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Organic LEDs emerge as display technology of choice

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With liquid crystal display (LCD) technology having reached a point of maturity from where there can only be evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes, the field is open to disruptive, cost-effective technologies. Some of these include organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), 3D and holographic displays, and multi-touch interfaces.

New analysis from global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan entitled Innovations in Display Technologies, finds that OLED and 3D holographic display technologies are likely to grow significantly in use in the coming years.
3D holography is a much-vaunted technology, since scalability issues do not limit it. Once perfected, it could be the most viable solution for terrain mapping, civil planning applications, and entertainment applications such as game consoles, cinema, and billboards. The medical industry can also benefit from 3D displays in surgical guidance equipment and areas such as radiation oncology.
Of all display technologies, OLEDs are expected to find the most extensive adoption in a variety of portable consumer electronics, home entertainment, and automotive applications. However, for all its advantages, OLEDs might find the going tough in the large-screen displays. Even in the small- and medium-sized displays, LCD still dominates.
“To pose a serious threat to LCDs, the technologically superior OLEDs will have to resolve certain issues such as color element lifetimes and manufacturing techniques,” says Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Analyst Prithvi Raj.
“OLED displays are limited by the relatively short lifetimes of blue OLED and this makes such displays currently unsuitable in a primary television unit,” adds Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Analyst Sharmishta S. “However, it should be noted that the half-life of the color elements (including blue) have vastly improved over the past few years and it is likely that it will soon achieve acceptable standards.”
OLEDs are ideal for smaller displays on space/power-critical portable applications such as mobile phones and mp3 players. This is because OLEDs draw far lesser power than LCDs. These displays can also be made extremely thin, as they do not require backlighting.
Once OLEDs replace LCDs in the portable consumer electronic displays sector, they can try to forge a path in the larger display segment, provided they employ scalable manufacturing methods. Although OLED technology prices are not likely to drop anytime soon, its advantages of higher viewing angles, thinner displays, and increased contrast, offer them the upper hand.
“OLEDs with their wide viewing angle, high contrast ratio, and absence of backlighting allow for the realization of ultra-slim displays,” says Sharmishta S. ”3D holography also has tremendous potential and along with OLEDs, is likely to revolutionize the display landscapes in the coming years.”
Meanwhile, multitouch display interfaces offer multi-user, multi-input functionality and have been making waves for their simple interface. Applications for this technology range form infrastructure planning to navigation and mapping. This technology could also find applications as a table-top interface in a variety of locations like hotels, clubs, offices, and homes.
“Projection technology has also progressed a great deal with MEMS-based micro-mirrors,” says Raj. “Developments are underway to miniaturise current projectors down to levels where they can be housed within mobile devices, thereby opening up new avenues in portable entertainment.”