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
Leaked photos of the next generation Mac Mini suggest that Apple is committed to steadily shrinking components and appears to be on the road to something that may look a lot like this vision of the iPhone 2015 that we published last November:
Sometimes it’s hard for people to get an accurate sense of what the future holds for certain technologies. For instance, could the average person three years ago have imagined that something like the 3G iPhone could exist now?
It is for this reason I present this vision of the iPhone circa 2015.
Contact Lens Display
The most interesting feature of the iPhone 2015 is its first generation Contact Lens Display System. If there’s one thing that iPhone users believe themselves to be, and that Apple stresses all the time, it’s that people who use Apple products are independent and unique. It is for this reason that an eyeglass display was thrown out. No iPhone user would be caught dead wearing the same glasses as over ten million other iPhone users. The fact is, glasses are cumbersome. They gather dirt, get lost easily, and make sports rather difficult.
In 2007, development of a contact lens display system began at the University of Washington, Seattle. “Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.” In the time between now and 2015, the cost involved in the production of a contact lens display will likely reduce in price, meaning the loss of one won’t reduce you to tears in case of loss.
The problems associated with contact lenses (protein build-up, 8-hour wear limit, annoyance of constant inserting and removal) will be lessened with oxygen-permeable lenses. O2OPTIX, a company currently specializing in such breathable lenses, already sells a lens capable of week-long wear without removal. “O2OPTIX is made with a revolutionary silicone hydrogel technology allowing up to 5 times more oxygen through the lens than the leading traditional 2-week lens, to help protect from the signs and symptoms of corneal oxygen deficiency.” It only makes sense that seven years from now a lens will be developed which can last even longer making wearable contact lenses less of a pain.
Of course there always is the option of implanting the lens permanently into the eye, but who would ever go under invasive surgery for first generation technology?
Samsung shocked some crowds at the FPD International 2008 this year by displaying a .05mm thick OLED display. Oh, and did I mention there just “happened” to be a fan nearby that caused it to flap around? Because there was.
Called the Flapping Display, Samsung really outdid itself. In fact, one staffer at the event mentioned “It is technically possible to make the panel thinner. However, it is difficult to further reduce the thicknesses of the flexible substrates and circuit components around it.” Way to be modest. I wonder how long before OLED screens start appearing everywhere — on the sides of cars, in our phones, even on a future high-end Kindle.
One thing is for sure, OLED is going to change everything.
Bionic Exoskeletons? OLED Haunted Houses? Holographic Masks? Check out some of the Halloween costumes we have in store for us ten years down the road. And while that Ninja Turtle costume you wear every year is still pretty sweet, the best costumes really are the ones that incorporate the latest technology into their design.
Happy Halloween everybody.
Looking to make people literally crap their pants? The Hologram Necklace allows users to pick pre-programmed faces which are projected around their faces. An easy on/off switch means you won’t have to worry about walking around blind and since the code is open source you could theoretically make your own custom mask. While current holographic technology is limited to areas that involve multiple mirrors, by 2015 a portable one is more than likely.
I’ve talked before about the idea of having regular consumers buying invisibility cloaks and how they could only lead to mischief. Well, that’s what Halloween is for, causing havoc. Besides scaring the Hell out of people, you could steal candy, TP a house, even gradually pick off a group of kids one by one (that sounded creepy). But be careful, remember you’re invisible because moving vehicles won’t see you.
The grainy video you see above is footage of the new Samsung concept phone. While much is not known about it, the video itself is quite amazing simply because it’s the first time a real physical phone has had a flexible display incorporated into it. The best part (for me) was when the phone folded and the keypad was on the other side, gives it a sort of realism to it, like it’ll be available soon.
When can you expect it?
Again, not much information is given about the concept phone, but chances are that you will be seeing it by next summer, winter at the latest. The real question though is whether or not the display is touch-sensitive — a large screen won’t do you much good if you can’t interact with it.
During the next decade we are likely to see commercial products that will start to define the 'Post PC' Era of smart, networked objects that follow a new path of product development. Users will interact with embedded devices beyond the keyboard and mouse. We know that OLEDs offer a clear path to flexible, transparent display screens, but what about the combination of sensors and low power chips that make the 'screen' irrelevant for new applications. If it is hard to imagine commercial Post PC applications for enterprise sectors, what about designs for education and entertainment markets based on visions like Impress project from Sillenet [via Vimeo]
“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
Yesterday the New York Times Company announced that it has been so affected by the recent economic downturn that it may default on its debt. Coming on the heels of the worst advertising year for newspapers since 1950 things are not looking good for the typically stalwart American brand. With the prospect of more financial woes on the horizon, it is conceivable the company will be required to liquidate a significant portion of its assets come the new year.
On the flip side of the coin, this is also a great opportunity for management at the great American newspaper to guide it towards a more situationally appropriate new media model. As upstart blogs rake in the big bucks it’s about time the New York Times got hip to the times. With a bit of common sense and some luck they company will be able to avoid the sinister fate that awaits former giants such as GM.
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.
GE Labs, those crazy people who brought us bouncing water, have put together a nifty holiday greeting using a single band of flexible OLED panels. "The tree is made by wrapping a working 6 inch by 15 foot OLED around a stand." What better way to highlight their breakthrough OLED roll-to-roll producing technology than through a wacky video. Check out photos from the lighting over at the GE Blog.