Samsung's Next Tablets Could Have Rollable Displays

Samsung has filed for a patent on a rollable display that could become the base design for its future tablets.

The folks over at Let's Go Digital have discovered a Samsung patent detailing how a rollable display could be used to deliver a broader tablet experience. On one side of the device is a cylindrical body that will attach to the screen and protect it when it's not in use. When you're ready to start using the tablet, you can simply pull it out from that cylindrical body and extend it to the size you'd like.

When you're done, the screen will roll back into the cannister with help from built-in magnets for safekeeping, according to Let's Go Digital.

MORE: Our Favorite Tablets for Work and Play

Samsung's patents, which were filed in June but just discovered now, describe a variety of ways the housing can be used and designed. In some cases, it can have the aforementioned cylindrical design. In others, it might have a square design. In the case of the square option, Samsung showed a fingerprint sensor sitting to the side of that housing, suggesting the company could use the sensor to not only verify a user's identity to log into the device, but perhaps even verify the person's identity to roll the screen out.

Samsung has been working on foldable, bendable, and rollable displays for years. In 2016, in fact, the company showcased how a 5.7-inch flexible OLED could be rolled for smartphones. Samsung is also working on a foldable phone, which is believed to be called the Galaxy X and should be launched sometime this year.

But conventional wisdom suggests Samsung sees a better opportunity for rollable displays in its tablet line. And now it's believed the company is prepping the concept for its slates rather than its smartphones.

But the patent fails to tell us much beyond that. And like every other company, Samsung files for patents all the time on technologies that may or may not find their way to store shelves.

Still, the technology described in the Samsung patents appears to be far along and could make its debut at CES 2018 next week.