In addition to satellites and computers smaller than a giant room, Arthur C. Clarke also predicted mobile touchscreen devices that could be crumpled up like a handkerchief and stuffed in a pocket. Thanks to researchers at Japan’s Semiconductor Energy Laboratory company, we’re almost there.
At a recent display-focused trade show in Yokohama City in Japan, the company revealed the new foldable 8.7-inch touchscreen OLED display that features full HD resolution and a pixel density of 254ppi, but more importantly can be folded three times. That puts it somewhere between the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, but over time that will certainly be further improved to compete with screen technologies currently in use.
And while the tri-fold display can’t quite be crumpled up and stuffed into a pocket, it does represent a novel way to increase the screen size of a smartphone, without pushing the hardware closer to the size of a tablet. With the screen folded away a smartphone could still be easily stashed in a pocket and used like a compact device. But when you wanted to watch a movie, browse photos, or even use multiple apps side-by-side, you could unfold the display so your pocket-friendly device was as spacious as a tablet. More importantly: we’d never have to hear the term phablet ever again. [Nikkie Technology]