Using $43.7 million in previously announced grants from the Army Research Lab, Arizona State University has opened a 250,000 square-foot flexible display research center. Their first prototype, a 4-inch, semi-flexible display, is expected to be out later this year. The center hopes to produce full-color flexible displays suitable for battlefield use as well as commercial applications, including displays that can be rolled up or folded. Of course, the Army/ASU project isn’t the only flexible-display initiative. Major manufacturers from Asia and Europe and North America are also working on the technology, and palmOne was just awarded a patent for a flexible dual-sided display for use in PDAs. However, the Holy Grail of flexible displays — a low-power, high-res, wireless “newspaper” that you can roll up or fold and throw in your pocket — still remains a long way off.