Oppo has held its second annual “Inno Day,” an event where it shows off products in concept form and sets out its vision for the future. Headlining this year is a smartphone with an expandable “rolling” screen and a new set of AR glasses.
The Oppo X 2021 is a concept phone that the company says is the result of its research and development flexible displays. In regular smartphone use the OLED display has a 6.7-inch surface area, but that can be expanded to a squarer, tablet-like 7.4-inch panel depending on the content or use case.
Oppo says it developed its own power train, structural plate, and screen laminate to ensure the device’s durability.
Oppo isn’t the first company to hit on this idea for a form factor. TCL showed off a similar prototype earlier this year, although the model we saw in person was nonfunctional and only had a paper screen. Oppo, however, is a much more experienced smartphone manufacturer with access to a hugely advanced supply chain, and it does have form releasing weird phones with motorized designs, so maybe this will actually make it to market at some point. LG has also teased a similar device.
The other new concept product announced today is Oppo AR Glass 2021, the company’s latest take on augmented reality wearables. Oppo says it’s nearly 75 percent lighter than its predecessor — which was also a concept device at last year’s Inno Day — and uses birdbath-type optics with 0.71-inch OLED panels.
The glasses include stereo fisheye cameras for gesture recognition, a time-of-flight sensor, and a conventional RGB camera. They can also be hooked up directly to a Find X2 Pro phone with a USB-C cable to make use of its greater processing power.
When will any of these products make it out of Oppo’s labs — or will they ever? Who knows. The idea of demonstrating concept devices in a world where no-one can see them in person does land a little flat. But last year’s Inno Day included the first news on Oppo’s first smartwatch, which did come out this year, as well as a 30W fast wireless charging system that Oppo itself overtook in a matter of months.