OLED – Organic Light Emitting Diode

I should be studying Hebrew, but I figured I haven’t really posted anything random in a while. Since I am a nerd at heart it is always fun to learn about cool technologies. OLED technology has been out for some time now but hasn’t been developed too much as of yet. It was first developed by the Kodak Company quite a few years back (1987). OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and is based on Electroluminescence which is when a substance emitts light when an electrical current is passed through it. In the case of OLEDs, that substance is usually an organic molecule (I couldn’t find what molecules are usually used) or a polymer (which is usually cheaper to use). If you want to know how the OLEDs work, see my reference links at the bottom of the post.

OLED ScreenWhat is really cool about OLEDs are the applications (although the science behind them is pretty amazing as well). Not only can you make big tvs that have a better contrast and resolution that the now standard LCDs, but you can also make amazingly think display screens. The image at left (from Universal Display) is a conceptual design for a display that has been unrolled from a pen. Cool, eh? Kodak has also used OLED technology in their LS 633 digital camera. The OLED screen allows for brigher, clearer picture that can be viewed and wide angles – something that LCD screens have problems with. Hopefully we will see more production of devices using this technology in the near future (although I imagine I will have to wait a few more so I can afford any of it…).

OptimusOne of the more fun applications (and there has been discussion relating to the legitimacy of this product – especially at Slashdot) is a cool russian keyboard called the Optimus. This keyboard idea/conceptual design/prototype uses a bunch of individual mini OLED screens, one for each key. This is a great idea for customizations as far as which programs are launched for certain buttons as well as indicating special functions for programs like photoshop or video game control. Now these might seem somewhat trivial (which they are), but this could also be used to help multi-lingual families / buisnesses / libraries / internet cafes / schools / etc. With a simple command the entire keyboard could be switched from english to spanish (accents and such) to greek to russian to chineese. How amazing would that be? Of course I would just be using it for the trivial features (well ok, if I was actually doing my Hebrew right now, I suppose it would work well for that).

Cool technology based in cool science! Be on the lookout for it in your local Sharper Image. Heh

Resources:
Russian company designing the Optimus
English information on the Optimus over at OhGizmo
Another English site about the Optimus
Sites with information and explanation of OLEDs: Answers.com, Wikipedia, and Howstuffworks.com

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  1. October 14th, 2005 at 15:59 | #1

    OLED’s are wicked cool. nice article.

  2. October 14th, 2005 at 16:03 | #2

    By the way, I’m from Snohomish. Went to school at WWU and now in DC. Go M’s!

  3. October 14th, 2005 at 16:15 | #3

    They are wicked cool! I hope to eventually have enough money to get something cool with them. ;)

    Ah, very nice, my sister goes to WWU! Heh, the didn’t do so well this year (and this might be a valid statement for any year…). But there is always next year!

  1. October 14th, 2005 at 09:53 | #1
  2. January 8th, 2006 at 20:10 | #2