Soon after the much-awaited iPhone 6 hit the shelves last year, Apple fans started reporting that the new device had a previously-unmentioned ‘feature’: it was bending by mistake. All the hype soon passed, but a new technology is now making its way into the market.
The ability of making phones and tablets bend – and not by mistake – is slowly but surely becoming the next big thing. Polyera, a Chicago-based startup, is the best example; the company has been working for a decade on a technology that makes screens do more than just curve. Their focus is on producing displays that users can bend, twist, and roll up – basically anything that you would regularly do with a yoga mat.
According to Phil Inagaki, Polyera’s founder and CEO, finding a way to make the surface screen bend wasn’t by far the greatest challenge, but getting all the electronics behind the screen (think transistors), to contort in sync with the screen.
Instead of designing yet another rigid electronic device, Inagaki had the brilliant idea of creating a brand-new experience by equipping the device with softness and flexibility. The wearable device industry is most likely to be the first to embrace the concept of bendable technology.
To get the ball rolling, Polyera is currently working on the “Wove Band” – a glass display in a rectangular shape flexible enough that they user can wear it on their wrist, just like a snap bracelet.
More than just a wearable, the prototype Wove Band looks a lot like a fashion statement. Because of the low amount of energy that it uses, the band is able to entertain its user even when you’re not interacting with the screen, by displaying artsy designs in the form of a screensaver. Instead of consuming more power on a colorful display, Polyera went for black and white e-ink.
With a single tap, the Wove Band wakes up and the user can choose from different displays, whether it’s weather, forecasts, email or news headlines. Scheduled for release in 2016, the company is currently designing its own system of apps to provide content, something in the likes of iOS or Android.
In the unlikeliest case that the Wove Band won’t gain traction, the producers are confident that at least the technology will set off a new trend on the flexible display market. According to recent reports from MarketsandMarkets, the industry is expected to reach nearly $4 billion by 2020.
Image Source: CNN Money