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.