MWC 2016: Organic LCD transforms prototype smartwatch

25th February 2016
Mick Elliott

A full colour, conformable organic LCD (OLCD) was shown by FlexEnable at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. Curved into a smartwatch form factor, the 0.3mm thick display component demonstrates how mainstream wearables can be brought to life with displays and sensors using flexible electronics.

The OLCD featured in the smartwatch prototype shows the benefits that flexible technology brings to wearables: the use of flexible displays means that wearable products are no longer constrained by rigid design dimensions, but can conform to the wearer and not the other way around.

Being extremely light and thin, flexible displays save space that can be used to improve product form factors and include additional components or battery capacity.

In addition to standard smartwatch interface, the OLCD can also run vivid colour and smooth video content – a feature that brings vastly more utility because of the large area.

This product concept demonstrates that body conformal displays offer the potential to significantly increase the viewing area of wearable devices without compromising user comfort and aesthetics.

The 4.7in OLCD is driven by FlexEnable’s flexible transistor technology, which has been used to develop glass-free, flexible and unbreakable displays, and is particularly applicable in the mobile, wearable and automotive industries.

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said: “The market for wearable devices, and the applications enabled by these devices, is growing fast. However, form-factor constraints and rigidness of components, particularly the display, present challenges for wearables that limit design options and utility.

“Flexible displays are driving a paradigm shift enabling greater levels of innovation in wearable applications. The ability to bend and form ultra-thin, unbreakable displays and sensors to any and every surface gives our partners the freedom to design game-changing products which have been impossible until today.”

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