CEO of Plastic Logic, Indro Mukerjee, discusses the new electronic display revolution. Indro has worked in fast moving technology and industrial companies for over 25 years.
The past century has seen several revolutions in electronic display technology. Of course today no one thinks twice about moving pictures (or as we say nowadays, movies), televisions or even large flat-panel displays as being anything spectacular. That is because we have long moved on to the next display revolution: flexible displays.
Recent advances in technology have brought the “ holy grail” of flexible displays ever closer. Over the past years, an array of flexible prototypes has been showcased. However, for the first time an actual product has now become commercially available: Flexible plastic displays, such as those developed and manufactured by Plastic Logic, have become an industrial reality and this is the new technology now revolutionising the electronics industry.
Flexible, bendable displays are set to transform existing markets, such as signage, wristwatches and wearable devices, automotive, as well as many others. But how and more importantly why?
Displays made of plastic are not only very thin and ultra-light, but are also quite literally unbreakable and can withstand all the knocks and bumps that standard glass-based displays do not. How many broken smartphones are reported each year as a result of a cracked or shattered screen? Such disasters can now become a thing of the past thanks to flexible plastic displays, which are truly shatterproof. Not only that, these displays have very low power consumption, so having to remember to charge that all-important device overnight is no longer a daily chore.
Furthermore, by making displays conformable and flexible, it is now possible to wrap them around anything and everything: around your wrist, a mug, a lamp post or even the inside of a car. The integration of this new display technology in applications and end-devices is not only leading to innovative product concepts, but moreover is beginning to drive a display revolution in consumer electronics. All of a sudden, a card becomes smarter with an integrated plastic display; e-readers and large-area signage become lighter; mobile phones become more durable and medical applications become more wearable
UK-based Plastic Logic is the first company worldwide to have fully industrialised a process for manufacturing flexible plastic displays. The resulting colour and monochrome displays are available in both small and large sizes. Now that these displays are commercially available for product integration, for the first time an important sub-component of the flexible ecosystem is actually at hand. As a result, consumers can now expect to see applications enabled by flexible plastic displays enter the market in 2013. So the new display revolution is no longer just around the corner, but rather we are actually in the midst of it. Plastic Logic has made it a reality – and that means today. I wonder how long it will take for this to become considered an everyday technology.