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Incredibly Flexy OTFTs Can be Bent to Just 1mm; Could Revolutionize Flexible Display Technology

February 6, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Flexible display technology is finally hitting the consumer market, with devices like LG’s G Flex launching around the globe, it looks like the age of bendy smartphones is here at last. Well, that’s not entirely true, even though the G Flex is available to purchase as a real device, it’s unclear as to whether or not consumers can actually get any use out of the technology and flexible OLED itself has a long way to go before it hits the big time. There’s a lot of research going on right now when it comes to the displays of the future, with the likes of MEMS and of course, flexible displays. The latest on the flexible front comes from the UK-based Centre for Process Innovation and it could lead to much more flexibility and durability when it comes to flexible displays.

The new process involves applying Organic Thin Film Transistor arrays to backplanes that are used int he final production of a display. The OTFTs themselves allow the backplane to be flexed up to 1mm, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. It’s certainly in its early stages, but they’re saying that it can be bent as many as 10,000 times before any side effects start to rear their head, and only then minor issues were discovered.

This might not mean much to the smartphones of the future, after all you can’t simply fold a CPU or RAM module, can you? However, where this sort of innovation is really going to matter is with wearable technology like smartwatches and such. Imagine a smartwatch that curves around your wrist for added comfort and yet still offers the same sort of functionality as we’re becoming accustomed to. Smartwatches aren’t exactly ugly and as Sony and now the Pebble Steel have proven, they can look attractive. With curved displays however, they could easily take on a whole new design language as well as become easier to fit into your everyday life. Take a look at the video below of the new backplanes being bent back and forth.

Source: Android Authority