BENEFITS OF BENDABLE
So what can be done with bendable lights and displays and why would anyone want them?
Inventors, entrepreneurs, manufacturers and consumers will ultimately answer those questions, but a few intriguing possibilities already exist.
Bendable phones and tablets offer the promise of better durability – it’s hard to break a flexible screen, after all – but also more display space.
A smartphone could have a regular 2.5-inch-wide screen, but also unfold – like a book – to reveal a second five-inch-wide screen on its inside. Such a large screen could be more desirable for watching videos or reading texts such as e-books.
“Here’s a big screen when you need it and here’s a smaller screen when you don’t need it,” says Jean Philippe Bouchard, vice-president of mobility and consumer research at IDC Canada.
“It’s going to allow manufacturers to offer something different. Whether or not it’s going to be successful or popular remains to be seen.”
Lighter, flexible lights could also make a big impact in car design and manufacturing, especially with the move toward electrification.
Auto makers are looking for ways to decrease overall weight as heavier vehicles require more battery power. OTI Lumionics’ co-founder Michael Helander foresees replacing big, heavy tail lights with ultra-light OLED “stickers” that wrap around the rear of the vehicle.
“We’re starting to now see a new generation of lighting design,” he says.