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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I can remember reading about two potential plastic battery technologies more than a decade ago. I'm not talking about using plastic as an armature. There were two developments; one was more like a cap for charge storage; the other was like an organic plastic. I can also remember about film batteries which was more like plastic armature with the media deposited on the plastic film.
Yes, Chuck, just a few apps since then :) For flexible displays, the apps I see mentioned most often are watches and other wearable computers, medical devices, and signage. I think Nancy's right: once the tech is available, they will be all over the place and we'll wonder how we ever did without them.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
A fun and informative tour you can attend at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, MD&M Minneapolis, and other events there, is the Materials Innovation Tour on Wednesday afternoon. I'll be leading it.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.