Improving interactivity with flexible displays
June 06, 2016
Foldable phones may still be a thing of the future, but thanks to flexible electronics a steady progress is being made in bringing new exciting hardware features to existing mobile technology. Bendable, glass-free screens like the organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) demonstrated by FlexEnable are now a real option for product designers.
They can be integrated into new consumer electronics, breaking form factor constraints and unlocking new use cases. It’s great to see that more companies are looking to utilise the full potential of flexible electronics, demonstrating the wide range of applications of flexible displays and sensors.
Recently, a new flip case for mobile phones has been demonstrated by Microsoft Research and its partners, called FlexCase. The innovative prototype is the outcome of the FLASHED project which addresses the challenge of building a novel user interface device that couples input with output. FlexEnable has been involved in the project as a technology partner, bringing in its expertise in the development and industrialisation of flexible organic thin film transistor (OTFT) backplanes for display and sensor applications.
Combining an e-paper display with a pressure- and bend-sensitive input sensor, the novel flip cover can serve as a second display for smartphones, providing additional capabilities and extra viewing area. It doubles as an input board and navigation tool allowing for better interaction and intuitive experience with the mobile phone. FlexCase provides users with enhanced e-paper reading by bending the secondary screen to browse through pages. It offers a high degree of 3D and 2D manipulation by touching the right spot on the secondary screen, and the ability to transfer content and support input between displays in a natural and flexible manner.
A major goal of the FLASHED project is to develop flexible, energy efficient, sustainable, cost efficient flexible displays while improving interactivity with the user. Great emphasis has been placed on user-friendly interfaces that incorporate a pressure-sensing touchscreen.
The potential of flexible displays and sensors is enormous. FlexCase is yet another example of how flexible electronics will open up new opportunities for consumer brands to create innovative and exciting products.
If you are working on a product that requires truly flexible electronics, please get in touch with us - firstname.lastname@example.org.