The Wall Street Journal reports today that Samsung is "in the last stage of development" for flexible plastic OLED displays, and that the displays will be released in the first half of 2013. The idea with plastic flexible displays isn't that you can fold a phone up into an eighth of its size--it's more that they're both more durable and lighter than comparative glass displays. And given that top phones like the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are highly breakable, we could do with some durability. A release in the first half of 2013 sounds optimistic based on the prototypes we've seen, but here's hoping. [WSJ]
The world’s thinnest transparent screen isn’t really a screen at all, but something more like a soap bubble. An international team of researchers claims its display--which uses ultrasonic sound waves to change the properties of a soap-like film to display both flat and 3-D images--is the world’s thinnest transparent screen, and that using several of them together can even produce a holographic projection.
Holographic video is sort of the holy grail of video display technology right now. Stereoscopic 3-D is fine and everything, but it basically works by tricking the brain into seeing that 3-D depth via two offset 2-D images--hence the occasional headaches associated with current commercial 3-D displays. Holographic video, by contrast, creates images that are really three-dimensional, no glasses or headaches required.
We caught a preview of Sony's odd, space-agey head-mounted viewer (appealingly named the HMZ-T1) back at CES in January, but we were pretty surprised to learn that not only is it not a mere demo, Sony's actually planning on, like, putting the thing in stores, where you can exchange currency for it and then take it home. Sony claims it offers an incredibly immersive 3-D experience, better than any TV. We've now played with it twice, and in some ways, that's true.
Engineers at UCLA have created a proof-of-concept stretchable OLED display, the first of its kind. We keep a close eye on stretchable displays, since they're a major part of our vision of the future (fueled as it is by three separate viewings of Blade Runner during Hurricane Weekend), and this is a major step towards OLEDs that can bend, swell, shrink, and fold.
E Ink, the company that pioneered the electrophoretic displays used in gadgets like the Amazon Kindle, won't have a new fancy screen this year. But that doesn't mean they're taking it easy: They've got a host of projects, from color- and video-enabled displays to screens that can be printed on cloth and then crumpled.
A new, truly 360-degree 3-D display has been developed by researchers at Osaka University. The fog display is created by three projectors each beaming a different image into a column of thin fog, making the resulting image appear 3-dimensional from all angles. This technique means that viewers can physically walk around the display to see it from different vantage points without losing the 3-D effect.
A few months ago, when I still lived in San Francisco, I used to go to a monthly event called Literary Death Match, in which well-lubricated writers read their work in front of a heckling panel of judges. It's somewhere between stand-up comedy and a drunk recital, with a tone a bit like that of the nearby-headquartered McSweeney's--slightly precious, highly literate, vaguely experimental, and often funny--only more profane. Once, at the end of the second reading, the author, who had her notes proudly type-written (like, with a typewriter) tossed her retro-affected sheets of paper into the crowd and shouted "FUCK THE KINDLE!"
It got a huge applause. Which was kind of uncomfortable for me, since I had my new Kindle 3 in my jacket pocket at the time.