The next high definition television you buy might feature an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel. Sure, OLED displays are comparatively pricey and in short order compared to LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs, but rivals Sony and Panasonic have put aside their competitive differences to jointly develop the next wave of OLED panels and modules for HDTVs and other large-size displays.
In the future, we'll all have jetpacks, flying cars, meals in a pill, and affordable OLED televisions. Can you guess which one of those is the front runner to materialize in 2012? If you cheated and read the headline, pat yourself on the back anyway, you got it right (and if not, you're wrong, jetpacks are too much of a TSA nightmare to go mainstream any time soon).
With CES 2012 just around the corner, we can expect to see a handful of product announcements trickle out ahead of the convention. Take for example LG's 55-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) TV panel, the largest of its kind in the world, according to LG Display, which announced the TV panel today. LG hopes this will help popularize the OLED TV market.
Researchers at IBM have announced that they recently managed to create the first high-speed computer circuits out of a material called graphene. This process has possible applications in displays, processors, and high-speed communication. While this advancement is interesting, we’re not quite ready to ditch traditional transistors quite yet.
The hype surrounding OLED technology has somewhat settled down in recent months, instead giving way to LED-backlit LCD displays that are cheaper to produce. Lest you forget completely about OLED, however, Sony this week announced a pair of OLED monitors designed for professionals. The 17-inch and 25-inch monitors are part of Sony's new reference-grade BVM-E series and are supposed to be on par with CRTs in color accuracy. Put your drink down before hitting the jump and taking a peek at the price tags.
Quick update from the floor of CES, as Editorial Director Jon Phillips takes a quick peak at far and away, the thinnest television panel we've ever seen anywhere. Don't believe us? See for yourself below.
Forget for a minute that OLED technology is still incredibly expensive, Mitsubishi doesn't give a hoot. What the company does care about is releasing what it claims the world's first large-scale OLED display in the 100-inch and higher range.
Mitsubishi's "Diamond Vision OLED" qualifies by a mile, checking in at 155 inches. But before you go emptying the kids' college fund and putting a lien on that property in the Hamptons, bear in mind this display isn't destined for living room use. It is, however, designed for indoor use, such as large digital signs in airports and other commercial facilities.
There's not a whole lot of details available in terms of specs. Mitsubishi says the screen offers wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles of about +/- 80 degrees along with a maximum brightness of 1,200cd/m2.
Sales will begin worldwide beginning September 21, 2010, though no word on price.
The latest word is that LG plans to show off an ultra-thin OLED display at the 2010 IFA Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin next month.
The 31-inch display is said to measure just 2.9mm thin, making it the slimmest OLED around. Jumping on the 3D bandwagon, the new display will come capable of churning out three-dimensional visuals with its 600Hz refresh rate.
Other details are pretty much non-existent at this point, including cost, but don't expect it to be cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Combining OLED with 3D is like mixing gold with platinum. For a point of reference, LG sells a 15-inch OLED 2D TV for $2,500, so it's safe to say the upcoming 31-inch set will cost at least twice as much.
At this point in the game, there doesn't appear to be anything that can stop the fast moving freight train known as Android, right? Not so fast, says market research firm iSuppli. According to iSuppli, a shortage of AMOLED displays threatens to derail the Android Express as it attempts to race past the competition.
"Starting with the Nexus One introduced in January, Android-based smartphones have aggressively adopted high-quality AMOLED displays as a competitive differentiator against the advanced-technology AMLCD screen used in the iPhone," said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for small and medium displays at iSuppli. "However, rising demand combined with a limited supply base has led to the constrained availability of AMOLEDs."
Part of the problem is that there aren't a whole of manufactures making AMOLED products, which makes keeping up with volume shipments particularly challenging. And because the technology is relatively new, many mobile display makers instead to choose to focus their attention on cranking out cheaper-to-produce AMLCD screens.
The good news for Android fans is that this is only temporary. Samsung, for example, is throwing big bucks at AMOLED and plans to have another 5.5-generation fab up and running by the end of 2011. If anything, the current supply challenges are temporary and will only serve to delay Android's rise to the top, if that's where it's destined to go.
Art Lebedev Studio's design team introduced the world to the Optimus Maximus, an OLED keyboard that suffered through nearly as many delays as Duke Nukem: Forever, and for a long while looked as though it was going to suffer the same never-ending fate. But give them credit for finally bringing the Maximus to market when everyone -- including us -- had written the eventual $2,400 plank off as vaporware.
The design team is back at it again, this time drumming up hype for their upcoming Optimus Popularis keyboard. Like the Maximus, this new version replaces standard keys with display-equipped ones, only not OLED this time around. Even still, Art Lebedev Studio says the keys will be full color.
They'll also sport larger displays than the Maximus, measuring 64x64 pixels compared to 48x48 pixels. The plank itself is more compact than the Maximus and doesn't come with a Numpad, but does have a special Fn key in the lower left corner that transforms the right portion of the keyboard into a virtual Numpad when needed.
In a blog post, the developers say the Popularis will ship "at the end of this year / beginning of next year for less than $1,000." Such open-ended release dates make us a bit leery, but without OLED keys, this one has a legitimate shot at shipping on time.