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CES 2013: Samsung shows off new flexible display technology; Bill Clinton appears as guest

Samsung’s aiming to make smartphone tech a little less rigid with the introduction of new, flexible screens that can be used in smartphones and tablets to make them more resilient.

In the keynote presentation at the tConsumer Electronics Show, Samsung device head Stephen Woo and lab lead Brian Berkeley showed off bendable, rollable, foldable displays with several concept devices. The flexible screens, which Samsung has branded as Youm, are designed to have displays as rich and crisp as current smartphones, but with more options for form factors.

In one example, CNET noted, the screen bends around the edge of the device to display information on the side of it, similar to the information on the side of a book. More broadly, flexible screen technology could help improve the resilience of consumer technology devices and make them even more portable.

The company also showed off a number of hardware components and processors that will let its devices run faster and more powerfully, while also consuming less energy than current devices. The company’s presentation was light on details about when any of the tech would actually appear in consumer devices.

Samsung has been focused on shaking up the way that consumers look at their screens by playing with different form factors. The company also introduced an OLED television with a curved display, meant to give the set a more natural appearance.

Wednesday’s keynote also featured a few words from former president Bill Clinton, who has worked with the company’s charity efforts in the past. Clinton spoke about ways mobile technology can help address problems in the developing world.

Clinton also spoke briefly about the need for gun control in the United States as well as solutions for global climate and political problems, saying that technology can help break down barriers people construct to avoid “people who don’t agree with us,” Engadget reported. Deploying communication and processing technology — and making it available to more of the world — he said, can help bridge gaps.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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