KODAK -- Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) consume significantly less power than common liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), which require backlighting.¹ OLEDs also offer several exciting advantages over common LEDs: the materials do not need to be crystalline (that is, composed of a precisely repeating pattern of planes of atoms), so that they are easier to make; they are applied in thin layers for a slimmer profile; and different materials (for different colours) can be patterned on a given substrate to make high-resolution images. The substrates may be recycled--made of inexpensive glass or flexible plastic or even metal foil.²
The first active-matrix OLED display on the market provides a 2.2-inch screen for the Kodak EasyShare LS633 digital camera.
Webster Howard explains what lies ahead.³
Large-screen monitors could roll up for storage. A soldier might unfurl a sheet of plastic showing a real-time situation map. Smaller displays could be wrapped around a person's forearm or incorporated into clothing. Used in lighting fixtures, the panels could curl around an architectural column or lie almost wallpaperlike against a wall or ceiling.
When part of an intelligent digital signage network, OLEDs could deliver infotainment directly into the middle of assembly areas.
¹Bob Johnstone -- "A Bright Future for Displays" in Technology Review, April 2001.
²Joseph Shinar -- Organic Light-Emitting Devices, Springer Verlag, 2003.
³Webster Howard -- "Better Displays with Organic Films" in Scientific American, February 2004.