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Sony Debuts Razor-Thin Flexible Display

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the forget-e-paper dept.

135

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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135 comments

Lines on the Display? (3, Insightful)

Iggowanna (659238) | more than 6 years ago | (#19275981)

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.

Re:Lines on the Display? (3, Funny)

Scoth (879800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276185)

Remember this is Sony. They're holding up the aperture grill. No one will notice in normal use. Really. They mean it.

Re:Lines on the Display? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276299)

Heheh, good one. I wonder how many will get that these days...

Re:Lines on the Display? (1)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276529)

+1 Funny.

As a customer relation rep at Apple, I had to explain that particular one over...and over...and over...(Apple sold a lot of Trinitron-based displays in from 1988-1998.)

Re:Lines on the Display? (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276913)

Lol. Yeah, I remember. And the booming sound of the degaussing mechanism that destroyed any magnetic storage device sitting near the sides of it when you turned it on. That was also a sign of high quality.

Re:Lines on the Display? (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278181)

In the late 90s I used a Trinitron monitor. I always thought it was great until some jerk complained about those two wires on usenet. It was almost as if reading his words made the lines appear. Before, I had never noticed them. Afterwards, they bugged me.

Re:Lines on the Display? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279017)

I bought my IBM P200 in about the same time, for a whole lot of money, and I still use it every day. We're already in the late 00's now, so about 10 years good work from it! Great crystal clear image and it came with a 13w3-vga cable for extra nerd karma. But I must say that TFT by now is just as good what the image concerns. Probably I should switch to a TFT just because of their amazing cheap prize and lower power consumption , also I won't have to move these 30 kgs around anymore. (Not that I ever went there, but I can not advice the Trinitron for LAN parties). And BTW: I don't notice the lines anymore.

Re:Lines on the Display? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279083)

...damn you!

Re:Lines on the Display? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276289)

It's a Trinitron, duh! The lines mean HIGH QUALITY!

Re:Lines on the Display? (1)

Ruch (681056) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277927)

So it can be worn as clothing...can I project image from my back to front making me appear invisible or at least camouflaged.

Re:Lines on the Display? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278587)

To do something like that properly, you need a holographic display, otherwise, anyone not directly facing you will see stretching in the image, or an unexpected lack of parallax, if you're fat.

e-paper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276011)

Didn't LG come up with one a couple weeks ago?

Re:e-paper... (2, Informative)

snooz_crash (802357) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276323)

R&D through several companies started in 1996. The tech name is flexible OLED.
A history of which can be found here http://www.oled-info.com/history/ [oled-info.com]

Re:e-paper... (1)

wish bot (265150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277423)

They also mention using electroluminescent material in some way too - although it's not made clear how. I actually think that electroluminescent material is pretty cool myself, but (I think) there are two main problems with it - one, it requires really high voltages (but doesn't use much power), and it has a fairly limited lifespan. Maybe Sony figures that this isn't important in small gadgets, but the high voltage issue could make designs problematic.

Future (2, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Future (3, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276095)

They won't blink and wear their screen as clothing!

So the TeleTubbies are coming to a playground near you? Think of the children!

Re:Future (1)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276131)

I'm all over this. Why bother working out when I can just select the "6-pack abs" design on my tele-shirt?

Re:Future (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19277367)

You don't think the beer gut bulge would give you away?

Re:Future (5, Funny)

lsllll (830002) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276165)

I can just hear the conversation in the bedroom:

Man: Honey, you wanna make love?
Woman: Sure (starts to get naked)
Man: Hey! Let's play roles! Let's put on LCD masks.
Woman: Hmmmmm, okay. But who do you want me to be?
Man: Let's do it Indian poker style. You select my mask, and I select yours, and we'll never know whose face we're wearing.
Woman: K. (Chooses Brad Pitt for him)
Man: *Yum* Ok. (Chooses Angelina Jolie) Hey, can I put bigger boobs on your LCD shirt?
Woman: Only if I can put a strap-on around your hip

It sounds like great technology, but... (1, Funny)

HullBreachOnline.com (1104555) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276061)

...will it explode like other Sony products? The fear of that in itself will cause me to wait for the second generation product.

Re:It sounds like great technology, but... (1, Funny)

meiocyte (455845) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276929)

Is there a chance the screen could bend?

Re:It sounds like great technology, but... (3, Funny)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277813)

Not on your life, my Slashdot friend. Now throw your hands up and rejoice, This bendy screen's your only choice!

Re:It sounds like great technology, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278905)

Mono--... DOH'!

Re:It sounds like great technology, but... (3, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277461)

My worry is something like that.

I worry that Sony will patent the technology and then make some more useless-via-DRM-and-proprietary-addons like the Minidisc, Librie, and PS3.

So many innovations...that nobody gets to use.

All they really have to do is sell this at a reasonable rate to PDA and phone manufacturers.
But I think they'll probably just screw it up again.

Re:It sounds like great technology, but... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278389)

Umm, you realize that Sony sells pieces-parts to lots of different companies for inclusion into various and sundry products.

Like batteries... Oops, bad example. OK, how about the digital camera sensor in the Nikon D200? There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of separate components that Sony makes that are incorporated into other manufacturers gizmos.

I wouldn't be surprised if the first commercial product using this technology was a Sony-branded critter, complete with DRM and / or a memory stick. But if it's any good, Sony will be happy to sell you a few hundred thousand of them.

Fantastic! (5, Funny)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276069)

"Mum, the living room wall has got a dead pixel!"

