Polyera has perfected its design for a flexible display band that uses digital fabric technology. The company announced to shareholders that Wove, a device with an active-matrix display, would be ready for release in 2016.
The band is made from Polyera's patented Flexible Thin-Film Transistors, which perform like traditional transistors, but are physically flexible. This allows for the entire band to roll up without causing issues with use. It can essentially act as a high-tech snap bracelet.
Wove features E Ink technology, which barely requires any energy at all, especially when you are not interacting with the screen. Similar to the way Kindle e-readers display images, even when not in use, the band can display a number of different patterns on screen.
When you tap the screen, you can display weather forecasts, news headlines, and emails. Polyera plans to develop apps and services to provide additional content for the device.
The current version of the Wove Band uses monochrome e-paper imaging, but the company notes that the system could potentially be used with OLED panels, which could provide full colour video playback.
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The Wove band isn't exactly an attractive looking wearable. It is a bit bulky and has no real design aesthetic. However, Polyera's technology could catch the eye of the gadget making industry. With a fashion makeover, the flexible display might turn heads while being a useful tech device, maybe something more like a bangle bracelet that changes patterns with your outfit.
Polyera isn't the first company to develop flexible technology. Google's Project Jacquard uses conductive yarn woven into textiles to create a sort of trackpad on your sleeve or lapel. However, the Wove Band appears to be on track to become the first flexible device to make it to market in 2016.