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HP Says Palm Devices Could Get Flexible Displays

Technology conferences have a way of highlighting technology and ideas which never make it into the hands of consumers, but in the wake of Hewlett-Packard’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm industry watchers have been waiting to see what one of the world’s largest technology companies plans to do with a top-flight Internet-based mobile operating system like webOS…and many are hoping for more printers with pretty screens. A glimpse may have come at this year’s MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, where Hewlett-Packard CTOP and VP Phil McKinney discussed HP’s flexible display technology…and hinted it might turn up in future webOS devices.

HP has been working on mylar-supported sheets using construction processes similar to those used to produce some types of solar cells, enabling the sheets to flex and twist while still displaying an image. Moreover, like EInk displays, the technology can show an image when when completely powered down, meaning it would be possible to create a reader display that can bend and twist, yet still show fixed text or images while consuming no battery power. The flexible display technology does look to be quite a distance in the future; for the time being, HP expects to follow Palm’s existing device and design roadmap for forthcoming devices.

McKinney also indicated he’s personally excited to see Palm’s webOS on slate-style devices—if not the Windows 7 slate Microsoft CEO Steve Baller famously demoed at CES back in January—but indicated that the company wasn’t making any product announcements.

[Image credit: VentureBeat]

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