A tip of the Hat for Royole’s Flexible OLED Display

Royole’s Michael Williams wears a top hat with a Royole flexible OLED Display. (Credit: M. Brennesholtz)

Royole Corporation was at the recent Pepcom event in New York to talk about their flexible OLED technology. One thing they showed was a top hat with a flexible OLED wrapped around it – a real attention getter. In the photo, the insert is an image of Mr. Williams that was badly underexposed to emphasize the display and avoid saturating the very bright displayed image. This is a case that calls for High Dynamic Range (HDR)! Unfortunately, it would have to be HDR end-to-end, from my camera through photo editing to the reader’s display. Maybe next year, or next decade.

Of course, at an event like Pepcom, getting attention is the whole point of being there. Michael Williams, Senior Director of Marketing at Royole, says the company will be introducing the top hat display (with top hat) as a product in November of this year at a price point of $799. The display, said to have 2K resolution, is driven by dedicated hardware in the top hat and can show video either from a thumb drive or streamed from a smart phone. The company will also introduce at the same time a Tee-shirt with the same display and drive system. The display and electronics can be separated from the top hat or tee shirt to clean the hat or wash the shirt. Or, presumably, to use on a different hat or shirt. I’d love to have this top hat to wear to a New Years party, but not at that price point. On the other hand, if some other company wants to draw attention to its booth at a trade show like CES, where smaller companies can get lost in the crowd, $799 is a small price to pay and a drop in the bucket compared to the cost for the company to attend and exhibit at CES.

Royole wanted to call attention not only to its top hat display, but to its new flexible OLED manufacturing facility. Mr. Williams told me that this facility is operational and is currently shipping flexible displays to customers. When it reaches full production, it is said that it will be able to ship 50 million flexible OLED displays per year.

Royole Flex Display resizeA Royole OLED display being continuously flexed at a demonstration at Pepcom. (Credit: M. Brennesholtz)

At Pepcom, Royole was also demonstrating one of its displays being continuously flexed while in operation, as shown in the image. At IFA, the company had shown a different flexible demonstration with a roll-up display. That demo only involved 1D flexing but the current demo included 2D flexing. They were also showing their Moon 3D Mobile Theater HMDs, but these had been introduced two years earlier at Pepcom. –Matthew Brennesholtz