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Sony Debuts Razor-Thin Flexible Display 135

Posted by Zonk
from the forget-e-paper dept.
Mike writes "Sony Corporation has put online a video of their new flexible 2.5 inch display. The display can be bent in half, is full color, and is apparently relatively inexpensive to make. This could be used in hundreds of cool new products, as well as enhancing thousands of existing products. In fact, it's hard to see where this kind of display wouldn't be used, especially in portable consumer electronics. 'The display combines Sony's organic thin film transistor, or TFT, technology, which is required to make flexible displays, with another kind of technology called organic electroluminescent display, it said. The latter technology is not as widespread for gadgets as the two main display technologies now on the market - liquid crystal displays and plasma display panels. Although flat-panel TVs are getting slimmer, a display that's so thin it bends in a human hand marks a breakthrough ... "In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing," said Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa. "Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper."'"
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Sony Debuts Razor-Thin Flexible Display

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  • by Iggowanna (659238) *
    What are those lines on the display? (see picture in article [dailymail.co.uk]).

    If this is a PR thing for Sony, that's a REALLY bad 1st impression.
  • Future (Score:3, Funny)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:21PM (#19276025)
    "In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing," said Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa. "Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper."'"

    He's right. I've watched plenty of sci-fi series, and people there are crazy like that. They won't blink and wear their screen as clothing! Insane I tell you.
  • ...will it explode like other Sony products? The fear of that in itself will cause me to wait for the second generation product.
  • I can't imagine the cuts you'd get from that sucker. Go to work with a beach towel stuck to your chin to mop up the bleeding.

  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Mysterious X (903554) <adam@omega.org.uk> on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:24PM (#19276069)
    "Mum, the living room wall has got a dead pixel!"
  • So we can expect it to be ready in about five years?
    • by Gospodin (547743)

      The good news is, once we get this, we can expect commercial fusion power about 15 years later!

  • Is more along the lines of what he's thinking. Not that it isn't a technically cool accomplishment.
    • Hey, who wants a television as big as the nearest wall?
      How about a computer monitor that size?
      How about if someone other than Sony is making it?
  • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:27PM (#19276123) Homepage Journal
    ..someone introduces a display that is as thin as three razors?
  • Video (Score:5, Informative)

    by ddgromit (1101961) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:32PM (#19276169)
    YouTube has a video demonstration of Sony's technology from Japan at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7QbQugXy1A [youtube.com]
  • It could well be a revolutionary technology in the display market in many years! With displays able to bend, all possibilities open up in gadgets and even laptop markets with smaller and more capable display units.
  • Grain of salt time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:32PM (#19276177)
    The World + dog are announcing displays like this; especially digital paper products. It seems mostly to be premature announcements. Maybe they're trying to freak out the competition ala 'vaporware'.

    "Vaporware is a software or hardware product which is announced by a developer well in advance of release, but which then fails to emerge, either with or without a protracted development cycle. The term implies unwarranted optimism, or sometimes even deception; that is, it may imply that the announcer knows that product development is in too early a stage to support responsible statements about its completion date, feature set, or even feasibility." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware [wikipedia.org]

    "sometimes even deception" indeed.
  • this looks familiar (Score:2, Informative)

    by shvytejimas (1083291)
    is it just me, or is this really familliar to the e-paper that LG & Philips developed recently? http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/ 14/0410247 [slashdot.org]
    only this time there's a lot more buzz
    • by Laur (673497) on Friday May 25, 2007 @06:26PM (#19276823)

      is it just me, or is this really familliar to the e-paper that LG & Philips developed recently?
      E-paper can't display full motion video, its response times are much too low for that sort of thing, but it should have great battery life for mostly static images. This appears to be a "normal" LCD, but thin and flexible, and the videos show it displaying video. Different technologies with different applications, but both very cool.
  • YAY! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:41PM (#19276297)
    The future is here.

    Every surface can be turned into an advert. Animated no less.

     
    • by cp.tar (871488)

      So I wonder: what will the future of adblocking be like?

      • by s.bots (1099921)

        So I wonder: what will the future of adblocking be like?
        Blindness? Deafness? Both?
        • by cp.tar (871488)

          So, I just need a 2nd level spell?

          Two spell slots just for going out... what is this world coming to?

          And then you need to take a seeing-eye dog as a familiar, too... sheesh.

        • Not exactly. All you would need are these special glasses and headsets, they could easily be incorporated in a helmet, that filter out or completely replace what you see with a spamfree view of your surroundings. Lets just hope the spamfilter is correct when it filters out the cars around you, especially that one with the pizza advertisemnet wraped all over it.
      • by karnal (22275)
        Something tells me either a fist or a lighter will be involved...
      • by muffin (28009)
        Spray paint?
  • Heads Up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Devir (671031) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:43PM (#19276315) Homepage
    Imagine a sheet like this, transparent and plastered on the windshield or in a corner of one. Then it's fed from a GPS computer for map information right in front of you. This would make GPS navigation a little safer.

    Add in some of the "Object detection" systems they've been pawning off for a few years and we're talking about a nice feature for the future of cars.

    Fighter Jets as well as commercial airliners can make use of this technology as well.

    There's a million uses other then the silly and mundane.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Add in some of the "Object detection" systems they've been pawning off for a few years and we're talking about a nice feature for the future of cars.

      I've been fantasizing for a long time about having a RADAR and/or LIDAR system that will detect all the vehicles around you, the speeds at which they are traveling, and so on, and report them back to you in realtime via a HUD. It's really not a necessary piece of equipment by any means, but it would be a boon to efficiency if you used it correctly.

