Activating surfaces with flexible displays

March 21, 2016

‘The rise of plastic and flexible displays will be accompanied by a shift from glass substrates to plastic substrates’* according to industry experts. Flexible displays bring a new degree of design freedom for product designers and we’ve been working with partners to develop the industrial process that will make them a mainstream technology.

We’ve already explained how the automotive and aerospace industries could benefit from lighter, flexible displays, and in this blog we look at a few more applications of this exciting technology.

Wearables

Bracelet made from a plastic LCD can wrap around your wristUtility was a major concern for first gen wearables, and form factor constraints also meant users weren’t experiencing the full potential of what wearables could truly offer. With flexible displays more creative design options can be delivered, providing better functionality for users. We recently showcased an organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) curved into a smart watch form factor (left) proving what is possible with flexible electronics.

Wearables are not confined to the wrist alone; flexible displays can be also integrated into clothes, shoes and accessories making surfaces come to live.

Mobile devices Flexible screens will be folded out from mobile to tablet size

Whether you want a large screen for playing games or watching videos, or a foldable screen for convenience, flexible displays can offer larger viewing area while not compromising user comfort.
Not everything is about size and flexibility. Breakability is a big issue for mobile screens, and plastic displays will offer a shatterproof solution.

Digital signage

Large digital displays will benefit from flexible OLCDs Long gone are the days where you’d see someone up a very tall ladder pasting the newest oversized poster onto billboards across town; large area digital signs have been installed across major cities, and these LCD panels offer high performance and high durability, while removing the need to replace them on a regular basis. However, imagine if the panels were thinner, lightweight, unbreakable but still on a par with existing LCD image quality? With additional benefit of flexibility, advertisers would no longer be constrained to flat mounts but be able to use a plethora of surfaces.

Household goods

Flexible screens and sensors will become ubiquitous in IoT productsWith the proliferation of the Internet of Things, more electronic goods are being fitted with end user displays – whether that be for functionality or merely aesthetic pleasure. Anything from your dishwasher to your coffee machine and blender can benefit from a colourful, plastic display that can be wrapped around its surface and interacted with.

 

Bringing flexible displays to the mass market


At FlexEnable, we’ve developed the technology that can make all of the above examples possible. Our flexible electronics platform can be used for the manufacture of glass-free, flexible displays and sensors. It uses a low temperature production process which ultimately means lower cost per unit while demonstrating better electrical performance than conventional TFT technology.

If you are working on a product that requires truly flexible electronics, please get in touch with us - displays@flexenable.com.

*http://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/oled-display-forecasts-2015-2025-the-rise-of-plastic-and-flexible-displays-000426.asp

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