The August 2012 issue of PC World has an article by Ginny Mies (Do Flexible Displays Have a Future? pp. 1314). Mies reviews the latest developments in more physically flexible screens for our cellphones, Smartphones, and other electronic devices. The results are exciting.
This progress is due in large part to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) technologies. The traditional glass is gone, and in its place is a combination of these new display technologies comprised of layers of plastic, transparent electronics, and various films. Additionally, getting rid of the traditional glass, and using materials that are quite flexible will render these devices highly durable with less weight.
Designers anticipate accompanying user functionalities built into the devices. For example, bending your flexible screen in a concave direction would zoom in on your picture, while bending it convexly would zoom out from your picture.
This approach is very much in its infancy. Many of the design and consumer-appeal angles will need work. Mies summarizes the challenge:
Being able to bend and move a display by itself doesnt confer built-in appeal; manufacturers must find other waysbeyond light weight and toughnessto make flexible displays attractive and useful. (p. 14)
I think this is all good. Im all for any developments that will improve the durability and performance of our electronic devices. Just dont get any ideas about using your cellphone for a hockey puck.
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