HP's Flexible eSkin Displays Make Every Gadget Surface a Screen

New material could turn the surface of products into screens themselves.

eSkin

Thin flexible screens that could be used as coatings for electronics.

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.

The material is infused with ultra-thin circuitry and an electronically-controlled ink available in a wide range of Pantone colors, which are conveyed in "print quality." As in all e-ink displays, a current passes through the substrate to activate the ink; otherwise, the eSkin is transparent to reveal the surface underneath. The eSkin material are flexible and can be manufactured in large-scale rolls rather than individually, making them cheaper and ensuring that our eyes will not have to suffer through looking at any static, information-less screen in the future.