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HP Making Wrist Computer with Flexible Display

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

A watch to make Dick Tracy blush.

Both LG and Samsung have launched Dick Tracy-esque wristwatch cell phones. Now HP is fighting them for the title of most bad-ass watch ever with a new piece designed for the military. Unlike LG and Samsung, HP is actually referring to this thing as the Dick Tracy watch.

The watch will use HP's flexible display that has been talked about in recent months. Carl Taussig, director of information surfaces at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, claims the thin plastic won't break and says it only has "the potential" to be flexible. A March demonstration of HP's flexible display shows HP's CTO rolling up the display and stuffing it in a poster tube, which would certainly suggest it has more than the potential to be flexible. However, Taussig's remarks could have something to do with the fact that CTO Phil McKinney said during the demonstration that rolling up the displays is not something you'll be able to do time and time again without damaging the material. McKinney said the display would eventually fail if rolled more than a few times, citing six as the maximum number of times you could bend the display.

CNN reports that HP's watch will show maps and other strategic information to soldiers in remote combat fields. The display will run on solar energy using panels printed onto the watches using a technology developed by PowerFilm.

HP hopes to have a prototype ready in about a year.

HP's Flexible Display

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  • 3 Hide
    micr0be , May 22, 2010 2:56 AM
    if they fix the bending limit, this product will have so much more potential
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , May 22, 2010 3:03 AM
    The limits on how many times it can be bent really impact on it's potential, or they could be used as double sided animated flags or something i think..
  • 0 Hide
    chickenhoagie , May 22, 2010 3:07 AM
    let us see if we can once again defy science fiction, and turn it into a real toy. i'm eager to see the turn-out!
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Lmeow , May 22, 2010 3:23 AM
    Does it have a purple webcam though?
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , May 22, 2010 3:51 AM
    LmeowDoes it have a purple webcam though?

    naww this TURNS purple in incandescent lighting.
  • 0 Hide
    shiftstealth , May 22, 2010 4:15 AM
    Do they mean bend like roll like a map or Folds? If it folded 6 times that would be ok i guess.
    6 Bends would put it on par with the computer paper from Caprica.
  • 1 Hide
    anthropophaginian , May 22, 2010 1:50 PM
    Excellent! I can get myself a pip-boy (from Fallout).
  • 3 Hide
    vartok , May 22, 2010 4:01 PM
    anthropophaginianExcellent! I can get myself a pip-boy (from Fallout).

    LOL, thats what i was thinking... bring on the armband PCs
  • -1 Hide
    Warsaw , May 22, 2010 6:44 PM
    Ahh, correct me if I'm wrong. But, haven't they had an article previously that had this very same technology? (Not positive if it was from HP or another company)
  • 0 Hide
    rbarone69 , May 22, 2010 7:56 PM
    It was probably from Universal Display, they had a prototype for the military. It showed off the flexible OLED tech they were prototyping.
  • 0 Hide
    rbarone69 , May 22, 2010 7:58 PM
    Bleh... Need to learn how to edit my posts...

    Here's a link to some pictures of what Universal Display did:

  • 0 Hide
    Ciuy , May 22, 2010 11:40 PM
    not gonna happen
  • 0 Hide
    drowned , May 23, 2010 5:25 AM
    Speaking of Crysis, can't wait for armband computers. That'll be intensely badass.
  • 0 Hide
    crinky , May 24, 2010 12:07 AM
    didnt they already show something like this before?
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , May 25, 2010 12:47 PM
    Did I miss something, or does the video not show it displaying anything? It's not very convincing if there's no proof that it works.