Chinese company Royole claims to have produced the thinnest full colour AMOLED flexible screen
The new screen has a 2K resolution and is only 0.01mm thick – around one fifth of the width of the average strand of hair.
AMOLED stands for Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It takes the standard OLED panel and adds a layer of semi-conducting film behind it, which lets it activate each pixel more swiftly. The increased speed creates larger, high definition displays. It’s the same kind of display that the iPhone X uses. Most importantly, Royole’s screen has a bending radium of 1mm, making it flexible enough to use on clothing or hats.
Royole tested out its screens at the World Cup in Russia, giving fans black hats and t-shirts featuring the flexible screens. The company is also selling the hat and t-shirt combo for a hefty $1,399.
The world’s thinnest flexible display
However, as tech website Abacus points out, at present you have to remove the hat or shirt in order to watch the screen. “It somewhat defeats the purpose of wearing an item of clothing if you’re just going to take it off,” says journalist Josh Ye.
The screen functions as a touchscreen, and can be connected to your phone. The clothing (which is perfectly normal) is equipped with small external batteries allowing the display to last for around ten hours. The electronic components are fixed with fasteners and can be removed for cleaning.
Royole has been in business for six years. Founded by Stanford engineering graduates in 2012, its stated mission is to “improve the way people interact with and perceive their world.” The tech startup is gaining a lot of attention, raising around $5 billion in its latest round of fund-raising. Just last month, it announced that it would be mass producing the AMOLED screens from its new factory in Shenzhen. It says it can produce more than 50 million flexible display units per year.