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Flexible display research lauded by publication

January 14, 2009

Research at Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center, which is laying the groundwork for a new type of flexible information display for computer screens and beyond, has been cited as one of the top technological breakthroughs in 2008 by Wired magazine.

Information-rich displays that can be carried anywhere are tantalizingly close to reality thanks in part to the groundbreaking work of the U.S. Army’s Flexible Display Center at ASU, according to Wired.

Because these display screens are a significant departure from traditional rigid, glass-based screens, the underlying technologies that will make flexible displays had to be completely reworked.

In order to make flexible displays – flexible enough to be body contouring or even folded or rolled up – FDC researchers and their industrial partners have developed new display designs, developed new materials for the displays and associated electronics, and re-worked existing manufacturing methods. The end result for consumers will be a new technology that could have a major impact on how we interact with the world.

“Flexible displays could change the way we interact with the info-universe, creating new kinds of cell phones, portable computers, e-newspapers and electronic books,” Wired states in the article.

“This year, the research moved from the realm of science fiction to plausible reality,” it adds. “With the help of the U.S. Army, Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center has created a prototype for soldiers and hopes to have the devices in field trials in the next three years.”

“This recognition is a great tribute to the talented and dedicated team we have put together here at ASU and our industry and government partners,” said Greg Raupp, FDC’s founding director. “Working together we have rapidly achieved results which, in the words of one of our Army stakeholders, ‘are nothing short of miraculous.’”   

The Flexible Display Center was established in February 2004 with a 10-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. The Army’s interest in flexible displays is as an enabling technology that can improve performance of its people on the ground by providing instantaneous critical information to even the most remote of locations.