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Later this year, Hewlett-Packard researchers say, they expect to deliver to the U.S. Army a working prototype of what they're calling a "Dick Tracy wristwatch" — a lightweight, wearable device that soldiers in the field can use to view digital maps and other data on a flexible plastic screen that won't shatter or crack like glass. Though it will be spartan by design, researchers say HP's prototype could be one of the first in a new wave of products incorporating flexible electronic displays. Freed from the constraints of a rigid glass screen, designers could one day build flexible plastic displays into clothing, wall coverings and perhaps even e-readers or tablets that can roll up like a newspaper. The process starts with rolls of plastic that has been treated with thin layers of metal and other material. The plastic is run through a press that imprints a microscopic, three-dimensional pattern, which can then be etched to create transistors on the film. These can transmit instructions to electrically charged particles or diodes contained in a second layer of plastic, which then displays text or images. Other groups in Taiwan and elsewhere are developing manufacturing processes in which layers of transistors are laid down on sheets of plastic temporarily bonded to a pane of glass. For more information please visit: http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_17087989?nclick_check=1


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