Researchers at RPI have developed a conceptual notebook/tablet/laptop device that integrates the ability to capture written text onto a flexible screen which can be rolled up after use into storage compartments. The device provides users a dedicated wide screen display for written text/image/drawing capture, is portable and easy to store with screen retraction capability via rolling into a pocket-size device of small dimensions, does not rely on a "hinge "based mechanism (e.g., foldable) to effect screen retraction and does not rely on touchscreen technology to carry out writing.

Rollable/foldable, flexible displays have many advantages over glass: better durability, lighter in weight, thinner dimensions, and they can be curved/fitted for use in a range of devices/applications. A significant difference between glass and a rollable flexible display is that the display area of a rollable screen can be bigger than the device itself (e.g., if a flexible device measures 5" diagonally with a roll of 7.5mm, it can be stored in a device smaller than the screen itself).  Flexible screens can be rolled up like a scroll without the image or text being distorted.

Flexible/rollable/foldable technologies have the potential for use in a wide range of applications, including consumer electronics (mobile devices, laptops, PDA, wearable devices), health monitoring devices, industrial sensors, and gauges. With further development, this technology could participate in the rapidly growing rollable technology field across a wide range of product market sectors.

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Natasha Sanford