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Forget foldable: Japanese researchers develop a display you can cut to pieces

Displays are getting much more versatile — whether they’re flexible or foldable, it seems as though the future display will work its way around our lives instead of the other way around.

Still, at least with today’s technology, displays do have some limitations. Or they did, anyway. The National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has come up with a display that you can cut with scissors without destroying the display. In fact, the display will only need a few seconds to readjust to its new shape, and when switched off, it can maintain information.

Related: LG to invest $1.75 billion in its OLED display business to keep up with rivals

Of course, as with any experimental new technology, there are a few limitations. For example, the one currently being used only displays one color and has a limited display area.

Displays we use today can’t be cut up due to the fact that the components inside them need to be sealed. LCD displays, for example, literally have liquid inside of them, and they require a continuous power supply in order to work properly. OEL displays, on the other hand, are susceptible to oxygen and water.

The display developed uses a metal/organic hybrid polymer which is sprayed onto a flexible material to form a coating that can handle both oxygen and moisture. Being able to use the technology in such cases is obviously at least a few years away — researchers still have a long way to go before the display will even come close to the quality we enjoy on our smartphones and computers.

The potential for such technology is pretty massive. Using a cutable display, you could make your own wearables with integrated displays, or custom build a smartwatch that perfectly fits your wrist. Who knows? Displays could eventually become part of arts and crafts at preschool.