5 innovative products that can be manufactured using flexible electronics
December 08, 2015
At FlexEnable, we’re in the very fortunate position to have developed a strand of technology that has versatile applications. Our technology platform brings electronics to plastic sheets enabling the creation of a thin, light and robust backplane system. This flexible organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) backplane, just like any amorphous silicon-based backplane, is then combined with other elements in order to create a functional product.
Excited about its future applications, we take a brief look at just some of the products that can be manufactured using our flexible backplane technology.
Foldable mobile devices
Have you ever found yourself squinting at your mobile phone display while trying to read the news, or perhaps watch a video? Flexible electronics, also called organic or plastic electronics, will help to solve this problem by providing consumers a tablet sized screen that can be folded down to the size of a mobile – conveniently small, but with the option of doubling and even tripling the size of the screen when necessary. This technology will also make mobile devices light and shatterproof – putting an end to broken screens…and broken users’ hearts.
Plastic electronics have already enabled the development of flexible image sensors opening up opportunities in the area of sensors and other non-display applications such as contactless control, gesture recognition and biometric sensor arrays. Flexible sensor arrays will revolutionise medical applications such as X-ray detectors, making them lightweight and conformable to the body.
Imagine a large-area display that can be rolled up and carried neatly under your arm rather than a cumbersome, rigid A1 sheet of card or plastic. Plastic electronics can enable an architect’s designs or a ship navigator’s maps to be digitised and displayed on an electronic mat that can be rolled rather than folded.
Most countries have some form of citizen identification card, and up to now it’s comprised of printed images and simple text. Flexible electronics can enable smarter cards, with fingerprint sensors, displays and programmable logic (that will allow for mass customisation, altering images as well as text) on one credit card-sized piece of plastic.
Plastic electronics can be used for so many types of wearable devices. On one end you have the traditional smartwatch, or wristband; currently many of the devices on the market have rigid screens that don’t curve around the wrist and therefore limit the display size – this would wrap right around the wrist if it was manufactured using flexible electronics. On the other end of the wearables spectrum, are sensors woven into fabric. Rather than have bulky, rigid electronics attached to the body, plastic electronics enables lightweight sensors to be placed against the skin in order to monitor a range of outputs.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you think this technology can be applied to your innovation, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.