To be honest I was quite surprised that the flexible screens we saw last year are still being made on the same production line and not by a big smartphone manufacturer. FlexEnable tell me that they’re now looking to include their screen in factories, production lines and distribution centres where these flexible displays can be worn on the wrist. You can interact with them too, and I can see great potential for delivery drivers and couriers.
Smartphone manufacturers, at least until now, don’t appear to have used this functionality to any great extent. The FlexEnable production facility isn’t as good as some of the global screen manufacturers, so you may notice a few imperfections in these demo units, but it doesn’t make this technology any less cool.
Plastic and LCD are combined to create organic backplanes, making “organic liquid crystal displays” – OLCD. There’s no glass and it’s a process which is compatible with existing flat panel display manufacturing lines. Each screen can be cut into non-square shapes and there’s the potential to use these screens in cars too, wrapped onto dashboards for example. FlexEnable tell me that car companies are looking to perhaps include this technology in areas of a vehicle which traditionally couldn’t house a screen, such as a door pillar.
Currently two sizes are made – 4.7″ and 12.1″, but they can create custom sizes and shapes.
Whether we’re all ready to move away from our rectangular (and largely flat) smartphone screens is another matter..