Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley developed a new "electronic-skin" consisting of touch sensors and small OLED lighting 'pixels". The e-skin reacts to touch and the more intense the pressure, the brighter the light. This technology can be used to enable applications such as smart automobile dashboards or wallpaper that double as touchscreen displays.

The e-skin is based on plastic and has several OLED "pixels". Each pixel consists of a tiny transistor (made using nanowires), an OLED and a pressure sensor. To produce this they cured a polymer layer on top of a silicon wafer, ran a regular process to deposit the electronics and then de-laminated the silicon. The first prototype the researchers made has 16x16 pixels (see above and in the video below).

The researchers say that the big breakthrough here is that the e-skin is the integration of the touch sensor and the light output. However, as Samsung and LG are soon to start producing plastic-based touch OLED displays, it seems that such a device will not be on par performance wise (but perhaps it could be a lot cheaper).

Merck - Advancing Display, Advancing LifeMerck - Advancing Display, Advancing Life