Intel, Samsung, Microsoft are Collaborating on the new 'Horseshoe Bend Project' that covers 17" Foldable Display Notebook standards
It's being report today in Korea that Multinational IT companies such as Samsung Electronics, Intel, and Microsoft (MS) have begun working on a project to build foldable laptops that can have their screens folded in half. It will not be long before such laptops are on the market next to foldable smartphones.
It is reported that multinational display manufacturers such as Samsung Display and BOE are developing 17-inch OLED panels for foldable laptops. It's a brand-new concept of PCs that is able to be used as a monitor or a large tablet or as a laptop once it is folded in 90° angle as a virtual keyboard appears at the bottom half of the display.
Microsoft's Surface Neo will be introduced in the U.S. sometime in the second half of 2021. Microsoft is now testing the market with their Surface Duo smartphone in the market to assist in getting their folding tablet right.
Samsung and BOE will be the suppliers of the new 17-inch display panels that will be supplied as standardized products to Lenovo, Dell, and HP, the report notes.
The report further noted that these "Foldable panels are expected to go into mass-production at the end of 2021. Considering the timing of the mass-production, it is likely that foldable laptops will be launched in the first half of 2022 with the exception of Microsoft's Surface Neo.
Foldable panels are an alternative that can satisfy both large screen and portability. Despite the large screen, it is easy to carry around foldable laptops as they can be folded in half.
For this reason, multinational companies such as Samsung, Intel, and MS decided to work together to commercialize foldable laptops. At present the loosely knit group is dubbing this the "Horseshoe Bend Project," a collaboration between Intel, Microsoft, Samsung and others. Each company is looking to secure new growth engines by developing foldable laptops with great quality that have their software (SW) and hardware (HW) connected systematically.
Prior to the Horseshoe Bend Project, Samsung, Intel, and MS had also worked together to create new form factors such as ultra-mobile or ultra-thin PCs. The Horseshoe Bend Project is also an open project that only shares same screen size and CPU performance while other specifications will differ between each company.
All parties involved are working to ensure that an operating system, likely Windows to begin with, is shown to support unique folding notebook features and apps that will hopefully excite the market to try a revolutionary new form factor.
Although Apple isn't involved in this new project officially, Apple continues to work on foldable devices for possible future iPhones and iPads that could double as a notebook. Various patents (01, 02 & 03) touch on this with others that could be found in our archives on this subject matter.
While Apple will certainly not be first to market on this front, they certainly can be a player in this experimental form factor should it strike a nerve in the market big enough to chase.