Monthly Archives: May 2011

Flexible Screen Samsung – Toshiba

I think that we all know that the future is going to be bendable displays, and two big companies, Samsung and Toshiba, have their screens in the spotlight recently.

I’ll start with the one from Toshiba, pictured here to the left. It measures at about 3 inches on the diagonal, and it is only 0.1 mm thin. It was made with an oxide semiconductor TFT to a plastic substrate at 200 degrees Celsius. This makes it light at one gram, and it can also retain image quality over a long period of time.

As for the Samsung foldable AMOLED display, there is a picture of that after the jump. It has two panels with a closing radius of about 1 mm which means that they “practically touch when closed, yet show no visible crease when opened”. In fact, the developers performed about 100,000 folding and unfolding motions, and it decreases in brightness of 6 percent, which was not that visible.

Samsung demoed some fascinating AMOLEDs at this year’s CES, including 4.5-inch flexible and 19-inch transparent displays — neither of which, sadly, will reach the market any time soon. But the innovation train keeps on rolling, and Sammy’s Advanced Institute of Technology now has a prototype foldable display, which may or may not be the same reference design spotted at FPD 2008. Its two panels have a closing radius of only 1mm, meaning they practically touch when closed, yet show no visible crease when opened. In fact, the developers performed 100,000 folding-unfolding cycles to test the junction; the negligible 6% decrease in brightness was invisible to the human eye. They used commercially-available silicone rubber to achieve that seamless look, and the prototype featured a protective glass cover which could also function as a touchscreen. Obviously there’s a market for touchscreens you can fold up and put in your pocket; here’s hoping Samsung can make them available sooner rather than later.


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Researchers from the Human Media Lab at Canada’s Queen’s University have created a fully-functioning floppy E-Ink smartphone, which they also refer to as a paper computer. Like its thicker, rigid-bodied counterparts, the Paperphone can do things like making and receiving calls, storing e-books, and playing music. Unlike them, however, it conforms to the shape of its user’s pocket or purse, and can even be operated through bending actions.


“This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper,” said its creator, Roel Vertegaal, who is also the director of the Human Media Lab. “You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.”

The device has a 9.5-cm (3.74-inch) thin film flexible E-Ink display, underneath which is a flexible printed circuit incorporating resistive bend sensors. Those sensors allow it to be programmed to recognize different types of bending gestures, which will subsequently result in it doing things such as navigating menus, making calls, selecting songs, or any other function. A built-in Wacom tablet also allows users to draw on its screen – making it even more paper-like.

When not actually being operated, the Paperphone consumes no electricity. Vertegaal’s team have also created a similar device, the Snaplet, which can be worn like a wristband. It operates as a watch when in a convex state, becomes a PDA when flat, and can be used as a phone when turned concave.

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