When I heard that a foldable phone would be officially introduced at CES 2019 I believed it was going to be a fake-out. No way a company had developed a way to bend or fold a smartphone screen to the point it could double as a tablet.
I was wrong.
The FlexPai phone from the company Royale was introduced the day before the CES floor opened on Tuesday. It drew applause, oohs and aahs, and everyone holding up their own one screen smartphone to take pictures to be uploaded quickly to Instagram.
The FlexPai appears to be a tablet, but applying some pressure, it folds down the middle to turn it into a rather thick smartphone.
“We have rated this phone at 200,000 folds and bends,” said William Strand who was a very popular guy at the Royale booth. “It didn’t even fail at that point, we just said ‘okay, that’s the lifetime of a phone'”.
Not many people actually got to try bending the phone or holding it for that matter. Just a few journalists and a select number of people from other companies that might be interested in knowing how it could be done.
“For sure, this is going to be some kind of trend in the near future,” said onlooker Alejandro Rivera. He’s right. Several companies have been attempting to do what Royale accomplished but as far as we know, those companies haven’t advanced for enough to bring a tablet/smartphone to market as Royale has done.
Not only that, but the flexible material that allows it to be a smartphone screen can be implemented in other devices.
“The flexible sensor technology can find its way into any aspect of our lives,” said Strand. “We’ve put it into lamps, smart speakers, hats, t-shirts and purses.”
Strand says this while wearing a top-hat with the flexible screen built right into the front. It was playing video from a soccer match, allegedly recorded from a smartphone and streamed live to the hat.
Royale is taking pre-orders now in the United States for a yet-to-be-determined shipping date. But if you’re an early adopter who can’t wait to get their hands on the world’s first bendable smartphone screen, you can buy one now. In China.