Rolling Out Flexible Displays

Current flat panel displays depends on rigid silicon-on-glass backplanes to drive pixel components. Rolltronics Corporation has introduced a new technology they trademarked under the name “FASwitch” that promises wallscreen televisions and flexible displays in the near future. The company “prints out” flexible backplanes like a printing press prints out a newspaper. The materials are cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and can be made in larger form factors than existing processes. In fact, Rolltronics envisions thin wallpaper-like panels that can be tiled on a wall to create gigantic televisions, at an affordable price.

This technology will likely be used first in coming electronic ink products. These devices will bring the superior resolution of ink on paper to digital displays and may finally usher in the age of digital books. Rolltronics is currently looking for partners and licensees to begin making use of their new technology.

Rolltronics has spun off a separate company, VoltaFlex, that plans to use the same Roll-to-Roll (R2R) processing technology to create thin, flexible, and rechargeable batteries. Both companies hope to bring R2R processing to the manufacturing of components that currently require much more expensive and complex processes to produce.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).