OLEDs are already being used in many mobile devices and TVs, and the next generation of these panels will be flexible and bendable. Different kinds of flexibility When we talk about flexible OLEDs, it's important to understand what that means exactly. A flexible OLED is based on a flexible substrate which can be either plastic, metal or flexible glass.
What it really takes to make a flexible phone So when Samsung and LG or anyone talk about a flexible display, they're talking about the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, layer -- located Flexible displays the cover glass -- that's now made using flexible materials like plastic rather than rigid glass.
Companies like LG and Samsung have spent years demoing flexible displays that sit on their own outside of any device. These eye-catching products faithfully show off the interface you're supposed to see -- say a grid of icons -- without bending or breaking.
Samsung's Galaxy Round represents the first time that a phone maker is bringing a flexible display to market, followed by the LG G Flex.
Flexible displays are these screens different than curved screens before? The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S boasted a slightly curved screen that was meant to more snugly hug your cheek. In this case, it was the glass top that contoured, not the OLED material below.
Do the Galaxy Round and G Flex bend? Both phones use OLED displays that are capable of operating when arched, but that doesn't mean they're going to flex in your hands. The devices are deeply curved, but the phone's body is rigid and will not bend when you move it.
Then why do people keep saying it's flexible? Part of the confusion stems from the many definitions of what flexible means. In the case of the Galaxy Round and G Flex, the display is conformable, meaning it's not flat. Companies making such devices bend the display at some point, say vertically in these phones, but then fix the whole caboodle in place.
Another type of flexibility is "bendable. They flex a little bit, but don't completely fold in half.
Then there's a third category, foldable displays, which do just what you think. Finally, there are rollable displays, often called the holy grail of flexible displays.
To picture this type, just think about a perhaps less extreme version of a scroll, or a Fruit Rollup, and you can see where the concept's going.
Samsung has also showed off foldable displays. Journalists haven't been able to get photos of that out into the wider world, but from descriptions we've read, it sounds like these screens are hinged.
Why would anyone want a flexible display anyhow? What are the benefits?
As CNET has noted before, the benefits for a curved display like the Round and Flex aren't immediately clearthough one could be increased readability and less glare from a curved display.
There are some pretty significant benefits for displays that can flex. For one, they could be less prone to breakage when dropped, largely because they might use plastic, which has some give, instead of glass.
Plastic also can make the devices thinner and lighter, and it can allow for products in different shapes beyond the standard rectangular screen. Note that this may not always be the case. Even plastic can break if you stress it enough, and glass-makers are also designing flexible glass, but more on that below.
Still, the durability issues raises the question: Why not just make a regular phone with a plastic display? We'll likely see that too, some experts say, but there are some things a flexible display can do that others can't.
These could even be incorporated into clothing or jewelry or other items where the screen needs to have some give. The future potential for flexible displays is huge if hurdles are overcome, even though we may not yet know exactly what their uses will be.
While some gadget-watchers are incredulous about the practicality of a scrollable phone, others see the benefit in trying to make them anyhow. What are the hurdles to making a flexible smartphone? It takes much more than a bendy screen to make a phone you can flex.OLED-Info is the web's leading OLED publication.
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|Flexible display - Wikipedia||Flexible electronic paper based displays[ edit ] A prototype flexible electronic paper display Flexible electronic paper e-paper based displays were the first flexible displays conceptualized and prototyped.|
|Bendable Displays Are Finally Headed to Market - MIT Technology Review||A TFT acts like an electronic valve: TFTs can be used in many ways, but two of the most common are display backplanes and digital logic.|
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Displays. At a basic level, a display is made up of two parts: a frontplane, the layer that makes the image you see, and a backplane, an array of TFTs that control which pixels in the frontplane turn on and off. Kent Displays specializes in ChLCD technologies with roll to roll manufacturing of eWriter technologies.
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