Time after time, a display manufacturer will come up with some ideas for making a flexible screen, and end up showing it off at a trade expo. Over the years, we’ve seen variations on this tech keep popping up, but we still haven’t been at the place yet where anyone’s ready to produce a finished, commercial product. That’s not to say that some of the prototypes we’ve seen haven’t been very impressive, but it seemed like the manufacturers involved may still be struggling to figure out a way to integrate these kind of systems with smartphones that feels actually useful, and not just like a gimmick. Samsung may be preparing itself to make just such a leap and actually release a flexible display, or at least that’s the impression given by the company filing for trademark protection for the name of its latest flexible display tech.
Samsung will apparently call its OLED-based flexible screen YOUM, which gets itself a logo in addition to trademark protection. It’s not clear yet if that’s supposed to be an acronym, but Samsung has been using the name in all-caps.
YOUM basically takes a standard OLED design, and replaces both the glass substrate and encapsulation layers with flexible polymer sheets. As a result, the screens should be especially durable and even a bit lighter than existing components. Samsung goes so far as to call it unbreakable; we’ll withhold judgment on that one until we get our hands on a YOUM device ourselves. They could start showing-up as soon as sometime next year.