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OLEDs: Flexible and Efficient

This article was was written by Jeremy Faludi in May 2006. We're republishing it here as part of our month-long editorial retrospective.

We've been saying that LED's are the future of energy-efficient lighting. What if we're wrong? Organic light-emitting diodes (OLED's) have been emerging for years, but they are gradually getting more and more exciting, starting to give traditional LED's a run for their money. In a few years you might be able to wallpaper your home in light-emitting sheets, or maybe turn all your windows into heads-up displays. Why you'd want to do this might be a different question, but there are obviously useful applications, too, such as flexible displays (the roll-up computer or the e-ink newspaper; there's also talk about sewing them into clothing, too, but no one's done it yet like they have with LED's.) Cambridge Display Technology and Epson have also used OLED's to make color printers faster, higher-resolution, and smaller. OLED's also promise to ubiquitize displays: already a keyboard has been prototyped whose keys change according to what alphabet you want to use, or what program / game you have running. When any surface can become an interactive display, what will we want to display where?

OLED's: The Future of Light? is a part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on Oct. 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.

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I think this Idea has a very promising future as did the CD and the DVD. I believe in new technology, I also think I could come up with a few Idea's myself using the the OLED's. I've heard about them for many years now can wait to see them in action.

Posted by: David Buckner on 8 Sep 08



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