Some very interesting developments are under way in display technology. For one thing, there’s the announcement from Korean tech major LG that it will invest just over $8.7 billion in “a new panel plant in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Korea… The company decided on the new plant, known as P10, because of anticipated demand for OLED panels over the next several years. The P10 plant will mainly produce both large-size OLED TV panels and flexible OLED panels for smartwatches and automotive displays.” Furthermore, “he company is expecting the lines will produce OLED in every product segment, including ultra large-size products as well as future products such as flexible and transparent displays.”
Then there’s the news from the (aptly named?) Begbroke Science Park in Oxford that it will host a new display technology company, Bodle Technologies, to exploit “the discovery by researchers at the University of Oxford that it is possible to use extremely thin, flexible, transparent layers of a new smart material to create low-energy high-resolution displays and glazing.” According to research team leader Professor Harish Bhaskaran, “this technology is capable of providing vivid colour displays which appear similar to paper, yet with very high resolution. It is also capable of rendering extremely high-resolution videos that can be seen in bright sunlight.”
Either technology may win out in the smartphone or e-reader display stakes. Or each may find niche applications that still facilitate a better e-reading experience. Or it may be the graphene display technologies I covered earlier. In any case, it looks like we’re on the verge of getting the perfect e-reader display: full color, readable in daylight, thin enough to be flexible or foldable, fast enough to play video. And with the timelines being quoted, this could be in devices before the end of the decade.