You don’t hear much abut them, but Royole unveiled the first foldable phone in the world and is now working on another technology – stretchable displays. These are based on micro-LED tech built on a stretchy, elastic circuit. Why would you even want a stretchable display?
For one these can be stretched into various shapes, creating spherical and dome-shaped displays. It’s like those curved screens you see on TVs, monitors and phones, except with a curve on two axes.
Royole sees applications in the fields of health and fitness, sports and fashion as well as transportation. Stretchy displays can be molded to fit the shape of the human body or create an interactive globe.
Here are a few details about the new type of display panel. They can be stretched to 130% and bent to 40º. They can be transparent too, letting through 70% of the light (much more than transparent OLED panels do, e.g. LG’s transparent TV lets through only 40% of the light). The current designs can have pixel densities up to 120 ppi, comparable to a typical laptops.
Below you can see a 2.7” 96 x 60 pixel panel that was built to prove that the technology works:
And here’s the stretchiness in action:
True to their name, micro-LEDs are smaller than OLEDs, which allows for a bigger gap between individual pixels. This means more room for stretchy material between the pixels (and more room for light to go through).
Royole believes this stretchable technology can be applied to the manufacturing processes for foldable displays made today, which will help scale the production capacity quickly.