Re:Fantastic! (2, Funny)

Associate (317603) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276205)

"I'll call your father and have him pick up a pack of spare panels from Walmart on his way home from work."

Re:Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276555)

I see dead pixels...

Conversely I would like to debut (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276079)

my thick stiff cock for you geeks

bend over, here I come again nancies

... like wallpaper to display ads (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276109)

Is more along the lines of what he's thinking. Not that it isn't a technically cool accomplishment.

Re:... like wallpaper to display ads (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276217)

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?

How long until.. (4, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276123)

..someone introduces a display that is as thin as three razors?

Re:How long until.. (3, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276191)

How long until.. ..someone introduces a display that is as thin as three razors?

Hah! My LCD already has the thinness of fifty-eight razors!

Top that, Sony!

Re:How long until.. (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276447)

That's nothing, mine is as thin as five regular razors with one extra for the hard to get places.

I don't like Sony (-1, Redundant)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276135)

I don't like Sony very much due to their unethical behavior in the past and have stopped buying any of their products. But his thing looks so cool that I... ummm never mind

Re:I don't like Sony (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276179)

Yeah, I have to admit, I voted this one down on the Firehose just because I don't like Sony and the article wasn't negative enough for me. But here it is on the front page, democracy in action. :) Regardless, I want e-ink wallpaper; it may not be light-emitting (although a transparent overlay over the top could provide that as well) but it doesn't consume power except when changing. Then again, it's unsuitable for video...

Re:I don't like Sony (-1, Troll)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276231)

Yeah, I have to admit, I voted this one down on the Firehose just because I don't like Sony and the article wasn't negative enough for me.

Rrright... nice letting us know... I never understood some commenters like you, who come here pull their pants down and shout out loud "hey check it out, my dick's tiny, very very tiny!"

Re:I don't like Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276425)

"drinkypoo" is a well-known idiot of many years' standing.

Revolutionary tech? (1)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276171)

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 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Grain of salt time (1)

snarfbot (1036906) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276351)

ddgrommet posted a video of it at the same time u posted

"YouTube has a video demonstration of Sony's technology from Japan at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7QbQugXy1A [youtube.com] [youtube.com]"

definitely the real deal!

Yabut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276535)

Most of these products have some kind of demonstration. The one that comes to mind even had an evaluation kit. Sadly the kit cost thousands of dollars so I couldn't get one to play with. That was a couple of years ago and I haven't seen viable products hit the market yet.

Re:Grain of salt time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19277373)

The World + dog are announcing displays like this; especially digital paper products.
This isn't a digital paper product, and AFAIK only Philips has made similar announcements. (there have been announcements about other screen products, epaper and scientific ideas, but nothing like this). Have you seen the bright colors?

Re:Grain of salt time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19279051)

Have you ever bent over, whilst sitting on the can, perked up your nostrils and inhaled at the exact second you produced flatus? The aroma is intoxicating and, if done properly, you never need exhale again.

Porn!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19276271)

Think of the possibilities for the porn industry for this type of technology. All you need now is a touch screen version.

this looks familiar (2, Informative)

shvytejimas (1083291) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276285)

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

Re:this looks familiar (5, Informative)

Laur (673497) | more than 6 years ago | (#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! (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276297)

The future is here.

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

 

Re:YAY! (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276439)

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

Re:YAY! (1)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276497)

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

Re:YAY! (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276541)

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.

Re:YAY! (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277733)

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.

Heads Up (3, Interesting)

Devir (671031) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276315)

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.

Re:Heads Up (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276397)

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 course is to have a system that can go so far as to recognize models of vehicle and such. You could mark vehicles with a color code to show how likely they are to be able to shut you out like an asshole when you attempt to pass them, et cetera. (For some reason, people seem to like to speed up on me when I pass them in my little purple car.)

Re:Heads Up (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278323)

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 set format. To make the system more reliable, RFID tags, or a beefier equivalent, would be able to deliver a vector representation signs, and/or a reference key for each of the standard ones. The system would work best with some kind of triangulation feature to detect the distance of the sign in question.

Re:Heads Up (1)

SoulGrind (1103673) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278271)

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.

flexible, huh? (2, Interesting)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276343)

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...
Then there's always gaming, etc...

Re:flexible, huh? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276419)

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.

Raster dropouts... (1)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276471)

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.

Re:Raster dropouts... (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276771)

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.

Re:Raster dropouts... (1)

Dr. Zowie (109983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278517)


Nah, watch the movie. The lines don't move like Moire patterns would -- they are clearly affixed to the surface...

Where's the video? (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276553)

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...

oh snap! (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276617)

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)

Calling Gillette (0, Redundant)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19276939)

So how long till Gillette starts pushing out razors with 6 displays for a closer, cleaner shave?

Great... (1)

XFusion (1107405) | more than 6 years ago | (#19277603)

...now just make sure the end product isn't powered by batteries made by the same company, and it's all set to go.

Global anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19277633)

Shades of Earth, Final Conflict.

in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278017)

Researchers develop a 2.5 inch thick razor blade.

been hearing about these things for years... (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:been hearing about these things for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19278601)

I'm pretty sure I saw at least a couple of ink-on-paper displays in the library :-/

Re:been hearing about these things for years... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278619)

yeah ok I geddit. I meant eInk displays or whatever its called.

Re:been hearing about these things for years... (1)

OBeardedOne (700849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19279175)

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.

Is Sony's tomorrow always our yesterday? (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 6 years ago | (#19278515)

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?
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