Sure, we’ve seen curved screens in the past here at Mobile World Congress, but this is something else. A thin film of plastic has been created here on a prototype line in Cambridge. It’s the product of a very young company – formed only a year ago – that has roots in the physics department at Cambridge University.
Initially they started with liquid paper displays, but now we have flexible transistors on plastic. Holding the finished product feels no different and it’s even been wrapped around a matchstick one thousand times in testing.
Right now the product is in the early stages, and their prototype production line can only produce 130ppi, plus there’s the odd speck of dust which has introduced a few lines on this particular demo product.
These displays are OLCD and, although not touch sensitive, they tell me that it just needs a touch-sensitive layer putting on.
We’ve seen curved displays before, and indeed the LG G Flex2 was a far better attempt than the original G Flex, which seemed to have a bit of screen fade. Now, what FlexEnable have created here isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination, but it is ready for a partner to produce on a more industrial scale with a more professional workshop. Paul Cain, from the company, told us that their production line is purely for producing demonstration products. They are “in talks” to turn this into a full consumer product.
Although “only” 130ppi it was shaped like a wristband and didn’t use any more power than a standard screen. The wristband was a fairly solid circular shape to house the battery under the screen, but in theory this screen is completely flexible and can be placed onto undulating and uneven surfaces – door handles and steering wheels etc.
A glimpse of the future again here at the very back of the Mobile World Congress, and an interesting one at that.