Philips Electronics has announced key gains in its polymer technology research putting the company on the verge of producing high resolution portable displays.
The availability of such displays would yield a range of new capabilities which have long been forecast but have not yet been achievable:
- electronic books
- the possibility of reading a magazine from a screen housed inside a pen
- wall-sized TV screens which can be rolled up and stored when not in use
- retractable screens to enhance the use of mobile devices.
Philips Electronics technology research combines the world's most advanced flexible display technology with the highest resolution and the smallest pixel pitch reported to date. With these latest developments, Philips researchers are now closer than ever to making high resolution portable displays a reality for consumers. The newest Philips research displays combine active-matrix polymer driving electronics with a reflective "electronic ink" front plane on an extremely thin sheet of plastic. The nature of these reflective screen displays makes them extraordinarily flexible and lightweight, so that even the largest of screens can be stored compactly and discretely when not in useThe availability of such displays is extremely attractive for mobile applications, and will also greatly stimulate the advancement of electronic books, newspapers and magazines, as well as supplement new services offered by 3G (third generation) mobile network operators.This could lead to some very interesting innovations as a result, such as the possibility of reading the newspaper from a screen housed inside a pen. Other examples could be enhanced home TV viewing from an otherwise hidden large flexible screen, and showing photographs or playing video games more clearly from a mobile phone via a retractable screen.Philips not only wants to prove the feasibility of such displays, but will now rapidly move towards the development of an industrially feasible process for consumer production with the goal of being the first to commercialise these displays. Within the Philips Technology Incubator, an internal venture has been formed to directly target this aim. The venture is called