Plastic screens that can be rolled up like a newspaper and not crack may be sold in stores soon, introducing new possibilities for laptops and smartphones. William D’Urso reports in the Arizona Republic:
A plastic screen that rolls up and doesn’t crack when you drop it may sound like science fiction, but the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University is investing millions to liberate electronic devices from the constraints of rigid glass.
And reality could come sooner than you think. The project was initiated by the U.S. Army in cooperation with a number of companies, including Boeing and Hewlett-Packard, to expedite the development of the technology.
“Flexible … black-and-white screens for e-readers are very close to commercialization,” said Nick Colaneri, Flexible Display Center director. Black-and-white screens are less complicated to create, and he estimates flexible screens capable of rolling up and displaying color images are three to five years away.
Manufacturers see vast potential for consumer applications. DisplaySearch, an industry research company, says the market for flexible screens will likely surpass $1 billion this year and reach $8.2 billion by 2018.
[Continues at The Arizona Republic]