LCD Displays Get Flexible

CNET News posted a good analysis of flexible LCD displays. These don’t yet apply to cell phones, but the stuff clearly has implications for mobile handset design.

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The article reports that Netherlands-based Polymer Vision is the only company that right now is working on making e-books in a form that’s actually close to traditional books—ones that are mobile, bendable, and, above all, readable.

Significantly, the device, called the Readius, is not just an e-book reader, the report said. It also “receives e-mail, text messages, and RSS feeds, makes phone calls, and keeps calendar and contact information—in addition to downloading books and newspapers wirelessly.”

But the report asks a key question: “how can you balance the size of the screen so it’s big enough to read and reasonably watch videos, while keeping the device dainty enough to fit in a pocket?” The iPhone is probably a good reasonable limit to the size of a fixed glass screen at 3.5 inches; any bigger than that and it’s no longer just a phone you put in your pocket, but something bigger and more complicated. Flexible, rollable LCDs could bust this limit easily.