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First Touchscreen Flexible Display

Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center (FDC) today announced a breakthrough in flexible display technology by creating the world’s first “touchscreen” active matrix display on a flexible, glass-free substrate. Achieved through a collaborative effort between the FDC and its partners E Ink Corporation and DuPont Teijin Films, this revolutionary display is the first demonstration of a flexible electronic display that enables real-time user input.

The breakthrough comes as a result of combining the Flexible Display Center’s low-temperature thin film transistor technology, DuPont Teijin Films’ high-performance Teonex polyethylene napthalate (PEN) films and E Ink’s VizplexTM–ink laminate to form active matrix electrophoretic (electronic paper) displays. The touchscreen capability is enabled by integrating a low-power display controller that was co-developed by E Ink and Epson and demonstrated as part of E Ink’s developer’s kit.

The flexible touchscreen display supports real-time user input either by stylus pen or by touch, and consumes power only when the electronic paper is activated. Once sketched on the display, information can be stored or sent wirelessly before erasing.

“Pen and touch input has become the preferred user interface in many portable electronic devices,” said Dr. Michael McCreary, VP of Research and Advanced Development at E Ink. “The ability to incorporate the flexible touch feature into the E Ink Vizplex display will enable a host of new applications that require shatterproof displays.”

“We believe successful deployment of flexible touchscreen technology can stimulate a number of applications that will allow Army soldiers, and ultimately other users, to input, store or transmit real-time data from remote locations using ultra low-power displays that are rugged, sunlight readable, lightweight and thin,” said Nick Colaneri, director of the FDC. “This is an outstanding example of how the Flexible Display Center collaborates with our partners and other technology providers to create innovative solutions that address the rapidly growing market for flexible electronic displays.”

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About the Flexible Display Center
The FDC is a government — industry — academia partnership that’s advancing full-color flexible display technology and fostering development of a manufacturing ecosystem to support the rapidly growing market for flexible electronic displays. FDC partners include many of the world’s leading providers of advanced display technology, materials and process equipment. The FDC is unique among the U.S. Army’s University centers, having been formed through a 10-year cooperative agreement with Arizona State University in 2004. This adaptable agreement has enabled the FDC to create and implement a proven collaborative partnership model with over 20 engaged industry members, and to successfully deploy world class wafer-scale R&D and GEN-II display-scale pilot production lines for rapid flexible display technology development and manufacturing supply chain commercialization.

About E Ink Corporation
E Ink Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of electronic paper display (EPD) technologies. E Ink’s technology is ideal for many consumer and industrial applications spanning handheld devices, eBooks, PC-accessories, watches, clocks, and public information displays and promotional signs. E Ink is a private corporation that includes among its investors and strategic partners TOPPAN Printing Company, The Hearst Corporation, Intel Capital, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Motorola, Inc.

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