This is the flexible, foldable future of smartphone displays

This is the flexible, foldable future of smartphone displays

Flexible displays are yet to fully realise their potential in our mobile devices, but one British firm has a range of screens it's hoping will soon change that.

We've already seen flexible displays in a handful of products, with the likes of the LG G Flex and Samsung Gear Fit dabbling with the bendable form factor, but you can't fold them in half or wrap them round your arm.

Heading over to the FlexEnable stand at MWC 2016, we were shown some exciting screen technology from the Cambridge-based firm.

It's created a range of full colour screens which can be folded, rolled and flexed with ease. While its LCD solution can be bent round a coffee up, its transistor solution can be rolled around a HB pencil.


Get your flex on

This kind of durability opens up a whole world of opportunity for device manufacturers, and the hope is we'll be treated to some truly unique products, including ones that can fold in half and sport roll-up screens.

Another area interested in FlexEnable's smarts is the auto industry, as car manufacturers are keen to replace the flat screens their currently forced to use in the centre console and dashboard with more elegant curved solutions.

While this tech may sound expensive, we were told the screens are pretty much the same price as the displays we currently have in our phones, tablets and wearables today.


FlexEnable can scale its technology to pretty much any size, and while the non-touch demo unit we saw only had a 130ppi pixel density, the firm can push resolutions to 300-400ppi and make them touchscreen-enabled with the addition of a flexible touch layer.

FlexEnable is already working with a number of Chinese manufacturers, and the first products using the displays are due to hit the market in about 18 months time.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.