The display industry has been pushing forward relentlessly and it is because of that we can enjoy things like high-performance OLED technology and curved panels, among other things. The latter is a fairly new advancement and represents a major steppingstone toward the ultimate goal of a fully flexible display.
This is hardly a new concept and the race has been on for quite some time now. Traditionally, Samsung and LG have been most actively involved in the endeavor. The former demoed a foldable panel back in 2014 and promised a foldable smartphone by 2015. That, apparently proved to be a bit of an tight deadline, but we are sure R&D is still in full steam.
Around the same time, LG offered a slightly more laid-back roadmap. A newly unearthed patent document might just suggest the 2017 deadline is achievable. Sadly, it provides little info, but early concept renders make one thing clear - LG is not only going for a foldable panel, but a transparent and touch-sensitive one as well.
It appears LG is envisioning a book-shaped device that is capable of folding in on itself. The left half of it appears to be a transparent touchscreen, showing multimedia controls. These will likely control the content on the other half of the panel, which would probably benefit more from being non-transparent, for the sake of quality. Another interesting idea is that, perhaps, the touchscreen on the transparent half will register interaction on both sides.
However, after all that reminiscing, a quick reality check is in order. Best case scenario, we are still a good year or so away from seeing such tech in end-user devices. Still, it is always encouraging to see that the technology is there and it is coming.