Sony introduces flexible portable video display

Posted by Mark Raby

Tokyo (Japan) - In a bid to redefine itself in the display market, Sony has debuted a new kind of material that can display a moving image on a flexible, very thin screen.  Its light weight and flexible nature makes it a very rugged display, says Sony.

Unveiling the new material late last week, Sony said it has not yet decided on what applications the new technology could be used. Sony spokesperson Chisato Kitsukawa had some interesting ideas, though. "In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person's wrist, even worn as clothing. Perhaps it can be put up like wallpaper," he said.

Of course, right now the display only comes in a size of 2.5 inches, meaning uses for things like TVs or electronic paper are not yet in reach. The flexibility is not the only breakthrough, though. Because it is as thin and lightweight as a piece of paper, measuring only 0.01 inches thick, dropping it on the ground causes no harm to the display, claims Sony.

Other companies have showed off similar "e-paper" technologies, but almost all of them are only capable of producing stale images. Sony's new display can run videos at a consistent frame rate.

Though still a leader in display technologies, Sony has not been at the top of sales or revenue charts in that area for years. Increased competition, mainly from Samsung, has pushed Sony down in the flat-panel display ranks. This new technology could be a move to help put the electronics giant back on the map in a big way.