Samsung may have just solved the problems and the exorbitant repair costs associated with a broken smartphone display as they’ve just recently developed an unbreakable and flexible smartphone panel. Yup, you read that right.
Whereas current-generation displays use some measure of glass that shatters on impact with a hard surface, the new OLED panel developed by Samsung consists of a flexible and unbreakable substrate and layered onto it is an overlay window.
It’s not an idle boast that Samsung’s new panel is unbreakable as it has actually been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories, the official testing company for the OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration of the U.S Department of Labour. To wit, the panel was put through the ringer with durability tests to military standards. During the gauntlet of tests, the panel was dropped 1.2 metres to the ground 26 times in a row before enduring extremes of heat at 71 degrees and cold at -32 degrees. Even after all this abuse, the panel continued to function and without a scratch to boot.
The benefits of a panel that can survive drops with impunity are immense with direct applications to everything from smartphones, milspec hardware and almost anything else that requires a touchscreen. “The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass,” said Hojung Kim, general manager of the Communication Team, Samsung Display Company.
While it won’t be entering service anytime soon with this year’s current generation of phones, including the anticipated Galaxy Note9, the promise offered of an unbreakable touchscreen display mean more robust phones for consumers and possibly the dream of new phone form factors are on the distant horizon including the dream of a foldable smartphone, which is something that has been bandied about for quite awhile by many manufacturers.