Taiwanese electronics firm Wistron has wound down Polymer Vision, which it bought in 2009 for €12 million.
Wistron will continue to own the IP developed by Polymer Vision, but has let go of all staff employed in the business. The company had been searching for a buyer, but with no success. Back in late 2011 Polymer Vision CEO Karl McGoldrick told +PE.com that Polymer Vision was looking to execute a spin out by end of Q1 2012 at Wistron's behest
Polymer Vision's closure was confirmed by Edzer Huitema who was CTO of the company until recently. Formed in 2004, Polymer Vision was the first spin out from the Philips Technology Incubator, when in 2007 a Luxembourg investor, Technology Capital Group, placed €21 million in the firm. The company was to use the investment to commercialise a handheld device based around a five-inch diagonal rollable display for showing digital text such as emails, RSS feeds and e-books. The display backplane technology was based on organic transistors fabricated by batch processing to drive an e-paper front plane screen.
The Readius was designed to act as a communication tool to try and appeal to both the emerging e-reader as well as the much larger and established mobile phone consumer market. Telecom Italia took an early interest in the concept until 2008. In 2009 Polymer Vision entered receivership after failing to secure further funds to continue the development of its rollable display technology, but was acquired the same year by Wistron, an original design manufacturer (ODM) that develops and sells electronic and ICT products to clients that introduce them under their own brand.
In a pre-smart phone and tablet market, the Readius concept seemed promising, while today the larger share of flexible display R&D is focused on high-resolution technologies, though it could be some time yet before products with screens based on AMOLEDs processed on flexible backplanes enter the market.
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Parent company of Polymer Vision
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