Military Developing Ultralight E-Ink Flex Displays

It’s been said that the first applications of every scientific innovation are invariably sex and warfare. This one is about warfare.

The US Army is investing tens of millions of dollars developing light, electrically charged plastic display screens that can be carried in a soldier’s pocket, replacing bulky, heavy and unreliable systems that compromise mobility, communications and rapid response.

“These flexible displays have been the dream of science fiction authors, wearable-computing enthusiasts and the display industry for nearly a decade,” blogs Priya Ginapati in Wired. “LG Philips, Fujitsu and Sony have shown off prototypes of flexible-display systems, while startups such as Plastic Logic and E-Ink have talked about the possibility of putting their digital ink displays onto bendable backings. But so far the idea has remained more in the realm of Minority Report than the real world.”

“For instance,” continues Ginapati, “a soldier in the field could get information about the surroundings, the position of enemies or the blueprint of a building he or she may be planning to enter. Other applications could include the use of the flexible displays as maps.”

E-Ink was developed by MIT scientists for use in e-books, and we’re hopeful that it will prevail as much in peace as in war.

RC

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