Will fitness bands help grow the PMOLED market?

Update: just after posting my article, Samsung annonced the Gear Fit, a fitness band with a 1.84" Super AMOLED panel. Perhaps my reasoning was all wrong, and high-resolution, color displays may take over this new market as well.

Passive Matrix OLEDs (PMOLEDs) use a simple driver, which restricts the resolution and efficiency of the display, but also enables it to be produced easily and relatively on the cheap. The first OLED displays on the market (in 1998) were PMOLED, made by Pioneer, used in car audio systems.

The PMOLED market grew in the past, up until 2006. Back then, the main application for those displays was the sub-display on clamshell phones. But then Apple launched the iPhone, and since then the clamshell design lost its popularity very quickly - and the PMOLED market is in decline ever since.

Huawei TalkBand B1

Huawei's TalkBand B1 is a smart wearable device that includes a removable earpiece (which is why it is called a TalkBand). It supports several fitness applications (steps recording, calories burned, sleeping pattern monitor, etc.). The display is a 1.4" 128x16 white flexible (curved) PMOLED made by Futaba.

The Talkband is now shipping in China, Europe and in the UK (£99).

Is HTC developing an AMOLED smartwatch?

Bloomberg reports that HTC is developing three new wearable devices. The company will demonstrate the first one at the MWC event later this week, but will only show the watch privately to mobile carriers. The first watch will be based on Qualcomm's Toq device - which uses a small touch Mirasol display.

The second watch wil be based on Google's Now service, and this one will use an AMOLED display. The third wearable device will be an electronic bracelet. That's all we currently know. According to Bloomberg the information comes from a person with "direct knowledge of the plans".

Samsung Gear 2

The Gear 2 is Samsung 2nd-gen smartwatch. Compared to the original Gear, this watch is lighter, offers a better battery life (2-3 days), has a new design and runs the Tizen OS (as compared to Android). The display is the same 1.63" 320x320 (275 PPI) Super AMOLED display. Other features include a 1Ghz dual-core CPU, 4GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, infrared, S Voice, heart rate sensor and a 2MP camera (720p video support).

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2

The Gear 2 is now available in the US for $299. Samsung also offers the Gear 2 Neo which is pretty much the same only without a camera, for $199.

Will Spike's upcoming supersonic business jet use OLED TVs instead of windows?

Spike Aerospace is developing a supersonic business jet. The company announced that instead of conventional windows, it will use curved, super-thin digital displays. The S-512 will reportedly cost $80 million when it becomes available in 2018.

The jet will use micro-cameras to create panoramic views on the curved displays in real time. This has several advantages - you can display whatever you want on these displays, it eliminates glares, it reduces the aircraft's weight, part count and drag and will also simplify the aircraft construction and integrity.

New OLED development to be discussed at SID 2014

The SID Display Week, the world's leading display industry showcase is scheduled for June, but the organizers already published the list of papers to be presented in this show. Hiding in this long list of technical achievements and research projects are some interesting new OLED developments. So here's some of the achievements to be announced during the show (at no particular order).

TCL's China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) managed to fabricate a 7" QVGA (320x240) flexible PMOLED display. The display uses a thin PEN substrate, processed at Gen-4.5. The company also proposes a design for a 14" QVGA PMOLED panel. CSOT also developed a 31" Full-HD AMOLED panel that uses a IGZO backplane. The 31" direct-emission panel was produced on a Gen-4.5 glass substrate using FMM.

Veeco sold a FAST-ALD flexible OLED encapsulation prototype system to Samsung

In September 2013, Veeco acquired Synos Technology for $185 million. Synos' FAST-ALD encapsulation technology is aimed towards flexible OLED displays. Back then Veeco said that the company's first FAST-ALD pilot production system has already been installed, and they expect a manufacturing ramp to begin in 2014.

Yesterday Veeco reported their financial results for Q4 2013 (which was a challenging year for Veeco). The company said that they "received a purchase order from the world leader in mobile OLED displays for a first-generation FAST-ALD prototype system". The world's leader in mobile OLEDs is certainly Samsung Display (as they currently hold a market share of over 95%).

The EU aims to develop a hybrid LED/OLED lighting technology

The EU announced a new SSL lighting project called LASSIE (Large Area Solid State Intelligent Efficient luminaries) that aims to develop hybrid inorganic and organic lighting technologies. The aim is to develop a device with the efficacy and long life of high-power LEDs and the color-tunable diffuse lighting of OLED panels.

It's not clear, but it seems that the project will use the LEDs for the actual light output and fluorescent-based soluble OLED materials for tuning the color. According to CSEM (one of the project partners, the OLED material swill be deposited using a roll to roll process.

Verbatim to unveil new printed and flexible OLED panels

In October 2013 Mitsubishi Chemical and Pioneer announced that they plan to start producing printed OLED lighting panels in 2014. Now Verbatim announced that it will bring an OLED panel produced using a "web coating process" to the Light + Building exhibition in April. Verbatim will also demonstrate a flexible OLED lighting panel for the first time.

We don't have any more information regarding Verbatim's new panels. In October 2013, however, Pioneer and Mitsubishi said that their panels use coating only for the bottom layer, while the emissive and top layers are deposited using VTE.

Philips to launch their first own OLED luminaire for office and retail

I just got word from Philips that the company intends to soon launch their first own OLED luminaire for office and retail. Philips has high hopes for this luminaire.

The luminaire is modular, and each module will use four of the Philips newest OLED panels which will be unveiled at the Light + Building show in April. Philips says that this lamp will meet "lighting norms" for workplaces.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters