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Flexible screen could lead to foldable computers

October 6, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

By Chris Irvine

Researchers have demonstrated a flexible television screen which could result in people folding up their computer and putting it in their pocket.

The design could be used for television and posters, as well as computers, while it could also pave the way for the development of newspaper display technology which would allow readers to upload daily news to an easy-to-carry display contraption.

Flexi display technology. (Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics)

The concept demo was unveiled by researchers from Sony and the Max Planck Institute in Germany who believe "Rigid television screens, bulky laptops and still image posters are to be a thing of the past".

It is all organic, flexible and transparent with an extremely low energy requirement, while it has an almost unlimited viewing angle and high efficiency.

There is no need for a backlight and response times are up to 10 times fast than LCDs (liquid crystal displays), meaning ultra-smooth motion without blurring.

Due to the transparency, it is thought multiple layers can be stacked possibly for some types of 3D effects.

Previous attempts at flexible screens are hampered by size and resolution problems, while the image was also affected when the screen was folded.

Moving images on posters, seen in films such as Minority Report could also be a possibility, as well as cereal boxes with talking images.

Researchers told the Journal of Physics: "The displays have excellent brightness and are transparent, bendable and flexible.

"There are practically no display size limitations and they could be produced relatively easily and cheaply compared to today's screens."

In 2006, Sony demonstrated an earlier version of this work, but technical, mechanical and design issues prevented them from mass producing the previous model.


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