That Nike + iPod technology that allows shoes and workout machines to feed information to portable electronics devices was a nice first step in merging athletic equipment and electronics to help users work out smarter. Now Reebok is taking the next step, working with startup MC10 to create flexible electronics that are built right into sportswear, removing the need for some clunky external device to record or transmit data.
The promise of OLED technology is that, unlike its inorganic counterpart, it can be used to create flexible and nearly transparent ultra-thin screens, opening up myriad possibilities for what we can do with displays and lighting.
Samsung has come up with the flashiest anti-counterfeiting tech we've seen yet: forget boring old RFID chips--the AMOLED e-passport concept looks has a 2-inch, paper-thin, QVGA-resolution flexible display embedded in the photo slot, which shows a rotating 360° view of your head when held up to an RFID reader.
Are you reading this on your laptop? Are you ready to roll that laptop up and put it in your pocket? As we told you the other day, scientists revealed flexible coatings filled with e-ink that will turn just about any surface into a screen. Now other components of computers are breaking free from their silicon backbones and getting stretched. Next up: memory chips.
E-ink displays are already common in devices like the Kindle, but HP has taken the tech a step further with thin, printable color displays called eSkins. Printed in massive rolls, eSkins can then be cut and used as a thin coating on, say, your laptop's lid, turning the surface into an active, color display.
Silicon wafers, the backbone of the electronics industry, are brittle and fragile. So researchers have sought to create a more supple polymer surface that can be stretched, twisted, and bent in any direction and to populate it with newly engineered circuits. The solution: "pop-up" wire connections between the circuit components, along with flexible S-curves in the wires that can unwind and slip back into shape.