The up-and-coming form factor of consumer tech is the folding screen. From the top echelon of premium smartphones to early examples of foldable PCs, a display that bends in half is the hallmark of a bleeding edge device.
At least, it used to be. Now an even more futuristic form factor is rolling into town.
At Lenovo Tech World ’22 earlier this month, Motorala (a Lenovo subsidiary) debuted a concept of both a phone and laptop with a rollable display. No, they didn’t stick wheels on it so you can roll your device around the airport. The screen itself can be extended by unrolling hidden pixels, and made smaller by rolling them back in. Think of unfurling a roll of parchment paper, only instead of parchment it’s a flexible type of OLED display called pOLED, and instead of revealing ancient runes it shows you Instagram.
Perhaps it’s easier just to see for yourself:
Rollable displays are not a new concept, but they remain just that: a concept. Motorola emphasized that its rollable phone and laptop are “currently in the conceptual stage” and didn’t elaborate on when it might commercialize the technology.
For users, rollable displays offer similar benefits to foldable displays—primarily, more screen in a smaller form factor. Whether rollable devices have any worthwhile advantages over foldable ones remains to be seen (but they sure do look cool).