HP designs Solar-Powered Flexible Wrist Display for soldiers
The same technology that allows consumers to enjoy their e-readers may someday prove to be a boon for soldiers currently burdened with cumbersome communication and orienting gadgets. HP is developing a solar-powered wrist display that is weighed in ounces instead of pounds.
The U.S. Army is funding research at Arizona State University’s Flexible Display Center with the goal of finding a practical flexible display technology that combat soldiers can use in the field. Ideally, the wearable computer display would be flexible enough to be folded up or rolled without breaking.
HP’s design incorporates a flexible computer screen display using E Ink’s display technology. This is the same technology that is used with e-readers such as the Kindle. Instead of reading a best-seller, though, a combat soldier might use the wrist display to quickly access maps or other critical information.
The first displays will necessarily be small – about 3 x 5 inches. If the technology proves itself, it will be possible to re-engineer for larger sizes. HP hopes to have its device ready for Army testing by the beginning of 2011.