LCD panels dominate the worldwide display market, from televisions and laptop screens to tablets and cellphones. OLED technology is making some inroads in select niches, such as smartphones, but still remains a minority player overall. But both of these technologies share some factors in common; they tend to be rigid and flat as a pancake.
That will change for wearable devices, and change rapidly, according to the analysts at IHS Technology. Their “Wearable Display Technology & Market Report – 2014” from earlier this spring on provides some interesting forecasts on what we can expect for wearable displays. Already, we are seeing fixed curved displays in smartwatches such as the Samsung Gear Fit. IHS predicts that as early as next year, nearly half of all wearable display revenues will come from the sale of flexible displays. And by 2018, as much as 5% of the revenues will come from stretchable displays.
Display technology is advancing rapidly, especially when it comes to the use of flexible substrates. The Health Tech industry has already mastered flexible sensors and other data collecting devices, but a flexible display to access that data is the missing link to broader acceptance and new applications. According to these forecasts from IHS, those new displays are on the way.