Wallpaper that can glow with light and bendable flat-panel screens are a step closer thanks to research into organic LEDs (OLEDs), which are widely hailed as the next generation of environmentally friendly lighting technology.
OLEDs use very little power to produce light, even compared with modern energy-saving bulbs. The chemicals they are made from can be painted on to thin, flexible surfaces, allowing them potentially to be used to replace traditional lightbulbs in homes and offices with panels of energy-efficient light built into walls, windows or even furniture. Other uses include flexible display screens, whose very low power consumption would mean they could operate without mains power, for example as roadside traffic warning signs powered by small solar panels.
The radically different manufacturing process of OLEDs has many advantages over flat-panel displays made with LCD technology. OLEDs can be printed onto any suitable substrate using an inkjet printer or even screen printing technologies. They can theoretically have a significantly lower cost than LCDs or plasma displays. Printing OLEDs onto flexible substrates opens the door to new applications such as roll-up displays, wallpaper and displays embedded in fabrics or clothing.
We are hoping that in the coming decade we will be able to buy a roll of this stuff from B&Q (or Nakumatt:-) and stick it to the wall like wallpaper. Total immersion, whether you fancy a lounge at the bottom of the ocean or on the cliff sides of the Himilayas, its cool stuff.
Read more at The Guardian