      My dream of

      • I've wondered for a long time how difficult it would be to have sign recognition on a vehicle HUD. Especially handy for diagrams of major junctions and lane diagrams. It could be integrated with a GPS system to automatically guide you into the correct lane. This could either be accomplished through image recognition software - in the cases of standard signs (i.e. those without arbitrary text on) this should be much easier than your average image recognition software, since signs are high contrast and of a s
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I've wondered for a long time how difficult it would be to have sign recognition on a vehicle HUD. Especially handy for diagrams of major junctions and lane diagrams.

          It must be pretty hard, because there is or was a whole run on the mechanical turk where someone (I forget who, vicinity maybe?) wanted people to draw outlines around road signs.

          It does seem like you could make this job easier, though, by using RADAR, LIDAR, or an ultrasonic scanner to identify the positions of road signs, and then correlate

    • Yeah - I can see it now... media and advertising delivery on cereal boxes, newspapers, walls, lamp posts, etc., just like in the movie "Minority Report." Just don't don't go getting red or yellow balls.
    • by danlock4 (1026420)
      (re: windshield GPS)

      As long as it's not too distracting...
    • I claim prior art:

      http://slashdot.org/~Some_Llama/journal/139426 [slashdot.org]
  • flexible, huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by veganboyjosh (896761)
    Vaporware or not, what comes to mind after the initial neat-o factor is that the flexibility of this stuff could make for an interesting home theatre set up. Anyone remember those 180 or 360 degree theaters? Not IMAX, but the inside-of-a-dome-as-movie-screen thing. There was a motion sickness factor, but I'm thinking there'd be some cool applications as far as movies where you don't get to watch all the action at once, or maybe depending on which side you're viewing, you may miss something important, etc...
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      The problem with your idea is that if you are attempting to press a flat piece into a section of a sphere, flexibility won't help you. It has to be able to expand and contract to follow the contour. It makes much more sense to just do it the way IMAX does it, and use a projector.
      • Gah, stupid 2 dimensional physics not working out in 3.
      • by CorSci81 (1007499)
        I'm reasonably confident they could make these in more than rectangular shapes. Besides, at the size at which a dome theater becomes useable the curvature of each individual element of the display would become quite small. On the software side, the processing to correctly distort the display information for a spherical surface is quite trivial.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Besides, at the size at which a dome theater becomes useable the curvature of each individual element of the display would become quite small.

          Do you mean pixel element, or a block of the material?

          Because you want it to be (if possible) one contiguous surface, so that you don't have seams between pixel elements.

    • 2001: A Space Odyssey was originally shot in something called Cinerama that was a projected on a deep concave sceen.

      You may be thinking about this or Super Panavision, a later descendant technology.
  • The video and press images feature both rows and colums that have gone wonky -- clearly (A) the tech isn't quite ready for prime time (heh), and (B) you wouldn't want to bend it all the time, for fear of fatiguing the printed parallel cables that feed/drive it.

    • Perhaps those lines have more to do with the camera taking the photo than the screen itself? Whenever I see images of monitors they always have lines across them.
      • by Dr. Zowie (109983)

        Nah, watch the movie. The lines don't move like Moire patterns would -- they are clearly affixed to the surface...
  • FTA: "Sony Corporation posted video of the new 2.5 inch display on its' web page. In the video, a hand squeezes the 0.3 millimetre (0.01 inch)-thick display, which shows color video of a bicyclist stuntman, a picturesque lake and other images."

    I looked all over... where is the video? Can anyone find a link to the video? I'd like to see this thing in action...

  • i wanna cover my walls, ceiling and floors in oled displays! dynamic environment! battle bridge! fuck a imax! the possibilities are endless! (until they end of course)
  • ...now just make sure the end product isn't powered by batteries made by the same company, and it's all set to go.
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday May 25, 2007 @08:45PM (#19278391)
    Yet another technology demo that won't actually be in a real product for years.
    Same with ink-on-paper displays. Plenty of prototypes exist but for some reason no-one seems able to or wants to make an actual device you can buy.
    • Yet another technology demo that won't actually be in a real product for years.

      The fact that we have been reading about these displays for years and that they have been steadily improving in quality to be reliable and actually useful means it won't be long before they hit the stores.

    • Didn't it take a long time before the internal combustion engine [wikipedia.org] was applied to an automobile (of sorts) that we (they, back then) could actually buy?

      The above link to wikipedia has early examples dating from 1806 or so, and the first automobile for sale by Ford was in 1903. Here is a link for that [ausbcomp.com], and other info about early automobile efforts, including some pictures.

      As it turns out, the automobile, and trucks, have had a greater impact on our lives than this revolutionary display may have. I notice that
  • I mean, these flexible organic displays have been around for years now, some even in use on cheap cameras and cel phones.

    "In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing," said Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa. "Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper."'"

    They just NOW thought of this?!

    Remember when Sony used to be *ahead* of everyone else?
  • But... does it only show a movie if it is Blu-ray? ---- Evil wombat was here
  • Until we get six-way foldouts like the laptops the students in Stellvia [wikipedia.org] got assigned, this won't impress me.
  • "even worn as clothing"

    1. You could design your own clothing
    2. You could share your clothing designs with others (Creative Commons clothing?)
    3. Sony will release designer styles with clothing DRM.
    4. Someone will break the DRM, but no one will want the overpriced designs to begin with. The FCC and MAFIAA will get involved somehow.
    5. Microsoft will release MS Tailor, but it will be bloated and all the geeks will use OpenWardrobe.Org.
    6. School uniforms will be made available as a firmware upgrade.
    7.

  • Is that Razor-thin or Razr thin? I'm getting confused with these Slashdot measurements..
  • fit the HDMI connector on a screen that size?
  • Now that we have a screen technology that can be read from any angle (=180 degrees), we only need something to prevent... that very same thing, so that no-one can read your SMS's behind your shoulder in a public location.

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