Flexible screen from Toshiba allows you to “bend to zoom”
Toshiba Corp developed an LCD panel that enables to zoom in and out an image by bending it and announced the panel at SID 2010 International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, international conference on display technologies which was held from May 23 to May 28, 2010 in Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, USA. The intuitive operation of the bendable panel was drawing attention from many engineers.
In order to demonstrate the potential of the technology, the folks from Toshiba developed software that zooms in and out images in accordance with the change in the resistance value of the bend sensor. At the conference, Toshiba actually zoomed in and out an aerial photograph of Google Earth displayed on the screen by bending the LCD panel. The display used at the conference had a commercially available bend sensor whose resistance value changes by bending it. The sensor was equipped at the end of the backlight unit.
To realize this LCD panel, Toshiba developed a thin backlight unit that can be bent to a curvature radius of 50mm (where Sony’s OTFT-driven OLED display beats it at only 5mm). It is an edge-lighting LED backlight unit whose light guide plate is as thin as 0.4mm. The screen size and resolution of the LCD panel are 8.4 inches and 800 x 600 pixels (SVGA), respectively. The thickness of the glass substrate used for the LCD panel is 0.1mm.
If they combine this input with the multi-touch controls found in many devices, it could bring the information interaction to a higher level, where you could pan/rotate/tilt with your thumbs, and zoom by bending the screen. Since there are many technologies related to information interaction, we believe this tech will find its use in a narrow niche, rather than appearing in every device out there.