One company poised to take advantage this technology in the
near-term is Australian LED and EL
product manufacturer Ozibadge. They’re already selling
dynamic EL signage, crazy LED belt
buckles, and flashing EL t-shirts. Take a look at this promotional
video to get a sense of the items just on the verge of exploding
into the environment around you:
Get ready, because all of the obnoxious trend-setting children
in your neighborhood will very soon be following in role-model
“Just imagine it,” said the energetic futurist at the cocktail
party, “Once LED and OLED technology gets cheap enough, we’ll be able to
turn everything into a screen. You’ll even be able to paint
television displays on your bedroom walls.”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that or a similar
statement at a tech conference or futurist gathering then I’d have
earned maybe $50 – not bad for little bits of my attention.
However, if Dutch Artist Jonas Samson work is any
indication, this modest income would all too soon cease pouring
into my chrome piggy bank.
Bringing us one step closer to interactive paint-on displays,
Samson has created fully functional light-emitting wallpaper based
on undisclosed technology. Whether it’s based on LED, Luminescent or some other novel structure,
this demonstration of a two-dimenstional light source opens the
door to a whole new world of design possibilities.
According to the artist, “As long as the wallpaper is turned
‘off’, it is indistinguishable as a source of light. Instead, it is
just what it appears to be: wallpaper.”
So what luminescent designs are you going to put up in your
The video below is very boring, but you should watch it anyway. Its subject is a totally unspectacular mid-grade projection on a dark wall with big implications for the near-term future of human communication and entertainment. The hook is that this image is generated by a Toshiba Pico Prototype the size of a large cell-phone (at right). Capable of spitting out a 60” wide image at 10 lumens, the micro-projector is due to hit store shelves sometime early next year and will also be licensed to a wide variety of other companies.
Take a look for yourself:
As such projectors shrink in size, increase their resolution and require less and less power, it’s clear that they’ll be incorporated into mobile and other devices. I’d be completely shocked if Steve Jobs, the folks at Apple and all their competitors aren’t right now scrambling to develop the appropriate apps and incorporate the Pico technology into their next-gen products.
Using 160 white LEDs to backlight the LCD screen, Eizo Nanao Corp managed to cut power consumption by 72%.
When you consider that a simple 19-inch LCD screen uses about 34W in it’s average daily use, dropping it down to about 9.5 is an incredible step down. It’s like if next years model of your gas-guzzling SUV came out with a minor addition which made its MPG jump from 18 to 31. It also comes with another great energy-saver. “The monitor also features an “Auto EcoView” function that automatically adjusts the backlight’s luminance in accordance with the external brightness detected by the luminance sensor equipped on the bottom of the monitor.” This way the screen will always be bright enough to see, but not so bright that it will melt your eyeballs along with the polar ice caps.
Although it may be more difficult to position LEDs into big-screen LCD TVs (due to the increased area), I wouldn’t be surprised to see some hitting the market in the next year or so. Especially when you consider “a newer 20-cu.-ft refrigerator cost approximately $50 annually to run, and a 50-inch 1080p plasma set costs approximately $110 annually.” Our appliances need to reduce power consumption down just as much as our cars do.
It seems that once a technology is created and shown to work, it's not too long before someone creates a similar product in their basement for a fraction of the price. Here's TradeMark Gunderson of the Evolution Control Comittee showcasing his rear-projection touchscreen he threw together using some LEDs and two WiiMotes. Hope it inspires you to build your own since the Microsoft Surface costs about $12,500.
A while back I reported on Microsoft's prototype called the SideSight, a cellphone which uses infrared sensors to determine your hand movement. Now it turns out Apple has applied for a patent on just that.
Sure, the image isn't too clear, but what you see is a possible infrared sensor array using LEDs or OLEDs as the sensor. You'll be able to rotate displays with just a wave of your hand if you bring it close to the screen. It doesn't stop there too. Apparently they're looking into the same technology for a possible OLED iPhone that will feature these sensors. Now THAT would be awesome.