The FlexTech Alliance, focused on developing the electronic display and the flexible, printed electronics industry supply chain, today announced a contract award to Nyx Illuminated Clothing Company to develop a foldable display constructed from a panel of multiple e-paper screens.
Applications for this type of product are numerous. For consumer electronics, a foldable display can increase the size of e-reader screens without increasing the device foot-print. In military applications, maps may be read and stored more easily in the field. Medical devices can be enhanced with more accessible and convenient patient charts.
"To enable this unique technology to work, our engineers will develop circuitry to simultaneously drive six separate e-paper screens as one single display," described John Bell, project manager for Nyx. "The screen panels will be able to be folded up into the area of a single panel or unfolded to the full six panel area on demand."
"For both commercial and military applications, it is often desirable to have devices with larger area displays, but also to be able to store them in a smaller format, much as we fold maps and put them in our pockets," said Robert Tulis, director of technology and business development for FlexTech Alliance. "The development being done by Nyx has potential uses in a broad range of applications not achievable at this time with even the most flexible prototype displays.”
This research will demonstrate the capability to reliably fold and unfold multiple e-paper screens, allowing broadsheet screen sizes to be condensed to a 5 x 10 inch size. Nyx has already demonstrated expertise in developing flexible display screens and wearable electronic systems for NASA and the apparel industry. The final design for this project is intended to allow much of the display production to be manufactured on a roll-to-roll process with its associated high throughput and low cost. The foldable display will go through rigorous reliability testing for shock, vibration, and dynamic flexing by folding the arrangement up to 10,000 cycles.