Samsung patent suggests roll-up TVs are on the cards

A roll-up TV might sound like it belongs in the realm of sci-fi, but a recent patent filing from Samsung suggests the technology might be closer than you think. 

The patent, which has been filed with both the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office, states that it’s for a “rollable display device can be used for TVs, monitors, game devices, multimedia devices and so on”.

Apparently this technology could be used for either LCD or LED displays, and interestingly Samsung has also indicated that it might want to use it for OLED displays, despite its repeated assurances that it has no interest in the technology.

Keep on rollin' baby

Not everyone will have a use for a roll-up TV, but it’s something that might come in handy for someone who ordinarily wouldn’t have enough space for a massive screen. 

For example, if you’re living in a small flat where you normally do most of your watching on a small laptop or tablet screen, you could conceivably keep a TV rolled up to bring out when you have guests round. 

Or you could leave the TV set up 90% of the time, with the option of tucking it away when you’re hosting a party, when it might get damaged by a rowdy guest. 

Samsung isn't the first TV company to investigate the possibility of roll-up TVs. Back in 2014, LG showed off an 18-inch rollable display, but come CES 2016 the company appeared to be no closer to its dream of delivering a flexible OLED panel of more than 60 inches, despite setting itself a target of 2017 for the tech.

As always with these filings there’s no guarantee that the technology will ever make it to market, but it’s an interesting direction for Samsung to take, especially with the TV market being as competitive as it is. 

When contacted for comment, a representative from the company said, “Samsung does not comment on rumour or speculation.”

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.