While LG has shuttered its smartphone division, the electronics giant is still making innovations, and this particular one could have greatly helped the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
According to LG Chem (opens in new tab), researchers have developed a new flexible material that has "a surface as hard as glass and folding parts as flexible as plastic." This could be a pivotal moment for foldable devices, providing durability while also fixing issues related to creasing. And the ability to fold both inward and outward also paves the way for some potentially mind-bending designs.
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We don't know much about the material as of yet, though we do know that it's now referred to by LG as the "Real Folding Window.”
Per LG Chem, the foldable display is thinner than tempered glass found in typical smartphones. The company was able to achieve this by covering both sides of a thin film of plastic with a small layer of its freshly developed material, making the display both durable and highly flexible.
Since LG has just recently closed its own mobile business unit (opens in new tab), this new display could potentially fuel some healthy competition between other phone makers and Samsung. Or, at the very least, this material can be sold to Samsung for its next foldable. At the moment, the technology is currently planned to hit mass production by 2022, with smartphone makers hopefully being able to include it in their products by 2023. LG also mentioned that it's already received collaboration proposals from "multiple clients."
What's interesting is that LG plans to offer the technology not only for use in smartphones, but in tablets and laptops as well. So it's likely that if this display catches on within the industry, we could see it being applied across a wider range of foldable products beyond just smartphones.
However, if 2023 seems too long to wait for a new LG-powered foldable device, make sure to check out our list of the best foldable smartphones (opens in new tab) available now.