Bend your smartphone today, and it’ll probably break. Bend it three years from now, and it could snap a photo or turn a page in an e-book.
So suggests Roel Vertegaal, a professor of human-computer interaction at Queen’s University’s School of Computing in Ontario. Vertegaal thinks that the time is fast approaching when deformable screens will inform not just smartphone design but pretty much all computers.
The big breakthrough that is making flexible displays possible is organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. This display type, used in the Apple watch and many Samsung and LG phones, makes plastic, deformable displays possible.