This is the OPPO X 2021, a concept smartphone with a rollable display
Towards the end of last month, we learned that LG was working on a unique smartphone with a rollable display as part of its Explorer Project. The device, codenamed Project B, was teased during the LG Wing launch, and it’s expected to hit the market in March next year. While Project B is still in the works, OPPO has beaten LG to the punch with the new OPPO X 2021 concept smartphone, showcased at the recent INNO Day 2020 event, alongside the OPPO AR Glass 2021 & OPPO CybeReal.
OPPO X 2021 Concept Smartphone
The OPPO X 2021 concept smartphone features a continuously variable rollable OLED display. The device uses OPPO’s proprietary Roll Motor powertrain to expand the display from 6.7-inches to a maximum of 7.4-inches, converting it from a regular smartphone to a bigger phablet of sorts.
The powertrain consists of two motors that generate a constant force to unfold the device uniformly, ensuring that the display isn’t damaged during the process. And it even gives you the freedom to unroll the display as much as you want, unlike foldable smartphones which usually have just two states (folded and unfolded) to switch between.
Despite this rolling mechanism, the display on the device has no kinks or visible folds. To ensure this, OPPO’s engineers have designed a bearing with a slider on the display side with a 6.8 mm arc. This arc allows the display to roll back without any visible folds.
Since the rollable display on the OPPO X 2021 isn’t as rigid as conventional displays, OPPO has also designed an innovative 2-in-1 Plate display support technology that supports the display on either side from the inside.
As you can see in the attached image, this plate has a comb-like structure that effectively supports the display, no matter its shape. When the device is rolled shut, the plates form a single surface to support the display. And when it’s rolled out, one of the plates slides out to support the display without leaving any gaps. This mechanism ensures that the display remains smooth even when it’s rolled out.
To protect the sliding mechanism from the back, OPPO has adopted a dynamic frame, consisting of an outer fixed frame and a sliding frame within. As the display rolls out, the sliding frame and the rear battery cover move off the back panel to better protect the internals.
Since rollable displays are quite delicate, the OPPO X 2021 also uses a proprietary Warp Track high-strength screen laminate that adds some strength to the display. The laminate is made with high-strength steel, and it’s only 0.1mm thick at its thinnest. As the following image illustrates, the Warp Track laminate forms a caterpillar track behind the display, which adds strength without increasing resistance.
The aforementioned technologies on the OPPO X 2021 just scratch the surface of what went into developing the concept smartphone. OPPO claims that it applied for 122 patents during its development, 12 of which are related to the rolling mechanism alone.
You can watch OPPO’s presentation on the smartphone over here:
OPPO AR Glass 2021 & OPPO CybeReal
Along with the OPPO X 2021, the company showcased two more innovative products during its INNO Day event — OPPO AR Glass 2021 and OPPO CybeReal. The second-gen AR smart glasses are 75% lighter than last year’s model and feature a new “split-design”. The OPPO AR Glass 2021 uses Birdbath optical technology for 98% increased brightness uniformity and provides the same viewing experience as watching a 90-inch screen at 3 meters. The glasses feature binocular fish-eye cameras that capture the environment around you and provide local mapping and 3D spatial localization with low latency.
These cameras, coupled with a ToF sensor, also track hand movements for easier operation. The hand-tracking feature follows 21 unique markers on each hand, ensuring that the AR glasses capture even the most subtle movements. On top of that, the glasses come with OPPO’s voice assistant Breeno built-in for voice commands.
OPPO CybeReal, on the other hand, is an AR app powered by real-time spatial calculation technology. The app is based on a digital model of the physical world built on OPPO Cloud, and it offers real-time high-precision localization and scene recognition using GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and network information.