The idea of flexible electronics have been floating around technology circles for a while now, but when the use of malleable materials would be available to the commercial market has been questionable.
Well the wait may be over shortly. It’s rumoured that South Korean electronics giants Samsung are planning to action the mass production of plastic displays in 2013.
The replacement of glass in phone and device screens is a major step towards the development of flexible electronics. While the screens being put into production by Samsung next year won’t be the flexible, malleable materials we envisage for the future, they will be less susceptible to damage.
The flexible displays would use of compact Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) which have been proven to work in flexible materials such as plastics and foil. Plastic polymers, unlike glass, have properties which allow them to be rolled, bent and also provide better defence against drops, bashes and crashes.
Experiments in digital posters and fabrics with digital displays have been undertaken by a few large firms. Both LG and Sony have developed flexible display prototypes but no one has yet mastered the process of mass producing these components so they’re economical in the consumer market.