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Displays Sony Science Technology

Sony Unveils Flexible OLED Thinner Than a Hair 274

Elliot Chang writes "For Sony's newest display, the company decided to throw into the mix ultra-thinness (just 80m or a bit thinner than a human hair) and the energy-saving power of OLEDs. The new prototype is so bendy that it can be wrapped around a pencil while still streaming video!"
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Sony Unveils Flexible OLED Thinner Than a Hair

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  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:38PM (#32350694) Homepage

    > just 80m or a bit thinner than a human hair

    80 meters is a pretty substantial hair.

  • by egcagrac0 ( 1410377 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:42PM (#32350754)

    If you can't mu, u.

  • by exhilaration ( 587191 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:42PM (#32350756)
    You can watch the video on akihabaranews []
  • I can finally watch a distorted version on my favorite show! Woohooo!
    • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:08PM (#32351040) Homepage

      Well, there are some advantages to distortion. Think the girl in your adult video is a bit too chunky? Just bend the edges of the screen toward you!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sznupi ( 719324 )

      I imagine such screens would be useful during the process of manufacture of various gadgets (and after production remaining in one shape, with hard translucent shell around it; otherwise it would be damaged too easily). In that case distortion shouldn't be a problem.

      • Re:That's awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Garble Snarky ( 715674 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:49PM (#32351526)
        Or to make devices with retracting/rollup screens, that's what I'm really looking forward to.
        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          The only small consumer product (to be most general) with large and thin retracting/rollup part that I can think of is a measurement equipment. Similar idea with the stripe being much wider and containing a screen probably can't be made sturdy enough... (and cheaply enough)

          I suspect one should look at rollup screens, that are shown now and then, mostly as a nice demo with easy appeal. Not much more perhaps even until the time of things like Nokia Morph (which is a quite different ballgame) or contact lenses

    • I think the point of this is to have curved displays. Currently if you want to have a really wide display you're stuck looking at portions at an angle. But with this sort of technology you could bend the screen a bit on a fixed basis and have all portions of the display more or less equidistant from you. It would be awesome for gaming. Imagine driving your car and being able to look around you the way that you would in real life. Or a FPS where you can more or less look over your shoulder. It'd definitely b
  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:43PM (#32350762)

    Flexible gadgets are undeniably sexy

    I kept telling her that, but she wouldn't fall for it.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:44PM (#32350778)

    The new prototype is so bendy that it can be wrapped around a pencil while still streaming video!"

    and to think, in my day we were happy with a plastic woman whose undies floated off when you tipped it up.

  • by ArbitraryDescriptor ( 1257752 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:44PM (#32350782)
    Granted, it's the best video quality I have seen wrapped around a pencil, but those artifacts are pretty unacceptable. Are they supposed to be there?
    • by ArbitraryDescriptor ( 1257752 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:48PM (#32350828)
      Gizmodo [] has a video. The 'dead' strips seem to change as it get's bent. It's cool.. but that doesn't seem like a problem easily solved.
      • For a prototype, though, this is pretty smurfing impressive.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:05PM (#32351024)
          For a prototype, though, this is pretty smurfing impressive.

          Yeah, too many people here don't seem to acknowledge that this is an early prototype. They're acting like Sony's going to start marketing these things as is in a few weeks or something.
      • by Valdrax ( 32670 )

        The 'dead' strips seem to change as it get's bent.

        I don't see it. Looks to me like the stripes of dead pixels are pretty consistent and don't appear or disappear as it rolls up.

        • You're right, I watched it a dozen more times, I thought they were disappearing where the screen was bending, and other times they were just hard to see after an unroll because the color of the video obscured them.
      • by Trinn ( 523103 )

        I'm pretty sure these artifacts are actually a result not of the display itself but whatever connector elements are used to actually drive the oled pixels, as they can appear and disappear, and are forming one pixel wide lines, suggesting problems with the horizontal and vertical electrodes that are undoubtedly laid across the display in a grid (one layer H, one layer V, display between), and specifically, problems with whatever method they are using to essentially glue/solder/otherwise make connection at t

      • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
        I can't access the video at the moment, but if the broken "pixels" go away again when the screen is unbent they've still got something great. How many people desperately want animated pencils? The useful bit is that the screen doesn't break when you wrap it up like that. They can attach such screens to spring loaded rollers, like old style movie screens. You unroll it when you want to watch something, and roll it back up for easy storage when you're done.
      • What? They seem pretty static to me. And, you really think prototype LCDs never ever ever ever ever had stuck rows due to bad connections? And you think bad connections are an almost insurmountable problem? :/
    • Are they supposed to be there?

      No, they are lines of dead and/or stuck pixels. If you notice, they are all either red, green, blue, or black lines. What this means is that the control lines, or power feeds for those lines of pixels are bad/malformed.

