Article last updated on: Nov 09, 2021

What are wearables?

Wearable computers, also called ‘wearables’, are technological devices that can be worn as clothing or accessories. Some wearables are based on relatively simple technology, similar to a scaled-down desktop computer, but some involve innovative technologies. Wearables include different products, such as fitness bands, wearable headsets, smart watches, healthcare monitoring and displays embedded in textiles.

The wearables market is diverse, but faces similar challenges like minimizing size and weight of components, deciding on optimal display location, choosing suitable services and applications to provide and balancing cost-to-price ratios.

What is an OLED?

OLED is a light-emitting diode built from thin films of organic electroluminescent material sandwiched between electrodes. OLED devices emit light when current is run through them, and are used to develop display and lighting panels. OLED screens are thinner, lighter, more efficient and offer better performance and color quality than other existing technologies.

OLEDs divide into 2 groups: AMOLEDs and PMOLEDs, which refers to how the screen is addressed by the electronics of the device. Simple wearables such as fitness bands usually adopt PMOLED displays, while smartwatches and VR headsets opt for AMOLEDs. Here's more information about AMOLED vs. PMOLED technologies.

The OLED wearables market

OLED displays are very popular in the wearables market - thanks to the great image quality, the low power consumption and to the design possibilities enabled by flexible OLEDs. Most high-end smartwatches, fitness bands and headsets adopt OLED displays, including both Apple's Samsung's smartwatches. Here's our comprehensive list of wearable devices that use OLED displays.



Latest Wearable OLED news

Samsung announces the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 foldable phones, and new wearables

Samsung announced two new foldable phones, and new wearable devices. First up is the Galaxy Z Fold4 which sports a 7.6" foldable 120Hz 1200 nits 1812x2176 Dynamic AMOLED and a 6.2" 120Hz 904x2316 AMOLED 2X cover display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 photo

The Galaxy Z Flip4, the company's clamshell device,features a 6.7-inch 120Hz 1200nits 1080x2640 foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display and a small secondary 1.9" 260x512 Super AMOLED display. Both phones will ship on August 25, starting at $2,000 for the Fold4 and $1200 for the Flip4.

The OLED Marketplace, find your OLED here

A new version of OLED-Info's OLED and MicroLED Microdisplay Market report released

Today we published a new edition of our OLED and MicroLED Microdisplays Market Report, with all the latest information. The new edition includes more than 10 new updates, new companies, new datasheets and revamped sections on APS, Mojo vision, Porotech, PlayNitride and more.

Reading this report, you'll learn all about:

  • The advantages of OLED and MicroLED microdisplays
  • The microdisplays that are available on the market today
  • Information on all companies involved in this market
  • Future technologies and roadmaps

The report package also provides:

  • A list of all OLED microdisplays on the market
  • A list of all OLED and MicroLED microdisplays makers
  • Microdisplays spreadsheet (premium edition)
  • Over 25 datasheets, presentations (premium edition)
  • Free updates for a year

This microdisplays market report provides a great introduction to OLED and MicroLED microdisplays, and covers everything you need to know about the current status of the market and industry. This is a great guide if you're considering to adopt OLED microdisplays in your product, if you're looking to learn more about next-generation micro-LEDs and if you want to understand this industry better.

Tianma starts producing in-cell touch AMOLED displays

Tianma announced that it has successfully commercialized in-cell touch AMOLED displays, and it is now starting to mass produce the first such display to a customer, a well-known smartwatch maker that will ship the product in Q3 2022, globally.

Tianma GOLED in-cell touch comparison chart

Tianma explains that by adopting the in-cell structure, it has managed to reduce the total screen thickness by 20%, compared to its current on-cell technology. The new AMOLED display is also lighter.

DSCC: the OLED market remained flat in Q1 2022 at $9.5 billion

DSCC says that global OLED revenues in Q1 2022 were around $9.5 billion, the same as in Q1 2021, even though unit shipments declined 4%.

OLED market revenue 2020Q1-2022Q1 (DSCC)

Smartphone remained the leading OLED application, with a 79% revenue share, even though shipments decreased 8% (and revenues decreased 3%). The second largest application by shipments is wearables (16% in Q1 2022 by shipments and in 6% market share by revenues).

KAIST researchers develop a white OLED device on a fabric substrate

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed a white OLED device that can be deposited on thin fabrics. The researchers say that this is the world's first such device, as previous white OLEDs, made using a tandem structure, could not be bent on fibers.

For the new device, the researchers developed a single white light-emitting layer. The brightness of the device is up to 700 nits, with an efficiency of 10 candelas per ampere.

DSCC: AMOLEDs and OLED microdisplays to re-enter the VR market in 2023-2024

In recent years we have seen AMOLED displays fall out of favor in the VR market, as most devices have opted for high-end LCDs, due to the better image definition, mostly. According to DSCC, this is set to change next year (in 2023).

VR-panel shipments by type (2021-2024, DSCC)

Sony has already adopted high density (>800PPI) AMOLED displays in the Playstation VR2, DSCC says that this trend will continue. DSCC also sees OLED microdisplays finally entering the VR market in 2023, with around 15 million such displays shipped in this market by 2024.

Look Labs launches a hoodie integrated with OLED lighting

Design house Look Labs announced a new product, a Hoodie called the omfy420 Metalight Hoodie that features the design house's CryptoPunk #5402, which is targeted for gamers who play Look Labs' own 420 game and can buy the hoodie from within the game and

The Hoodie features an Inuru's OLED lighting device which lights up the eyes of the figure in the hoodie. Inuru's OLEDispowered by an integrated thin-film battery that can be recharged wirelessly, and the whole system is washable and easy to integrate into textiles.

Reports suggest that Meta is working on two VR headsets, one with miniLED displays and the other with microOLED displays

Reports suggest that Meta (Facebook) is developing two new VR headsets, with very different display technologies - one with mini-LED displays, and the other with OLED microdisplays (as we reported in August 2021).

Oculus Rift consumer photo

The Oculus Quest Pro (codenamed Cambria) will be based on mini-LED displays, . Meta aims to launch the Quest Pro in the summer of 2022 and hopes to sell 3 million headsets by the end of the year.

DSCC: Apple's first VR headset will sport two OLED microdisplays and an additional AMOLED

Towards the end of 2021 we reported that Apple plans to launch its first AR headset in Q4 2022, powered by dual 4K OLED microdisplays, produced by Sony

Sony ECX339A OLED Microdisplay photo

According to Ross Young from DSSC, Apple first headset will actually be a VR headset, that uses a foveated display system. The headset will feature three displays - two 4K microLEDs (indeed produced by Sony) and one larger AMOLED display.

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