By Stephen Schenck | February 20, 2014 7:07 PM
There’s going to be a ton of new hardware at MWC 2014 next week, and we’ve been spending a lot of time this month talking about the sort of devices we expect to see. More recently, though, we’ve been hearing rumors about some really interesting products that – despite claims that they will indeed be present at MWC, and irrespective of how much we might actually like to interact with them – will be restricted to private showrooms, available only to the eyes of other industry partners. That’s the story we heard about an HTC smartwatch this morning, and it’s what we’re hearing again now, as we talk about a possible foldable tablet from Samsung.
With curved-screen phones now a reality, bendable devices aren’t just the logical extension – it’s specifically where we’ve heard Samsung say it’s headed over the next couple years. The company’s already filed design patents (like the one you see above) for tablet that take advantage of this bendable tech, and the word is that such a prototype will be demoed next week behind closed doors.
The report specifically talks about the tablet bending 90 degrees in the middle, such that it would emulate the basic look of a laptop. Then presumably we’d use half of the display as our main viewing area, and the other half as a touchscreen keyboard, maybe with room for system settings toggles or some notifications.
Maybe even more so than with smartphones, a flexible design like this could add a fair amount of functionality to a tablet. Sure, we’re probably at least a year away before anything along these lines hits retail, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming about it now.