SID 2007: Flexible Displays

I will admit that this is an afterthought, but I’m still going over my notes from SID 2007 even though it ended two weeks ago. One of the big topics at the conference was flexible displays.

A few were intended for video and other fast-moving images, such as the LG.Philips OLED build on a stainless steel foil substrate (mentioned here previously in the HDTV Almanac). NEC had an interesting LCD display that was curved even though you could not flex it; it is intended for use in car dashboards.

Most of the flexible displays were bi-stable, which means that they don’t need any power to maintain an image. They are not fast enough for video, but are excellent for signage — such as price labels on supermarket shelves — or electronic readers. Samsung had a 40″ diagonal bi-stable panel with Wide XGA resolution in black and white, which the company claims was the world’s largest. Samsung also had a 14.3″ diagonal color electronic paper display; it was impressive, but the image quality is not any where near what you’d expect for television viewing.

For now, the flexible displays will appear in mobile and signage applications where their low power, light weight, and rugged durability are advantages. Don’t expect to see a roll-up HDTV any time in the near future.