Are Flexible Electronics Devices the Future?
Have you heard about Stretchable Electronics? You may already be having one! Stretchable electronics also known as elastic electronics is one of the emerging technologies; it helps electronics manufacturers create devices with the ability to conform to dynamic surfaces like the human body. Day by day, electronic gadgets are becoming more compact and portable; portable cell phones, computers, music players and other devices have become a part of our lifestyle. And with flexible electronic technologies, production of next-generation wearable devices have become easier. Royole’s FlexPai, the world’s first commercial foldable phone-cum-tablet with a fully flexible screen has made a huge splash in the technology world.
Here is an overview of Flexible Electronics and why they are the future of consumer products.
Elastic circuits provide way to flexible electronic gadgets
Regular electronics use a complex set of components that can’t be bent. Whereas, with elastic printed circuit boards, electronic devices can be stretched and bent without getting damaged. These circuits are made up of metal-polymer conductors, a combination of liquid metals and flexible polymer that are modified to conduct electricity. These metals act like iridium and gallium which can take up any shape. Increased production of smaller, stretchier and thinner semiconductors by OEMs is giving rise to new and innovative flexible electronics.
Unbreakability makes a great difference
One of the most highlighting features of flexible electronics is unbreakability. This makes a huge difference for applications such as cell phones, tablets and other wearable consumer electronics which traditionally come with glass-based displays. An unbreakable active plastic display becomes the centre of attraction for the consumers.
Higher durability drives the demand
Flexible electronics devices are able to perform functions that regular electronics can’t, including folding, bending, rolling and stretching, and may ultimately be more durable. Such devices have huge potential for use on the human body, not only because they have elasticity, flexibility, and mechanical softness that silicon-based devices can’t provide, but also because organic electronics devices have better compatibility with biological systems than the regular ones.
Manufacturing with more efficiency
The prospect that complex electronic devices can be fabricated through a simpler printing process utilizing roll-to-roll technology is luring OEMs to adopt flexible electronics technology. While a traditional liquid crystal display manufacturing facility requires heavy investments, the roll-to-roll process significantly minimizes investment and production costs.
Simply, we can expect flexible electronic devices to bring ease in our lives in the years to come. Soon we may have tiny smartphones that can be wrapped around our wrists and stretchable displays that can be folded out as large as a television screen. Researchers are already making their ways to print flexible electronics on plastic film in the same way ink is printed on newspapers.