In FLASHED, we will discover a new technology in the field of flexible displays. A major problem of flexible displays is still the lack of interactivity, because none of the market-ready touch solutions are flexible (bendable). Therefore, one major goal of FLASHED is the development of novel, flexible touchscreen solutions, covering aspects like cost-effectiveness (all-printed), sustainability (material recycling and end-of-life disposal) and energy-efficiency (self-sustaining sensor arrays). Moreover, the FLASHED project puts strong emphasis on user-friendly interfaces. The FLASHED device itself consists of a flexible display, a touchscreen layer based on a pressure sensing touch array (utilizing ferroelectric polymers) and a haptic/acoustic feedback layer based on a relaxor ferrolectric material.
We present a design for knitted tactile UI elements, that are soft, compressible, and stretchable. They sense pressure with high sensitivity and responsiveness. Using a regular flatbad knitting machine, the multi-component elements are fabricated ready-made, without requiring any postprocessing.