MANHASSET, N.Y. — Driven by cards and small public viewing screens, the flexible display panel market is expected to grow from $5 million in 2006 to $339 million in 2013, or 83.5 percent a year, according to iSuppli Corp.
The El Segundo, Calif., market research firm expects the largest application for flexible displays will be in cards used for financial payment, membership in stores, and gift certificates. Such cards could benefit from the inclusion of a display to show, for example, the remaining amount of money or other basic information.
According to iSuppli, the most interesting use for flexible displays could be financial payment cards that use One-Time Password (OTP) technology. These may be standard magnetic-stripe cards or “smart cards” that include chips with personal data. Such a card could generate and display a unique password that is used at the time of purchase, increasing transaction security.
The next biggest application for flexible displays in 2013, according to iSuppli, will be a category that includes electronic shelf labels (ESLs) and point-of-purchase (POP) displays.
"The idea of bendable, rollable or floppy display panels is intuitively appealing to end users and to product designers because of their ruggedness, novelty, lightness and potential for compactness," said Kimberly Allen, PhD, director, display technology and strategy for iSuppli, in a statement. "Furthermore, such displays offer manufacturers the potential for inexpensive fabrication using new printing methods or roll-to-roll processing."
Display types being used for flexible screens include LCD, Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED), electrophoretic and electrochromic.
Flexible display technology has over the past year made progress in resolving technical and process issues, but remains behind on application and product development.