Will Your Next Display Be Flexible?

Thin, sleek monitors with bendable frames could become popular within a decade, according to researchers who gathered at the recent Flexible Displays & Electronics Conference 2004 in San Francisco. Current displays are fairly rigid and more susceptible to breaking, while flexible displays will be lighter and durable, which increases their mobility and life span, says Kimberly Allen, director of technology and strategic research at iSuppli/Stanford Resources, based in El Segundo, California. "We think of displays as fragile and are worried that they are going to crack." If displays were as flexible as our clothing, users would worry less about that, she says. Flexible displays in different designs and shapes will change the way some consumers relate to visual information, she says. "Show them the display and they will get excited. Once you see it, you think, 'Yeah!'"

Fashionable Future?

The flexible display industry is developing rapidly, according to Patricia Kinzer, conference director for Portland, Maine-based Intertech, which organized the event. "It is moving into the wearable arena as well as handheld applications like PDAs and e-books," she says. Interactive flexible displays could eventually be seen on jackets, bags, and other wearable fabrics, says Victoria Wedding Kurtz, vice president of Imaging Systems Technology, a Toledo, Ohio-based company researching plasma-based flexible display technology. The conference featured a flexible-display fashion show with models wearing jackets and other clothing, as well as jewelry. Flexible displays first have to overcome scientific, manufacturing, and cost-related issues to be mass produced, says Peter Slikkerveer, a project leader at Philips Research in the Netherlands.

News source: PCWorld

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