't have dancing hamsters driving a car to sell you (Kia Soul)...

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