It’s thin, it’s bendy, and it can display high-res video… this new prototype OLED screen is totally a taste of the future. You know, the flexible digital magazine and roll-up computer screen future that magazines like Popular Science have been dreaming about for decades.
The prototype that Universal Display and Flexible Display Center have produced is technically the first a-Si:H active matrix flexible OLED on a polyethylene naphthalate substrate. Translated to English, it means the display represents a real milestone: The same promising OLED technology that we’ve been writing about for a while can now be reliably produced on a totally flexible backing material.
While flexible e-ink screens and the recent large-pixel rubbery OLED display have their merits, it’s going to be this sort of tech that you’ll likely see most on your portable devices in the future. OLEDs are better than LCDs since they consume less power while delivering a more contrasty image, and their display refresh rates surpass e-ink ones by a huge factor. All those futuristic concept designs you see for roll-up laptop displays, bracelet-style on-wrist computers or fully bendable cellphones will most likely use bendy OLEDs for these reasons. So while this monochrome 4.1-inch screen isn’t mind-blowing by itself, it shows that pretty soon we’ll be able to start crafting some really wild and whacky pieces of electronics.