It felt like just yesterday we were writing about flexible displays as if they were some far-flung concept. Now, several companies are pursuing the technology, and HP is making some great strides at streamlining the processes behind the bendy displays so that they could make their way into consumer gadgetry.
HP is working on refining a production method it's calling Self-Aligned Imprint Lithography, or SAIL. Instead of making the flexible displays in sheets, HP manufactures them as rolls, which cuts down on the time and money involved — key, if we ever want to see those awesome flexible concepts we keep showing you come to life.
There's a problem, though. Right now, HP is finding that a screen can only be rolled up barely more than half a dozen times before kinks and creases form and ruin it. "It already starts getting kinks and bends in it," HP CTO Phil McKinney said, demoing a unit to Hardware.info. "So if you tried to roll and unroll it, you're probably good for about half a dozen times before the material will just fail."
Still, HP's new SAIL method is promising in that it's just what flexible displays need to get ready for prime time: a cheap, efficient and fast production method. Now, if only HP can smooth out those kinks, we'll be in business. See the video below for the demo by Phil McKinney.
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