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Engineering Materials

All-Plastic Electronics Power Flexible Color Display

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Russian advancements
Rob Spiegel   6/8/2012 12:39:41 PM
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Many companies seem to develop technology ahead of actual demand. Companies like Siemens seem to develop technology based on customer needs. But a lot of technology gets developed without a clear customer need in mind -- tablets for instance. With tablets it worked out, but I'm not sure the market would have been significant if Apple hadn't demonstrated the technology's value.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Russian advancements
Ann R. Thryft   6/8/2012 1:37:30 PM
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I agree that an advocate for a specific technology platform, such as tablets, helps. But so many other factors have to be in place before that becomes the deciding factor. "Demand" is pretty evanescent and doesn't accomplish much without the other drivers. In the case of tablets, aside from a combination of the right technologies, materials and manufacturability thereof, market timing of competing platforms (notebooks and handhelds) was a big factor.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Russian advancements
Rob Spiegel   6/8/2012 1:44:41 PM
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Good points, Ann. I have always thought customer demand was the most important driver for technology development. But mauybe not. when it comes to new materials, you've covered tons of technology development that had nothing to do with demand.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Russian advancements
Ann R. Thryft   6/8/2012 1:54:22 PM
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From my experience, market "demand" is a vague, often fluffy term, and not always a real driver, especially once non-technical consumers became customers. Your mom and my nephew can't demand what they don't know exists. Once they've seen what a cellphone or iPad can do, that's a different story. But that's way over at the end user link in the chain and the system phase of design, which so many different elements feed into. OTOH, engineers can certainly demand better design tools and more intelligent and capable manufacturing infrastructure, since those are real identifiable needs. And demand for products, designs or services certainly exists that never gets satisfied, as we've seen often in our comments sections.

Charles Murray
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Re: Russian advancements
Charles Murray   6/8/2012 5:45:26 PM
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I agree about kids being great beta testers, Rob. In this case, it sounds like the technology may be kid-ready, judging by the line in the story that says it can be cut with scissors and stomped with a boot, and still keep ticking.

warren@fourward.com
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All-Plastic Electronics Power Flexible Color Display
warren@fourward.com   6/8/2012 11:53:05 PM
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Wow!  Now that is a good demo!  I was impressed!

I have heard about this technology, which I can see thousands of applications for, and to see it in action was fantastic!

I am really curious about the technology driving it (electronics).  I can't wait to see how this progresses.

William K.
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Re: Russian advancements
William K.   6/9/2012 11:22:47 PM
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"Market Demand" is one of those ongoing lies that marketing wonks use to drive the addition of features that nobody asked for and few would use. It is primarily used as a tool for "product differentiation", since most of that type of marketing has long ago abandoned quality as a product atribute. Note that I define a quality product as one that meets it's specifications long after the warranty has expired, even if it is a one year warranty. 

The flexible color display is certainly in a position to find quite a few unanticipated applications, both graphic and text-based. 

More information about the driving format and temperature range would be handy, as well as a link to the manufacturer or distributors.

TJ McDermott
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Combining technologies
TJ McDermott   6/11/2012 1:44:22 AM
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Flexible displays, + clothing that generates electricity from temperature differentials : put these together and you have a military uniform that can do active camoflage.  The soldier can "almost" disappear in the surroundings.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Russian advancements
Ann R. Thryft   6/11/2012 11:51:19 AM
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William, there's a link to the manufacturer, Plastic Logic, in the first line of the story. There are no distributors yet to my knowledge. I would have liked a lot more info on the technology, too. The website gives only a smidgen of information and I didn't get much else in the interview. The company is playing it pretty close to the vest.

William K.
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all plastic electronics
William K.   6/11/2012 12:23:29 PM
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It is certainly true that thereis a potential for some good camoflage clothing, and at least some very quickly changing covers. Not quite as good as shape-shifters, but certainly able to avoid identification, if not detection.

As for additional information about the product, I wonder if it is a bit like an air motor that I wrote about for this publication a few years back. There were to many details missing, and now the whole product is missing. 

I would watch this company, but not invest a lot in them just yet, since it does sound just to amazing to be true.

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