CAMBRIDGE, UK -- The FLASHED (Flexible Large Area Sensors for Highly Enhanced Displays) consortium was formed to develop a large area (A3 size) pressure sensitive display. The development timeframe is 36 months and the goal is to produce a demonstration piece. Cambridge (UK) based Plastic Logic's participation was sought due to its wealth of experience in the development and industrialisation of flexible organic thin film transistor (OTFT) backplanes for display and sensor applications.
The other participating organisations are Microsoft Research Ltd, also Cambridge based, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V based in Germany, Media Interaction Lab from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, both based in Austria. In addition to Plastic Logic's OTFT experience it, along with Media Interaction Lab and Microsoft Research, has experience in the creation and refining of demonstrator pieces.
As well as the demonstrator piece, another commercially-important legacy will be the resultant portfolio of intellectual property (IP), the licensing and income from which will be distributed to the participating organisations in accordance with their pre-existing IP and the particular value they added. The outcome of the FLASHED project will be to give new impetus to the European display and printed sensor sectors throughout the value chain. It helps position the emerging European flexible electronics industry in the equivalent place to that currently occupied by the Asian glass-based display industry and it will create new opportunities for European companies, not in linear improvements to existing solutions but in the creation of new and innovative products.
The technology emphasis of the FLASHED device is to develop flexible, energy efficient, sustainable, cost efficient flexible display. Great emphasis has been placed on user-friendly interfaces that will incorporate haptic or acoustic feedback with a pressure-sensing touchscreen.
Four of the main markets are touchscreens, flexible electrophoretic displays, flexible multimedia displays (where Plastic Logic already has active programmes in flexible LCD and OLED) and printed sensors. The projected 2017 market value in US$ for such are 28bn, 6bn, 100bn and 0.22bn respectively, with the latter possibly rising to US$20bn for pressure-sensitive touch interfaces. Applications include touchscreens, e-readers plus low power applications such as smart cards and wearable devices, flexible OLED and consumer products, smart packaging and signage.
Project website: http://www.flashed-project.eu