Samsung patent hints at wraparound screen for next Galaxy phone

The company’s “bended display” screen extends around to both sides of a smartphone
Samsung bended display

Samsung’s next generation of Galaxy devices may have screens that wrap all the way around the front and sides.

A patent filed in May and recently made public gives details of a “portable terminal” with a “bended display”, and comes with plenty of images detailing the possible uses of such a setup.

The key term here is ‘bended’, which is different from the more gently curved screens seen in some other patents and prototypes. A bended screen is flat on the front but extends to the sides of the device too, allowing Samsung to put special icons on the side.

Bend it like Samsung

Samsung bended display

What do we mean? Well, the slider to unlock the phone could be there; or bookmarks for ebook chapters; or a meter that tells you quickly how much battery charge is left. Of course, all of this stuff can be put on one portion of a ‘normal’ flat touchscreen, but Samsung’s method frees up more screen space on that front side. It could also work like a visual clipboard, with the user dragging links and images to the edge in order to save them for later use.

As always with patents, a filing doesn’t mean that anything will come to fruition. But Samsung is reportedly keen on bringing this bended display to life: it has already shown off the Youm curved prototype, and just last week Bloomberg reported that a Galaxy phone with a “wraparound display” will be going on sale in 2014. Could the Galaxy S5 be that phone?

[US Patent Office via The Verge