The company is developing reflective display technology for applications that include wearables, Internet-of-Things (IoT) displays and eReaders. In due course, the technology could turn commonplace static printed materials, such as posters and packaging into low-cost dynamic displays.
Capable of use in both flexible and on-glass displays, the technology’s pixels simply reflect light, drastically reducing the power required to project an image and eliminating power requirements for a static image altogether. Colour in the image comes from a structural interference effect, whilst switching the refractive index of an ultrathin layer of phase change material generates the dynamic colour display. The materials are capable of a high enough refresh rate to deliver video. The technology has the additional benefits of being paper-thin, cost-effective, with strong performance in outdoor conditions and easier on the eyes compared to LCD and OLED-style screens. Bodle’s technology is termed solid-state reflective display or SRD®.
The technology was invented by Professor Harish Bhaskaran and postdoctoral researcher Dr Peiman Hosseini at Oxford University’s Department of Materials and was published in Nature in 2014. In 2015, Dr Hosseini completed an Enterprise Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub, supported by the ERA Foundation.
The round was led by Parkwalk Advisors, with participation from new investor Woodford Patient Capital Trust, as well as returning backers Oxford Sciences Innovation and the Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund (OTIF) advised by Oxford Investment Consultants. The company has previously received money from the University of Oxford Innovation Fund, managed by Parkwalk Advisors, an important catalyst for accelerating companies emerging from Oxford University.
Funding from the latest round will be used to scale the company and advance through the prototype stage.
Mike Clary, CEO at Bodle Technologies, said: “Electronic displays continue to be outnumbered by the vast number of static, non-digital displays around us – in the form of permanently printed text and graphics. Our technology offers the chance to seamlessly integrate displays onto the surfaces and objects around us. It enables a natural display of vivid colours, which is unconstrained by hard-wired mains power or excessive battery drain, which even acts in no-energy mode when required.”
Moray Wright, CEO at Parkwalk Advisors, added: “In an increasingly connected world driven by the acquisition and processing of data, there will be more and more sharing of information via electronic display. Not just through our smartphones, but wherever we demand human interaction and intervention. It may be through simple displays on personal wearable and IoT devices, or increasingly by seamlessly integrating displays onto the surfaces and objects around us. SRD® offers the chance for us to ‘display anywhere’.”