Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / JUL. 11, 2015
version 18, draft 18

Flex Those Devices With OLED

Contortionist Zlata
inyarwanda

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are a not-so-new technology that leverages organic materials to create flexible lighting displays. Since screens are used by a large portion of consumer electronics such as smartphones, TVs and wearables, making them elastic will allow the entire device to move away from being clunky, heavy, and stiff.

Well, it’s about time. With rapid software advancements for the Internet of Things, hardware does have some catching up to do, and OLEDs are a fitting beginning. But before indulging in the possibilities, let’s get a little nerdy.

See Also: Top 10 Smartphones Perfect for a Busy Career Professional

We’re all familiar with light-emitting diodes in Christmas lights, digital clock displays, and LED TVs. Essentially, those bulbs sit on electron-infused metalloids, semiconductors like silicon, which make them robust but inflexible. Organic LED transitions, on the other hand, use bendable light-emitting films made up of durable plastic-like polymers or carbon-containing molecules (thus the organic title). And the rubbery results are fantastic:

  • Enhanced quality with less power required
  • Increased durability and decreased weight
  • More possibilities: transparency, and—wait for it—flexibility

Flexibility is the ultimate fuel behind the OLED patent race among Apple and its competitors to speed up their unique product’s time-to-market. Considering most of the population have never seen a roll-up flatscreen or bending smartphone, the first prototype launched publicly will not doubt catch more than a few glimpses. And history has it that eye-catching leads to trend-setting—remember the iPhone 4?

Although incentives are huge, and market share is at stake, industries still face technological challenges associated with OLEDs.

As with most genius innovations, OLED holds its own set of challenges, resulting in further needs for perfection and thus time-to-market delays. Before organic can be seamlessly integrated into marketable devices, two prominent issues need to be addressed:

  • Moisture sensitivity

Organic materials are sensitive to moisture, and OLEDs are no exceptions. Impeccable sealing solutions and a whole range of tests are needed to prevent material defaults

  • Brightness and lifetime requirements

OLEDs require a high amount of current to achieve maximal illumination; simply cranking up the voltage can lead to power dissipation, flickering, and shortened lifetime—all of which will degrade a user’s experience. Applying better current driving mechanisms in the backplane can lead to less power, better output, and longer lifetime.

One possible solution to address OLED challenges is the Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED), which implements better driving techniques. And who leads the AMOLED market today? Samsung (chime). The hype about the Galaxy S6 released back in April was its curved edges—an unprecedented smartphone development that was only made possible by AMOLED technology. Additionally, the organic smartphone boasts of vivid displays with 3.6 million OLED pixels, low power consumption, and fast response time. For the most part, it’s been well-received—maybe a bit too well because apparently the company’s having some trouble supplying the demand.

To be fair, Samsung’s one-of-a-kind OLED display is great for temporary entertainment, but it doesn’t quite epitomize the real power of OLED, with its full potential yet to be realized; people are still waiting for bendable, rollable devices, bringing technology to unexplored realms.

Bend ‘em, fold ‘em,  roll ‘em, flex ‘em—that’s what most consumers are going to do when flexible devices like smartphones, tablets, readers, and wearables finally move their way onto shelves.

Speaking of mobility, OLED can brighten up car displays and make vehicles sleeker, lighter, and faster; Audi is leveraging OLED with its upcoming A8 model. Along with getting plenty of kudos for innovation, the automotive industry also expects to shave off up to 200 kg with its newly-integrated OLED design.

On a much grander scale, OLED opens the door to outdoor digital displays such as OLED public infrastructures, creating a blurred boundary between our digital and physical perception.

The general response to OLED technology is currently being played out by Australians who received their 65-inch LG OLED curved flatscreen this week. Even without the ability to bend, it’s already been dubbed as “The King” and “The Future" of TV. Just imagine people’s reactions when LG’s true OLED models make their debut, all rolled up:

We anticipate these next-generation, flexible devices and embrace the OLED-driven transformations. But between Samsung’s pre-market prototype leaks and LG’s roll-up flatscreen research, Apple’s secret OLED patents and intriguing rumors surrounding the “flex-iPhone” 7, consumers can only sit back and wait.

But for everything OLED promises to bring to the technological landscape—a little more waiting should be well worth it.

See Also: Top 5 Tech Trends for 2015

Got more innovative ideas you’d like to share? What OLED devices are you waiting for?

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Preventing Data Leakage From Mobile Devices
WEB & TECH / JUN 23, 2014

As more and more companies move their data to the Cloud the dangers lurking around file sharing when using mobile devices are increased. A company’s sensitive data and...

Top Wearable Devices To Improve Our Lives
WEB & TECH / MAR 03, 2014

Wearable computing devices are flaring up ambition and creativity in the IT industry and are continuously catching end users’ attention. This is an impressive future...

Workplace Gadgets
WEB & TECH / DEC 06, 2013

It’s fair to say that technology moves at an alarming rate. In just 40 years, mobile phones have transformed from primitive, brick-like briefcase burdens to the powerful...

6 Industries That Will Best Make Use of the Emerging Wearable Devices
WEB & TECH / OCT 26, 2014

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), just like smartphones, wearable devices are set to redefine our lives. Wearable devices are “the next big thing”...

apple watch
WEB & TECH / SEP 20, 2014

Apple’s version of a smartwatch promises to offer more for your business. To begin with, Apple Watch can show notifications from your phone right on the display of your...

Do not Just Build an App for Mobile Devices. Build for Your Users
WEB & TECH / AUG 28, 2014

Six or seven years ago the word “app” didn’t mean much to many people, nowadays our society is obsessed with this industry that generates 25 billion dollar a year. If you...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow