The Christian Science Monitor has a story about a cool new application for plastics -- in thin, bendable screens that can be used in a wide variety of electronics goods. The technology will make possible the kind of technology we saw in Steven Spielberg's film "Minority Report," where "Newspapers updated in readers' hands and advertisements talked to passersby. Even cereal boxes were animated." Plastics are making the technology possible, because they are cheaper than silicon. The market is growing fast -- the plastics electronics industry will grow from $30 billion in 2015 to $250 billion in 2025, according to an electronics consulting company quoted in the story. The market for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays and lighting could reach $15.5 billion by 2014.
Flexible displays -- LG Display and Sony have prototypes -- will likely be on store shelves in the next five years, although they probably won't be widely affordable for a few more years after that, says [Janice Mahon, vice president of technology commercialization for Universal Display Corp. in Ewing, N.J.].For a peek at where the technology is today, check out the October issue of Esquire magazine, which will have a special e-paper cover that blinks to commemorate its 75th anniversary.