TDK starts mass production of transparent organic displays

By on June 1, 2011, 8:00 AM

TDK has started mass production of a newly developed see-through passive matrix Quarter Video Graphics Array (QVGA) organic electroluminescent (EL) display, primarily aimed at mobile phones and other mobile electronic devices. The UEL476 see-through type organic EL display is meant for mobile applications: it has a field angle of 2.4 inches, a transmittance of 40 percent, a display area of 36.0mm x 47.9mm, a resolution of 240 x 320, and a brightness of 150 cd/m2.

It is see-through, but is constructed so that the display contents cannot easily be seen from behind (for enhanced privacy). In other words, if you want to text while walking, you can now do so without crashing into anything. At the same time, nobody will be able to check out what you are doing on your phone if they're looking from the other side.

Organic EL displays are formed through thin-film techniques, using organic material that emits light in response to an electric current. High brightness, wide viewing angle, and other favorable characteristics make this display type very easy on the eyes. Since it also has a fast response time, Organic EL displays have been adopted for wider use in flat panel displays.

All organic EL displays from TDK employ the passive matrix principle, where a grid of vertical and horizontal electrode lines is used to drive a line of pixels each. By contrast, an active matrix display uses a dedicated thin film transistor (TFT) to drive each pixel separately.

The use of the color filter principle, meanwhile, means that the service life of the each Red, Green, and Blue color of the RGB elements is identical, and color shift is absent. Furthermore, favorable temperature characteristics allow a wide operating range of -20°C to +85°C. Further development efforts aim to widen the range to include various color products, as well as towards further improving precision and longer service life for all types.

User Comments: 4

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PinothyJ said:

Why do I want a display that is going to be HARDER to see when I am texting or watching video content? Unless they are giving me my glasses with appropriate HUD that somehow are able to be in focus, this seems like a waste in its current implementation.



That is cool... but why would I want a transparent display. I think after the first week of the "ooooohhh" and "aaahhhh" factor it will then become pointless and annoying. Now if there would be a way to adjust the level of opacity, then I can see it being useful. For most situations you would use full opacity, but occasionally you may find it useful to use partial transparency.

PinothyJ made an interesting point though, using this for a HUD in a vehicle or aircraft could have a lot of advantages. A full color display instead of the common mono HUD's. Maybe soon the days of an instrument panel would be ancient history, and our tach and speed would be displayed directly on the windscreen, with... wait for it, adjustable opacity setting. I'd be sold on that one...

Hasbean said:

I believe Apple is keen on utilising it in their soon to be released version 8. There are some apps already in the wings. There's the iEar, where passers-by get to look at an augmented reality earring for those rather fetching girly boys, and wax build-up viewer for them menly men. There's also an accessory, the iBlock which clips onto the back and front of the transparent display to give extra special privacy, so you don't endup looking like their latest iPrick.

Burned said:

It would be great for all those people you see walking around with their head down while texting.

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