Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#DISPLAYS: "3 Reasons Flexible Electronics Enable Smarter Displays"

Flexible electronics is finally making headway after a decade of unfulfilled promises. Look for displays to drop in price as well as achieve new form factors in the coming years as a result of new flexible electronics inside. R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center shows its active-matrix electrophoretic display based on E-Ink flexible touchscreen. Instead of using stiff glass for support, it uses a flexible DuPont Teijin Film.

For a decade or more, flexible electronics has been just over the horizon, beaconing from a future where all mobile computerized equipment could be rolled up like a bedroll for transportation. Despite these unfulfilled expectations, here are three ways that smarter displays are realizing the unfulfilled dreams of flexible electronics.
Flash Gordon popularized the idea of flying cars more than 50 years ago, but still they are not here. Likewise, the era of mobile computers that you can roll up like a scroll could still be a dream 50 years hence.
Nevertheless, the technologies that caused all the speculation about flexible electronics are already revolutionizing the multi-billion-dollar display industry. Theoretically, flexible displays could be rolled up like a blueprint or pulled down like a window blind. The reality, however, is that flexible, printable, organic electronics are finding their best uses in cost-reducing three aspects of the manufacturing of electronic displays (albeit without making the entire display flexible).
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