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 new iPad's screen is apparently so amazing it can't be described in words (though we're certainly going to try; look for our review early next week). But images can sometimes tell the story more effectively, anyway. Lukas Mathis over at Ignore the Code stuck the new iPad, as well as about a dozen other gadgets, under a microscope to check out what the pixels look like way up close, at 80x magnification.
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.
Graphene may brighten the future more literally than we had originally anticipated, besides merely revolutionizing electronics and Silicon Valley. Swedish and American researchers have transformed the one-atom-thick carbon material into a new, inexpensive lighting component that could give organic light diodes (OLEDs) a run for their money.
Organig LEDs hold large promise for efficient, thin and flexible lighting elements (as well as razor-thin TVs), but low-tech power sources continue to constrain more creative uses of the lights. After all, what good is a shirt of woven LEDs if you need to lug around 10 C batteries to power it? Thankfully, GE is teaming up with the makers of printable, paper-thin battery to create self-powered OLEDs with the battery integrated into the thin light element itself.
Flexible OLEDs are the displays of the future in every sense imaginable--the picture is great, the panels are unbelievably slim, and they bend! They also happen to be incredibly durable, evidenced here by some guy taking a hammer to a Samsung flexible OLED panel.
Laptops keep getting thinner and lighter, but some concept laptops take portable to a new level. Orkin Design's Rolltop consists of an OLED display that can start as a rolled-up mat and deploy as a multi-touch 17-inch laptop. My beastly HP laptop just shed a tear of envy.
The Orkin laptop can also transform into a tablet PC operable with a stylus, or become a standup flat screen display. A power adapter and other features fit with the carrying canister that comes with a convenient holding strap.