I agree, Nadine. Tiny kids take to tablets in a remarkable way. In a family, the kids take over the tablets in ways they never tried to do with desktops or laptops. Flexible computers will be perfect for kid applications.
Good point, Chuck. We're likely to be surprised by what shows up now that this flexible technology is becoming available. It didn't take long for applications to show up for the PC. Smart phones are another good example. Using the phone to make a call almost seems an afterthought for young users.
One idea did come to me while reading through the comments. I can see this used for tablets aimed at the kid's market. I never imagined that a $400 item could be popular for children. If you've ever watched two toddlers arguing over an ipad, you know what I mean.
I agree, Rob. I have a feeling a few years from now they will be in the technology domain in products that we don't even give a second thought to as being out of the ordinary...kind of like the evolution of LED flashlights.
I'm sure that engineers will find many applications for thin film batteries and displays. I can remember when people claimed the only application for PCs was to store recipes. We've found some new apps since then.
It's going to be interesting to see what applications come from this. The flexible displays I've seen are fun, but I haven't seen them in a setting where flexibility was a necessity rather than a nice gimmick. Yet I'm sure somebody will come up with a great idea once this technology is available.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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