Sick of foldable phones? If you want to stay on the cutting edge of smartphone innovation, 2021 will give us rollable displays to stand out from the crowd.
At least, that’s the direction LG appears to be headed in, based on a report from LetsGoDigital. The Dutch site says LG is working on something called Project B, the codename for a smartphone with a rollable display that’s been in development for some time.
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We’ve heard about LG’s rollable phone display plans before, but it seems that manufacturing might finally be moving forward. LG has reportedly been awarded a patent for a device with a rolling, retractable display such as the one described for Project B.
The patent describes a smartphone that resembles your typical handset with a vertical orientation. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the phone has a special frame. You're meant to be able to roll out and slide both sides of the phone until you’ve got a triple-wide screen.
With this architecture, LG’s Project B phone could avoid any of the hinges or creases seen in foldable phones currently on the market such as Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the Motorola Razr 5G. That would put LG’s prototype on the map ahead of its competitors right off the bat — assuming it’s moving beyond the drawing board, that is.
The rollable phone's displays could be used in landscape mode to enhance the viewing experience in terms of TV shows and movies, or it could flex with the phone's metal housing to offer split-screen gaming or completing additional tasks with a simple slide.
LG has no official release date or even a name for its Project B phone, but the phone could launch sometime around March 2021, as Neowin reports. So far, we've only seen what the patent illustrates as well and nothing in terms of a real-world application for the design.
Still, as described by Let’s Go Digital, this would a daring take on the foldable phone trend that could wind up bing more valuable and sleek than the folding phones currently on the market.
If LG can achieve additional screen real estate without creases or hinges and can do so reliably for the foreseeable future without breaking down or succumbing to wear and tear like its brethren eventually will, the phone maker could be on to something. This is the same manufacturer that’s already brought us the LG Wing and its swiveling screen, which was nearly there in terms of design principles.
The future could be without hinges or folds for expanding smartphone screens, and LG could be at the forefront of the change.
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Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.