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Flexible phone screen to launch next week

Prototype screen is larger than the mobile itself

If you're one of those wireless users who like small handsets but detest small displays, you'll like this: a mobile phone with a rollable display.

Polymer Vision and the mobile arm of Telecom Italia SpA are collaborating to develop and launch the world's first mobile device with a rollable display, which will be able to receive all types of information, including maps, newspapers and even electronic books.

The companies will show a prototype at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona next week and plan a commercial launch later this year.

The product follows up on a rollable-display concept device presented by Polymer Vision 18 months ago at the IFA Consumer Electronics Trade Fair in Berlin.

The rollable polymer-display technology allows mobile devices to incorporate a display that’s larger than the device itself.

Although the new device is similar in size to a typical mobile phone, it has a display that extends up to 5in and may be stored away after use by folding it. The display has 16 gray levels combined with high contrast and high reflectivity for a paper-like reading experience, even in bright sunlight. Planned future developments include colour and the ability to display moving images.

The device will have a minimum of 4GB of storage, with data to be transmitted over of the mobile network of Telecom Italia or broadcast using DVB-H IP (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld Internet Protocol) data-casting.

Telecom Italia will market the product exclusively in Italy, while Polymer Vision will sell it elsewhere.

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