Samsung’s new patent reveals a rollable display with fingerprint scanner support

Samsung has patented a rollable OLED display that works with magnets and supports fingerprint scanner.

| Updated on: Jan 02 2018, 12:43 IST
Samsung patents a rollable display with fingerprint scanner.
Samsung patents a rollable display with fingerprint scanner. (AFP)
Samsung patents a rollable display with fingerprint scanner.
Samsung patents a rollable display with fingerprint scanner. (AFP)

The foldable displays have been around for quite some time. There have been a plethora of prototypes of such displays in the past though a commercial roll out still seems a distant proposition. Samsung, a prominent name in display market, has patented a new foldable display. But unlike other concept foldable displays, Samsung's display one can be activated by a fingerprint scanner.

The display looks more like a rollable paper with an edge-to-edge panel and could be pulled using cylindrical and square magnets, reported LetsGoDigital. The main body has metallic material while the display has magnets that are attached with the body.

The cylindrical body comes with a roller that spirally winds the display panel. This essentially means one can carry these small cylindrical or square boxes and launch the display by just tapping with their fingers. The addition of fingerprint scanner ensures a bit of security, a key concern for current and future gadgets.

"The support portion includes an extension portion extending from the support portion and beyond an edge of the flexible display panel, wherein the edge of the flexible display panel extends along the length direction of the main body portion, and the extension portion includes a magnet that attaches the flexible display panel to the main body portion," reads the patent.

This is not the first time Samsung has worked on foldable displays. Back in 2016, the Korean company showcased a fully functional rollable OLED panel. The device had a 5.7-inch screen and was mere 0.3mm thick and weighed just 5 grams.

Samsung, however, isn't alone preparing rollable displays for the future. Last month, Apple partnered with LG to develop a foldable OLED panel. The display is speculated to be in one of the future iPhones. There are also possibilities that the company might include the new display technology in one of its wearables, Apple Watch.

Apple also patented for foldable device that can be "opened and closed like a book." Microsoft is also said to be working on a dual-touchscreen device, similar to its abandoned Courier concept that too had dual touchscreens facing each other in a booklet form factor.

While patents don't necessarily mean an immediate roll-out, but they give an idea about the kind of technologies the companies are experimenting with or intend to do in the future. One of the biggest changes in display technologies one can expect is the inclusion of fingerprint scanner within the screens.

In fact, the feature was highly rumoured for last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone X smartphones. Evidently, none of these two phones ended up with an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Well, it appears neither Samsung nor Apple would pioneer the in-screen fingerprint scanner, but the Chinese handset company Vivo. The company has tied up with display maker Synaptics to develop displays with such technology. Synaptics last month announced it had begun mass production of optical in-display fingerprint sensors.

While edge-to-edge displays have already become popular, there are chances of OLED panels to be more widely available on the smartphones.

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First Published Date: 02 Jan, 12:43 IST