Advent of flexible media and accessories used to power devices such as phones, tablets, batteries promises to make consumer gadgets more user friendly. Users in the future will not have to worry about dropping devices (there goes the insurance), buying accessories (i-phone cover, android cover). Business users in the future will not need not carry a 5 lb laptop, which will go easier on the back and help airline checkin.
The new technology promises to be more customized for the user. The devices (phones) can bend around your ears to give you the optimized listening experience. There are some different philosophies in the design of the next generation phones. In the absence of physical buttons, voice aided commands help complete the user experience. Others have chosen to be less disruptional, and just provide a flexible display encased in flexible media. Users in the future will be able to choose the design and functionality that works for them. For those who want to combine form with function, the new phones can be used as accessories (bracelets)
The technology enabling these flexible devices and displays is either OLED or graphene based. Graphene is similar to a diamond and is very tough, flexible and uses carbon atoms. The other technology uses OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), which needs to be sealed to avoid exposure to oxygen. Use of platic substrate to deposit OLED ensures phones are bendable but not 100% flexible.
OEMs such as Nokia, Samsung, LG, Philips, Sharp are actively pursuing alternate options for displays. Industries such as publishing, magazines, add-on accessories, batteries, computing will feel the disruptional forces of these emerging technologies. It is possible that battery life will improve with these devices. One challenge is to ensure the rest of the components apart from displays like electronic chips are flexible enough to fit into the new world without losing connectivity or information. The technology will move from phones to other computing devices such as Tablets, laptops etc over time as technology is perfected.
Overall, consumers will benefit from ease of use , durability of these new age devices by 2015.