Evolution of flexible displays
The dream of flexible screens has been around for many decades. Technically, the first screens, on which the motion pictures projected, were initially flexible, they are still made of fabric. And yes, formally we already have displays that can be given any form. But the resolution is extremely mediocre, as the pixels are used LEDs, located on a flexible printed circuit board.
But science fiction writers always dreamed about something else: the display wanted to be thin and flexible like paper, with the image quality as a good color photograph. Alas, technology hopelessly lagged behind the human imagination. However, in recent years, from time to time, we have been shown at the exhibitions increasingly sophisticated concepts, promising to "soon" establish mass production. And although we can not yet wrap the smartphone around the wrist, but some history already has flexible displays, and we decided to recall it.
PaperPhone company Human Media Lab , presented in 2011. As obvious from the title, the display was on electronic ink. This device used for the first time a unique way of interaction with the help of bending. Several sensors monitored the curvature of the display and, depending on the gestures, various actions were performed.
Later we were shown a tablet with a flexible E-Ink-display and a completely unusual smartphone MorePhone , which bent the hull signaled about notifications from the programs.
Nokia's Kinetic smartphone at Nokia World 201? it was also controlled by the corners of the case:
The concept of the smartphone Samsung - YOUM presented in 2013:
In 201? Samsung introduced another flexible OLED screen:
In 201? LG released a smartphone with a slightly curved display, which could be "slightly straightened out":
In 201? Sony demonstrated a curious clock, made from a solid E-Ink-display:
The dial and bracelet are one piece, you can change their appearance separately.
Recently, the company Kyulux introduced flexible displays , manufactured using PMOLED technology:
Displays single-color, fluorescent, with a diagonal of ??? inches and a resolution of 256x64 pixels, will be sold later this year. This year, Tianma demonstrated a flexible AMOLED display with a hinge:
The diagonal is ??? inches and the resolution is 1440x2280 pixels. Displays will be sold to companies ASUS and Lenovo for their new smartphones.
I would also like to mention two interesting technologies, albeit not suggesting the use of flexible displays. The first is the projection of the image onto a screen of arbitrary curvature. The program introduces the parameters of the surface to which the projector will shine, and the picture is distorted in such a way that the image on the surface appears flat and smooth:
The second option is to project the image directly on the hand. Video capture sensors track finger movements and touch to a specific area of the skin, turning the human body into a touch screen:
Now more and more companies are announcing the serial production of smartphones and other devices in flexible displays, from rings and bracelets to clamshell phones. Samsung and Apple packs patent the use of flexible displays, showing renders one more original than the other. But the scenarios for using them, at the current level of technical development, seem to me to look ridiculous and far-fetched. Even simpler solutions, when the display does not bend during the use of the gadget, but are bent initially, have very doubtful practicality, design for the sake of design. More or less successfully, it succeeded in introducing and substantiating large diagonals in curved TVs, but the bent edges of smartphone displays look like a purely design solution, for the sake of a beautiful view in the window and bright renderings. While the displays are not so plastic and reliable that you can incorporate in them hinged connections with a small radius and a resource of many thousands of flexions. As a result, today the strength of flexible displays is called as the main advantage of flexible displays, because elasticity allows to withstand stronger mechanical influences:
It seems to me that while technologies will not allow producing displays that are soft and strong as a fabric, for placing them on clothes or on the body, there will not be much use for flexibility.