The latest step in flexible displays is looking toward large-scale production a la roll-to-roll printers (think newsprint) to get costs down. I can’t wait to see the applications of bendable displays once they become relatively cheap and innovators, inventors and artists can start playing around with the material.
From the link:
Applied Materials is trying to solve this problem–and get an early foothold in a potentially huge market–by standardizing equipment that makes flexible displays. The company, the world’s dominant maker of equipment for manufacturing computer chips and liquid-crystal displays, is developing a process that could print flexible transistor arrays that perform just as well as those on rigid substrates. That would be required if flexible displays are to be viable.
Flexible and rugged electronics with plastic displays are likely to entice consumers. Nick Colaneri, head of the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University, points out that devices like the iPad could be bigger, and take on new functions, if they could shed their breakable glass screens. But there’s also an appeal for manufacturers. Flexible displays could cost much less to make. They could be produced on roll-to-roll machines that operate continuously at high volumes, which is more efficient than the batch methods used to make conventional electronics.