Flexible screens

Flexible screens

Flexible screens

Within the world of technology, as in other fields, we might metaphorically sum up the competition between the various companies by means of the motto adopted by Pierre de Coubertin for the Olympic Games: Citius, Altius, Fortius – Faster, Higher, Stronger.

With processors, for example, companies such as ARM, AMD and Intel compete to create faster, smaller, and more economical processors.

But while, regarding processors, it seems that Moore’s Law is apparently able to predict the way in which the industry will develop, in another field, that of screens, it appears that this “law” is going to be broken.

Over the past five years, we have witnessed a constant growth in the sizes of cell phone screens. If, in 2008, the average screen size was 2 inches, this year the figure has more than doubled, and now stands at over 4 inches.

The solution – in the form of flexible screens – is already at an advanced stage of development. At CES 2013 (the majorconsumer electronics show), Samsung unveiled its Youm; other companies in the field, such as LG and Sharp, areworking on similar developments.

In fact, we can already expect these screens to enter production this year, and it is estimated that the market is expected to grow, over the next 7 years, by no less than a factor of 250!

The cell phone manufacturers, too, are coming into the picture. They are registering patents on a variety of designs for cellular devices with flexible screens. But it seems that, in the near future, it will be the next generation of smart watches that will make this technology “accessible” to consumers.

Although smart watches have been available for some years, and can be bought today, the rumor that Apple, a company that sometimes manages to reinvent markets, intended to enter the field of smart watches, was enough to spark a wave of interest.

Numerous models of watches are expected to come out in the near future, and one of the challenges will be, of course, the screen.

The structure of the human hand, in particular, and that of the human body as a whole, require manufacturers to think “out of the box” when it comes to product design. Ultimately, these devices are carried on the body itself, directly, and not in a pocket or bag.

That’s why it appears that it will be the smart watches that pave the way for the arrival of flexible screens; everything else will have to become correspondingly flexible.