Hyundai and Kia show new car concepts with transparent OLEDs

Both Hyundai and Kia unveiled new car concepts - and both use transparent OLED displays. Hyundai's car is called Blue2 and it's actually an update to the Blue-will concept car from 2009 (which also included a transparent OLED). The Blue-2 is powered by a 90kW (122PS/121bhp) fuel cell stack - delivering 34.9 km/liter. It has rear-view cameras, automatic door opening system. The main center console uses a transparent OLED and Gorilla glass. The infotainment system is operated with a haptic wheel and gesture controls.

Hyundai Blue 2 concept car photo

Kia's new concept EV car is called Naimo (Korean for square). The car has no B-Pillars, rear doors that open up clamshell style and large (20-inch) wheels. On the inside Kia use Korean oak for the floors and a transparent OLED display behind the wheel. In fact the inside design is very similar to Kia's Pop concept from 2010. The car has an electric motor with a maximum output of 80kW (107hp). The battery is a 27kWh lithium ion polymer - giving a range of 124 miles. The battery has a fast-charge mode which can charge it up to 80% in 25 minutes. A full charge will take five and a half hours.

Rumors: Sony to include an OLED viewfinder in upcoming DSLR cameras?

There are rumors that Sony's upcoming A77 DSLR will have an OLED viewfinder with 3 million pixels (more than double the pixel count in the current A55/33 LCD viewfinder). The new viewfinder will also have a faster refresh rate and better brightness (which is to be expected from an OLED micro display...). It is said that the same viewfinder will be used in next-gen Sony NEX cameras, too (as an optional external EVF or a built-in one, it's not clear).

This is not the first we hear of Sony's OLED microdisplays: back in January 2011 Sony unveiled a 3D head mounted display with two OLED microdisplays. Those displays were said to be made by Sony and feature 720p (1280x720) - which means 921,600 pixels. This makes us wonder whether the 3 million pixel count in the rumor is correct. After all, even eMagin's highest resolution OLED microdisplay (the SXGA OLED-XL) offers only 1280x1024 resolution (1,310,720 pixels). Perhaps (as some commenters suggested) these are 3 million sub-subpixels - which fits 720p more or less.

Samsung starts mass producing 22" transparent LCDs

Samsung Electronics announced today that they began mass producing 22" transparent LCD panels. The panels offer WSXGA+ (1680x1050) resolution and 500:1 contrast. Samsung will produce both color and monochrome panels. The color panel has 15% transparency and the black and white is better at 20%. These LCDs are also very efficient - they use 90% less energy when compared to a normal LCD (because there is no back light unit).

Samsung says that these displays will probably be used as advertising tools (in show windows or outdoor billboards) and education tools. We still do not know the price of these units.

Apogee Duet 2

Apogee's Duet2 is their second generation audio interface for Mac with a USB (2.0) interface, 2 inputs and 4 outputs, new mic preamp and converters, 24-bit/192Khz recording, configurable touch pads. And a full-color OLED display.

Apogee Duet 2 photo

The Duet2 will be available in April 2011 for $595.

Interview with Andy Hannah, Plextronics' CEO

Andrew W. Hannah (photo)Back in 2006, we published an interview with Andy Hannah, Plextronics' president, CEO and co-founder. Andy agreed to do a follow-up interview to update us on Plextronics' business and technology.

Plextronics is a US-based company (established in 2002, as a spin-out from Carnegie Mellon University) that is developing technology that enables broad market commercialization of organic electronic devices - including OLEDs, plastic chips, polymer solar cells and organic sensors.

Q: Andy, can you give us a short introduction to your OLED technology?

Q: The benefits of OLEDs include, of course, being printable, low cost and demonstrating enhanced device performance. Plextronics’ technology plays a key part in achieving these benefits by reducing operating voltage in devices and thereby increasing lifetime and power efficiency.

Panasonic Idemitsu OLED Lighting: a new JV by Panasonic and Idemitsu Kosan

Panasonic Electric Works (PEW) and Idemitsu Kosan announced that they will establish a new joint venture for developing, manufacturing and marketing OLED lighting panels. The new company will be called Panasonic Idemitsu OLED Lighting and it will combine PEW's design and manufacturing technologies with Idemitsu OLED materials.

PEW OLED Lighting panelsPEW OLED Lighting panels

The new company will have 10 employees at the time of establishment. PEW will owe 51% and Idemitsu will own the rest (49%). The initial company capital will be JP¥ 15 billion ($182 million).

DisplayBank: transparent displays to reach $87.2 billion in revenue by 2025

DisplayBank says that they forecast that transparent displays will reach $87.2 billion in yearly revenue by 2025 (the total display market will be $223 billion). They say that transparent display will surpass non-transparent displays by 2030.

DisplayBank says that transparent display have many possible applications (such as windows, automobile windshields and show windows for shopping malls). Personally I'm not sure how computer monitors or TVs will benefit from transparency - maybe from a design point of view (having an invisible TV until you turn it on is rather cool).

InZiv - Transforming inspection of OLED, MicroLED, and QLEDInZiv - Transforming inspection of OLED, MicroLED, and QLED