The highly anticipated ‘flexible screen technology’

The first time you drop your new mobile phone can be a truly heart-stopping moment. Part of the allure of such gadgets is their sleek good looks, but unfortunately they can be rather fragile. The most common part of a phone to break is the glass display screen, leaving ugly cracks or in the worst-case scenario, completely shattering and leaving the phone unusable. Thankfully, the future of display technology is taking a turn towards less rigid ways of thinking with the result that your mobile might soon become a truly flexible friend.

Leading phone manufacturer Samsung is leading the charge with efforts to develop mobile device displays that are made of plastic rather than glass, resulting in a new generation of Smartphones that are light, very difficult to break and possibly even bendable. Prototypes have been exhibited at recent trade fairs and this technology looks set to possibly arrive in 2013. Not only will this herald a new age for mobile phone design, but will revolutionize how a whole range of devices display information.

Such developments are possible thanks to the development of organic light-emitting diodes that are an order of magnitude smaller than existing diodes, allowing them to be placed onto flexible plastic. Displays are moving towards a future where electronics don’t have to conform to rigid structures and possibly may even be stretchable or embedded within pieces of cloth. The driving force behind this is an effort to make mobile devices more rugged. Typical glass displays are the weakest point in a mobile phone’s construction, resulting in users having to place them in bulky protective cases adding size and weight to the device. Flexible screens remove the need for a mobile phone to have to be contained within a rigid shell, allowing for a whole new variety of interactions. Nokia recently developed prototypes showing a flexible user interface where the body of the phone could be twisted to input commands.

Smart phones will only be the start of this process. Display technology is a hotly contested marketplace at present and consumer electronics have made huge leaps in recent years. Recent advances include the iPhone’s retina display which boasts a pixel count that is higher than the naked eye can detect, 1920X1080 Hi-Definition Smartphones and pocket-size projectors – all have raised standards for consumers everywhere.

Flexible screens are the next big leap for display technology and promise truly novel ways in which information and media will be displayed. The concept could be used for a host of applications allowing a screen to be wrapped around any surface e.g. watch straps, lampshades or ultra-thin televisions and projection devices. Imagine a car where the whole dashboard can display information.

However, as technology marches forward, many of us are left with ancient gadgets gathering dust in the back of drawers. Generate some cash by recycling your old phones and laptops with a technology recycler like and start saving towards your next gadget shopping trip.

Written by

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since. Follow Jyotsna Ramani at Google+

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