  • Too bad. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Merls the Sneaky ( 1031058 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:51PM (#32350854)

    Too bad sony is making it. Guess I will have to wait for a chinese knockoff. No way is sony getting any of my money.

    • You realize that nearly anything you buy may have components by Sony somewhere inside right? Video encoders, audio decoders, LCDs of all kinds, various DSPs, DACs, etc.

      Get over yourself. Sony pulled a stunt FIVE YEARS AGO. Sony's also a huge company that produces a lot of different components used by a variety of manufacturers.

      • by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <.hector. .at.> on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:17PM (#32351134) Homepage

        Sony pulled a stunt FIVE YEARS AGO.

        Try last month. They unconditionally (and probably illegally) pulled out a major feature of the PS3 for all PS3 owners.

        • by doctor_no ( 214917 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:12PM (#32351808)

          GIve me a break, people that spew this BS haven't actually used Linux on the PS3.

          It was NOT a "major" feature, I was on the YDL forums (the most active PS3 Linux community online) and it was a ghost town.

          Quite frankly, PS3 on the Linux was useless, it had 256MB or RAM, less then 200MBs were usable, you could hack it to access GPU memory but it was overall pretty much useless. PPU builds of applications were hard to find, you were stuck without Flash (crappy Gnash work around), and old version of Firefox (no HTML5), and any cheap netbook would run circles around it.

          The worst part is after 3 years of Linux on the PS3 nobody made any substantial Cell applications. There was barely any community support. Nobody cared.

          All these whiners complaining about he loss of Linux of the PS3; where the hell were you when it was available?

        • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @03:33PM (#32352090)
          and people are still unsuspectingly installing rootkits using Sony CDs made several years ago... I have a few CDs I have to hold down the left shift key for when loading them just to be doubly sure...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by VGR ( 467274 )

        Get over yourself. Sony pulled a stunt FIVE YEARS AGO.

        And aside from the price of minor public outrage, they have paid virtually no price for doing it. (Forgive me if I don't view having to pay each affected customer $7.50 or a voucher for a free song download as a significant punishment.)

        You're correct that completely avoiding Sony products is next to impossible, but that's hardly a reason to give up on trying to impose a punishment. Where choice exists, one can choose not to go with Sony.

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:36PM (#32351350) Homepage

        Nope. all my panasonic gear has NO sony components in it.

        no Sony chips inside. It's one reason why I went Panasonic... they dont use ANY sony parts and are a glass maker on their own as well.

        • What about your Celphone? Your car? or any number of electronic devices you own?

          It's fucking ridiculous. Great, you avoid anything sony and I'll go look at the cool new flexible display.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            Cellphone = iPhone and no sony chips.

            Car = GM and nope, Delphi does not source sony chips. In fact sony does not have any chips for engine management or automotive systems.

            Crestron gear - i doubt it. Coffee maker has no chips. Stove, Fridge... not a chance.

            Sony really is not a massive chip maker anymore. It's rare to have a sony chip anymore unless it's a specific sony technology or device... Blu Ray players... They have a sony parts...

            I will not buy a blu ray player. It's a dumb thing to own IMO. I

      • No No No. What I said was, is like Sony guts.

    • Too BAD? Do you see anyone else making stuff like what Sony does? They are clearly always a step or 10 ahead of everyone else. They maybe assholes about many things, but first of all, the company is big and different people are responsible for different things, their research is great. Secondly, they are likely to sell licenses on production to other companies as well, so you will see these screens on other pieces of electronic equipment that is not directly coming out of Sony.

      As to Chinese knockoffs, t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        They are clearly always a step or 10 ahead of everyone else

        Like in mobile phones? Or music players

        Sony is a lot like HP--a once-great engineering company that has been given over too and ruined by marketing drones, at least at the consumer product level. Their pro video equipment is still great stuff but even in that realm Sony no longer rules the way it once did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Indeed; they taught me that they were not a reputable company when they put malware on music CDs, and again when they took away functionality from devices their poor customers had purchasd after those customers had bought and paid for those devices. Sony coouldn't be more evil if Satan himself was CEO.

      In fact, they're so untrustworthy in my eyes I won't even believe in this breakthrough until the Amazing Randi says it's not an illusion.

      Why anyone would give Sony their hard-earned money, especially for compu

  • But when? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:53PM (#32350876) Journal
    But when will I be able to buy a reasonable-size and reasonable-price display that uses OLEDs? Lab toys are cute, but real products are sexy.
    • about 20 years from now the prices will be in the range that you'll like, before then, if you have to ask about the price - you can't afford it.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      You can already get phones with AMOLED displays, so I can't imagine more than 5 or 10 years, but if you want bargain basement prices you may need to wait longer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I want an Oompa-Loompa NOW!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      But when will I be able to buy a reasonable-size and reasonable-price display that uses OLEDs? Lab toys are cute, but real products are sexy.

