Cracking a phone screen has been a right of passage for a lot of users, but Samsung’s latest development could put an end to that with the announcement today that they’ve created an uncrackable OLED display.
The design of these new screens are a departure from the usual way of creating unbreakable screens, which have until now been simply covered with harder and harder glass such as ‘Gorilla Glass’ or synthetic substances such as sapphire glass. The new screens are comprised of a flexible OLED panel which have ‘an unbreakable substrate and an overlay window securely adhered to it’.
Hojung Kim, general manager of the Communication Team, Samsung Display Company said of the screens
The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass.
The screens have been certified as unbreakable by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) who according to their website are ‘a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions’.
UL subjected the screens to rigorous testing which included ‘a drop test administered at 1.2 meters (nearly 4 feet) above the ground 26 times in succession, and accompanying high (71 degrees) and low (-32 degrees) temperature tests’. UL then subjected the display to a 1.8m drop, after which the ‘unbreakable panel operated normally with no sign of damage’.
Samsung has said that they will be using the new screens in ‘electronic products such as display consoles for automobiles, mobile military devices, portable game consoles and tablet PCs for e-learning’, and you’d also imagine they’d likely be coming to phones as well – possibly even the Galaxy S10 next year.
Update: The announcement yesterday of an unbreakable display was interesting, but bland with no images or video. Now Samsung Display has resolved that by adding both a picture of the display, and a video of the display showing comparisons with a glass covered display and their new unbreakable one. The video (with its terrible soundtrack) shows the panel bending and flexing, as well as what happens when you belt it with a rubber mallet (they call it a hammer).