From the company that created the world’s first folding phone comes an open-source kit to help anyone build their own products with flexible displays!
Royole has shown an incredible ability to find the right niche and pivot at the right time with their technological offerings. The company arguably built the first-ever flexible smartphone – the FlexPai – outpacing even Samsung, and their RoKit now aims at helping democratize the fully flexible display (FFD), so creatives and designers can tinker with it, building their own products too.
The kit comes packaged in a pretty impressive aluminum briefcase, containing everything you need to bring your unique tech idea to life. The upper part of the briefcase houses Royole’s 3rd Generation Cicada Wing 7.8-inch fully flexible touch-sensitive display, while the lower half of the briefcase contains a development motherboard running Android 10, an HDMI adapter (in case you want to connect your flexible display to an existing computer like a Raspberry Pi, smartphone, laptop, or any other gadget), and a bunch of power cables for good measure.
The idea behind the RoKit, says Royole Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Liu, is to “invite every industry to imagine and design with flexibility in mind, unfolding new possibilities for creators and accelerating the development of flexible solutions in all walks of life.” Envisioned as the world’s first open platform flexible electronics development kit, the RoKit allows other creators to do exactly what Royole did with the FlexPai in 2018 – create electronic products that the world has never seen before.
To show how limitless their flexible displays can be, Royole’s even created a few conceptual products that highlight exactly how folding screens can make products sleeker, smaller, and better. The examples include (as shown below) handheld gimbals/cameras with slide-out displays, a slick monolithic computer that transitions magically from keyboard to screen (I wonder where they got that idea from), and even a helmet with a rear display that contours perfectly to the shape of the head, allowing you to communicate efficiently with drivers behind you.
For now, the RoKit is available for purchase on the Royole website in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and China. Priced at $959, it definitely isn’t cheap, although one could make the case that it’s just about affordable for being able to test out and prototype a product before you actually develop it with mass-produced flexible displays.