I read up on the Organic LED technology years ago, when they got that going, I think it’ll be awesome.
Unfortunately, the FOLED doesn’t quite cut it for my dad’s uber-invention = electronic paper. I think it’s something from an older (1940’s - 1970’s) sci-fi novel. It would need a paper or paper-like material where the print could be electronically updated. So, you could have an e-newspaper that looks and feels like news print, but you can download the new day’s paper each morning. (It would only draw current while updating). There’s actually two technologies I know of that can evolve to this level. One is erasable ink, I think HP developed it. You can print with it using an inkjet printer, then just heat it up to “erase” the paper (direct heat, like from an iron breaks the bonds of the ink, and it is no longer visible). Only thing is, you need some type of very strong material that could be printed on. The other thing is some type of paint, or material that you can send a current through to change it’s color. There’s a prototype I’ve read about, some type of marquis or sign (like the price-board outside a gas station). You program in what you want the sign to say, and hit the “set” button, and current is sent to the paint to set the appropriate colors in the appropriate places. Right now though, I think the sign is set up somewhat like an LCD text display (like on your VCR or digital wristwatch), with big blocks that can be turned on and off, but if they could get a good resolution, and put it on paper, that’d be neat.
Hrm… that was a rant, but this technology is what I think will evolve into our next displays. High-gain Emissive Displays (HGED). It’s still CRT technology, but flat. Our current CRT displays have an electron gun (terminology may be somewhat off, I’m no expert) which shoots a stream of electrons at the screen. Magnetic fields are used to focus and direct the stream to scan across horizontal lines, one by one. The HGED has multiple guns, which extend the full horizontal length of the screen, right behind it. Rather than a tight beam, hitting one pixel at a time, these guns produce a tight vertically, but wide horizontally beam which hits an entire horizontal line of pixels (magnets aim the beam vertically to hit the correct line). The screen is made of vertical rows of electrically sensitive phosphors (similar to on our current CRTs), but they only glow when both the electrons hit them and a current is passed through them. Sending different levels of current through each vertical strip, matched with the horizontally aligned beam of electrons illuminates a horizontal row of pixels.
The one obvious advantage over older CRTs is it’s flat (since you don’t need the guns to be far from the screen). The one advantage over Active Matrix LCDs is its faster refresh rate, and the biggest advantage over LCDs and Plasma displays is it will about the same price as the same sized CRT screens. That, and it doesn’t have the same viewing angle problems.
I dunno, I thought it was a really cool new technology, at it seems to be progressing pretty well (they’ve built working prototypes from 6" diagonal up to 12" so far, and they seem to be well funded). Check it out, http://www.telegendisplays.com/index.html.