Giant smartwatch, or ankle bracelet of the future?
The founding principle of the wearable, as with most technologies, is that it solves a problem. Namely, it promises to provide users with some or most of the functionality of a larger device — like a smartphone or a GPS — in a more compact, less obtrusive package.
The newest prototype from FlexEnable does no such thing.
The teched-up wristband features an ultra-thin, unbreakable screen equipped with an organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) that can display photos, videos and app screens in 4.7-inches of full color HD. The flexible bracelet lacks touchscreen technology as of yet, but the folks at FlexEnable have said that is both possible and coming soon. Their goal is to bring the product to market in as few as 18 months.
FlexEnable’s Flexible Display 1:16
Which is all good and great, but doesn’t answer our biggest concern: if people wanted smartphones strapped to their wrists, wouldn’t they have done it already?
Despite evidence to the contrary, FlexEnable CEO Chuck Milligan says the market for wearables is growing fast and there is a real need and demand for his company’s design.
“Form-factor constraints and rigidness of components, particularly the display, present challenges for wearables that limit design options and utility,” Milligan says. “Flexible displays are driving a paradigm shift enabling greater levels of innovation in wearable applications.”
Flexibility — as evidenced by this TV, or this smartphone — is clearly the next wave in LED technology. Whether that will translate to users desiring what amounts to an Asimovian house-arrest monitor, though, is a different question.