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World's First "Touchscreen" Active Matrix Display on a Flexible Glass-Free Substrate

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.”

A video demonstrating the new touchscreen is available at http://flexdisplay.asu.edu and has also been added to the Flexible Display YouTube Channel.

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