One of the great things about OLEDs is that they are power efficient. Interestingly, for OLED displays, the application makes a great impact on the power consumption. The more bright-pixels, the more power is consumed.
If OLEDs are adopted widely, it will start to make sense to design software in such a way as to maximize power efficiency. This will be very useful for mobile devices - be it phones or laptops.
Here are a few ideas that can be used to maximize battery life with an OLED:
- Use a black or dark background.
- Hide parts of the application that is not used - like menus, for example. The less displayed, the better.
- Use only a part of the screen: in OLED laptops, it will make sense to allow for modes in which not all the screen is used. For example - use only half the width, to save half the energy.
- Dim the background: if you have a window that is not in focus, for example, it can be dimmed. This also saves power.
- Instead of just a screensaver after several minutes (which will actually save power if mostly black), one can have the display slowly dim after a few seconds.
- Use color wisely: to show white on an OLED, you'll have to emit light from 3 different pixels (Red+Green+Blue). To show true red, only one pixel is required. This basically means that showing a colored font will be more efficient than a white one. Showing red is more efficient than orange, too.
- Use a flickering display: This might be a bit drastic - but perhaps we can have a mode in which each pixel is turned off at half the time. It'll save half the energy. An "interlaced" display is a similar idea.
So, okay, some of these can be annoying, and have only a slight effect. But these may prove a great option for long battery life. If I'm taking a digital camera on a long trek for a few days, I might be happy to be able to take more photos in exchange for a red menu on the OLED monitor.
Do you have other ideas to save power? Please comment and share!