The Ergotech Opportunity

flex-blog-new 2

I’m sure you’ve noticed – we’re living in an age of constant connectivity.

With a simple flick of the finger we can search for any information we desire, 24 hours a day.

Tablets, smartwatches and smartphones have even made it possible to connect while we jog, catch a flight or settle in on a long train commute.

But here’s the thing. It’s all still a bit inconvenient.

Let’s take those tablets. Not exactly made to pop into the top pocket – they’re heavy and awkwardly shaped. Have you tried carrying one without a bag?

Whilst smartwatches are great – they are a bit chunky and weighty.

And I’m certain you’ve felt that pang of terror when your smartphone slips out of your hand and towards a concrete floor.

The truth is we’re badly served when it comes to today’s portable and wearable technology. It breaks …  it’s difficult to carry  … or it hangs heavy on our wrists. In short – it requires us to fit around it, rather than it around us.

But this aggravation factor is where the opportunities lie.

Today, we’re on the verge of a new wave of flexible and foldable display based products. They will change the way we wear, carry and use our mobile devices.

Soon we’ll have devices that still provide on-the-go connectivity, but with enhanced comfort, minimised inconvenience, and dare I say it, a little more fashionable flair.

At SmartKem we call this new wave ergonomic technology or “ergotech”. It’s our term for describing a new breed of display-based devices that are ergonomically engineered to fit into our day-to-day lives better by being able to fold, flex and conform.

We’re talking wearable devices such as ultra-thin smartwatches with bendy displays to fit around rather than on our wrist: tablets that can fold in three to actually become a smartphone. And with displays that are unbreakable.

Ergotech is a major opportunity for SmartKem. Our organic semiconductors enable the makers of smartphones, smartwatches and tablets to utilise displays that are ultra-thin, lightweight and can bend, roll or fold into any form factor.

How does this happen? Because these new displays are on plastic, rather than glass.

SmartKem’s semiconductor platform allows the manufacture of displays on materials indistinguishable from glass but with the added benefit of being ultra-flexible and even unbreakable.

And so a new generation of flexible displays are due to hit the market soon, and SmartKem are at the forefront of this revolution.

Access to information and communication will never have been easier as we move through our daily lives with lightweight, unobtrusive displays that curve, fold and roll into ‘windows’ of information around us.

Pretty exciting, isn’t it?


Dr Mike Cowin is head of strategic marketing at SmartKem. You can contact him on