      Apple apparently considered an OLED display for the iPhone 4G but decided against it because of cost and reliability concerns. However, the fact that they even considered it suggests that it won't be all that much longer before manufacturers start shipping OLEDs in actual products.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:56PM (#32350906) Homepage Journal

    How much?
    How big can you get it?
    How long will it last?
    When will it ship?

    You know the kind of important info...

  • this gives a whole new aspect to the House-of-Mirrors. Gawd! I want to be a kid again....

  • by aapold ( 753705 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @01:57PM (#32350918) Homepage Journal
    I like the idea of being able to switch my aspect ratio by stretching the screen.....
  • 50% Hurr hurr they said 80 meters in the summary!
    50% The pixels are broken.

    I guess it'll take a while for the intelligent posters to come up with any decent feedback on this technology...

  • Just curious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xacid ( 560407 )

    Why do the images of both of those prototypes have lines going all across them? I'd imagine you'd want to demo something like that without that being a side effect - unless it's intentional...? I'm sure someone here knows. :)

    • I'd say they're in the research phase. The technology is being shown both to impress us and to show it's possible. The problems are either do to wear and tear, technology at such an early stage isn't particularly durable, or there are a few issues that still need to be addressed.

  • By making it so thin does that mean they are using less exotic/toxic materials? Or does it simply mean that they've found a way to reduce the size of the packaging around the OLED pixels?

    • It means they've found more potent/exotic chemicals than before, so now they can make it smaller and maintain toxicity.

  • by Tekfactory ( 937086 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:14PM (#32351104) Homepage


    Sunglasses with HUD, Contact Lenses with onscreen displays, Fingernail Applicques a la Cyberpunk. Subdermal vital signs readout, Passports, Driver's Licenses and Credit Cards with really cool security features.

    Every book and magazine you wanted to read ever on a 1 or 2 page Ebook reader way thinner than anything we have now. Yeah, batteries and storage will take up some room. At some point the interface, and charging equipment will be the bottleneck to making smaller system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by robot256 ( 1635039 )

      At some point the interface, and charging equipment will be the bottleneck to making smaller system.

      Not even. Just wait til resonant inductive charging and micro high-speed RF become common, then your paper-thin ereader will have wi-fi and a constant power source.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      you still have focal point problems. Been there done that. did research on information HUD's with the big guys..

      It's hard to get past the change in focus. you cant have a perfectly clear hud superimposed over your vision at all times.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @02:44PM (#32351442)

      Every book and magazine you wanted to read ever on a 1 or 2 page Ebook reader way thinner than anything we have now.

      You're thinking in the wrong dimension. This is working towards an ebook reader which you can roll up so you can carry it around in your shirt pocket. Back in ancient times, they rolled up parchment so it would take less storage space. Those scrolls got replaced by books with pages because you needed to keep scrolling parchment to continue reading, and it was easier to flip a bunch of pages than to scroll to the section you wanted.

      Ebook readers eliminate the need to physically turn pages, and so once again rolling becomes the most space-efficient storage method.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Well, not exactly. A Piece of paper lying flat would require less space than a rolled up piece of paper. A book not only easier to read, but also very space efficient. Considering an Iphone is already small enough to fit in your pocket, why would you make it bulkier by putting it into a scroll?

        Making it foldable does double its ability to be stored in spaces of varying dimensions, but its not like making a device designed to play video ROLL up is going to make it any more efficient, unless you have a video

    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      Sunglasses with HUD, Contact Lenses with onscreen displays,

      Your eye can't focus on those, unless you're tragically myopic, and then you're gneeing over a flexible screen on coke-bottle glasses...

      Subdermal vital signs readout

      Interesting, but a bit clunky when you add in power and I/O.


      You want a passport that has a variable display? So would a lot of crooks.

      Driver's Licenses and Credit Cards with really cool security features.

      Which will still be summarily ignored by crooks ordering online using your

    • I personally like the idea of ultra-light, ultra-thing displays being stitched into the skin to create modifiable tattoo platforms. Of course, the day someone learns how to hack it and writes, "Insert Penis Here!" on your new, super cool video tattoo will suck. Then again, it will be funny when you learn how to do that to someone else.
    • How about on a T-shirt? One across the chest that alternates between "Do Not Look at My Breasts" and a video of a pair of breasts -- just stupid enough to sell a few million at $500 each. Guess it is time for me to file that patent.
  • Nope. Not a good idea. The pattern would keep changing. You could never line it up. Which as any married person knows is the worst type of sin.
  • This is... OLED NEWS

  • With this out in the wild, cutting video gets a new meaning. Right beneath paper cuts.

Nothing succeeds like excess. -- Oscar Wilde