Flexible Army Wristband Commands a Bright Future for OLEDs

By Wesley Fenlon

If it's good enough for the Army, it's good enough for us!

Army tech tends to be a step or two ahead of the curve, and this time the story revolves around up-and-coming OLED screen technology. The Army is working on a wrist-mounted OLED display that should look suspiciously familiar to discerning Spartans. It’s one of those flexible displays we should be seeing on the mass market in 3-5 years, and it’s already capable of streaming video from unmanned planes.

There’s one other aspect of the Army’s arm display that’s leaps and bounds over the OLEDs we’re used to--efficiency. The average OLEDs in our phones and televisions are only capable of converting about 25% of the electric current that passes through them into light, and the rest escapes as heat. The material used in the Army’s display? It uses only a quarter of the power and boasts a theoretical efficiency rating of 100%. Even if we’re a few years from the production of these materials, they promise huge benefits for a massive array of electronics and should help usher in cheaper OLEDs, all more efficient than the LCDs that currently dominate the display market.