Plastic Logic and flexible-screen devices re-emerged last week during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, although the technology still doesn’t appear to be ready for prime time. Plastic Logic and Intel partnered with the Queen’s University Human Media Lab to introduce PaperTab, a 10.7-in. tablet device that users control by moving or bending, according to a report in Campus Technology.
PaperTab can offer a viewing angle of nearly 180 degrees and can bend to act as if the user is turning a page. It also allows for more than one unit to transfer documents by touch or proximity and work together as windows of a single application. However, the device was only built as a model.
“PaperTab is a concept design created by Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab using Plastic Logic’s flexible displays,” a spokesperson for Plastic Logic told Campus Technology. “As such, it is not a finished device intended for release, but much more a vision of how computing will develop over the next three to five years.”
Samsung, a company that has been working on flexible-screen technology for more than a decade, also showed its Youm line of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display devices with wraparound screens that can be used as a smartphone and opened to form a tablet with twice the screen size. It also requires further research before coming to market because OLEDs can disintegrate when exposed to air and moisture.
“The difficulty isn’t making the screen work, it’s making it work well,” Rob Enderle, analyst for the Enderle Group, said in an article for TechNew World. “These screens break after being folded a few times but consumer products need to be able to last through thousands of times of being folded.”