Rollable displays are a lot like hoverboards. They’ve been the subject of countless science-fiction pieces over the years and while they do technically exist, there aren’t yet any consumer-ready, practical applications.
A company by the name of Polyera is hoping to change that.
Polyera recently emerged from the shadows after working on its Digital Fabric Technology for the past 10 years. Its debut product, the Wove Band, will arrive next year as a proof-of-concept for the wearable industry. It's a wrist-worn band with a display that wraps around your wrist and functions like a smartwatch.
Polyera founder and CEO Phil Inagaki told CNN that the majority of electronic devices we surround ourselves with are what he calls “rigid bricks.” His idea is that if we could make devices softer and more flexible, it would allow for all sorts of new experiences and devices to be created.
Crafting bendable displays is difficult although not impossible. We’ve seen prototypes from a number of different companies over the years but there have been two major barriers thus far. While a display on a device may be bendable, the rest of the hardware isn’t. What good is a smartphone with a flexible screen if the chassis, battery and internal hardware can’t be bent?
That dilemma is directly related to the next – how can bendable displays be used? It’s a conundrum that has plagued even the brightest minds up to this point. Not all that long ago, Samsung offered cash prizes for flexible display device ideas.