LG is currently the only company selling rollable TVs, and they are reportedly also working on rollable smartphones to be released this year.
A recently published patent suggests they are also considering a rollable laptop, however.
The patent, “PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE HAVING ROLLABLE DISPLAY STRUCTURE” filed in September 2019 and published on the 19th November 2020 concerns a solution to having a large, rigid display when the screen is itself flexible.
On their rolling TVs there is an elaborate support structure which expands behind the screen, while their rolling phones similarly have an expanding frame.
The LG team has however thought of an ingenious solution for their laptop which does away with the complexity and weight of those methods.
Their patent involves simply adding a curve to the screen as it is rolled out, which, due to the shape, will become rigid and “self-standing.”
The abstract explains:
A portable electronic device having a rollable display structure, according to the present invention, can maintain the unrolled state of a rollable display panel without an additional structure by allowing a self-standing guide unit to guide the rollable display panel into a curved arc shape so that the rollable display panel independently stands up when the rollable display panel is unrolled from a display drum inside a housing and withdrawn to the outside of the housing. Therefore, the size and weight of a product can be reduced so that the portability of the portable electronic device can be improved.
The self-standing guide unit includes a first guide roller and a second guide roller that are rotatably installed between the display drum and the withdrawal slit, and the rollable display panel is disposed between the first guide roller and the second guide roller. A guide slit passing through may be formed, and the guide slit may have a shape bent in a horizontal direction to bend the rollable display panel in an arc shape.
The first guide roller has a convex curved surface formed along the rotation axis toward the center, and the second guide roller has a concave curved surface toward the center along the rotation axis, so that the guide slit may have a shape bent in a horizontal direction.
The solution appears so simply it is unlikely to add any significant cost. Now LG simply needs to add a rolling keyboard and you could have a laptop which fits in a wand, similar to the concept below:
See the full patent here.