HP Ready to Ship a Dick Tracy Wristwatch to the US Army Later This Year

While we've seen plenty of devices that look like a small wristwatch with technology that's certainly not limited to just a watch, it's still not that infamous Dick Tracy watch that so many people want on their wrist. According to a new report from Mercury News, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is ready to move their prototype flexible display technology to the next level, and offer up a prototype "Dick Tracy wristwatch" to the United States Army.

HP researchers say that later this year, they will be ready to ship out a Dick Tracy-like wristwatch to the US Army. The device would obviously be an early prototype, but HP is confident that their flexible display technology is lightweight enough that soldiers wearing the device won't have to worry about its presence. That, and the plastic won't shatter or crack, even in the situations that many soldiers find themselves in. The wristwatch would be able to display digital maps, along with other information when necessary.

While this is just a prototype, HP's Director of Advanced Display Research Carl Taussig is already hinting at what could be coming much sooner than the Dick Tracy watch to the consumer market. In the report, he points out that "long before" those hit the market, flexible display technology will be in use in other gadgets, like laptops and smartphones, to make them much lighter, and make them much more durable.

Of course, with the talk of mobile devices like smartphones and laptops, webOS can't be too far behind. Using webOS on a flexible wristwatch would be a dream come true for a lot of people, and if HP continues to push for the usage of flexible displays in devices, it's not hard to imagine that webOS will find its way into the picture some day. The sooner the better, right?

[via PreCentral]