With the market shares for OLED display set to rise as much as 58% by 2018, its fair to say OLED is here to stay. It is set to eclipse the market share of TFT-LCD display to just 42%. But that hasn’t always been the case. Back in 2014, OLED just had 27% of the smartphone market while TFT-LCD dominated with the rest 73%.
OLED which is an abbreviation of “Organic Light Emitting Diode”, may sound like a fairly new technology, it isn’t so. Contrary to the belief, OLED can be traced back to 1987. Following are some of the breakthrough events in history of display in chronological order:
1897 – CRT is born :Nobel prize winning physicist and inventor, Karl Ferdinand Braun invents the first CRT ( Cathode-Ray Tube) display.
1907 – Discovery of Electroluminescence : Henry Joseph Round, a British radio researcher discovers Electroluminescence, a natural phenomenon which would go on to be the foundation of LED technology.
40s and 50s – 3D Movie Experiments : Bwana Devil becomes the first ever 3D film released by the Soviet Union in 1947. Even though the technology was revolutionary, poor visual quality put off viewers and had to be further refined.
Early 1950s – First Color TV : The curved screen is unveiled in 1952 in a handful of theatres.Around the same time in the 50s Color TV came to life.
1961 – Invention of LED :LED may sound like it has been only around for a few years but the reality couldn’t be more contrasting. Robert Biard and Gary Pittman patented infra LED (light emitting diode). The first LED wasn’t visible to human eye. The first LED was visible to human eye courtesy of Nick Holonyack, also known as the ‘father of LEDs’.
1964 – Invention of LCD and Plasma : Successful working models of LCD (liquid crystal display) and the first PDP (plasma display panel) are invented. Invention of LCD makes flat-screen TV a reality.
1965 – Touchscreen Technology : Touchscreen technology is developed by E A Johnson. Used primarily for air traffic control, implemented in ATM kiosks by 1995.
’60s and ’70s – Birth of HDTV : High-definition TV experiment initiated in Japan by Japan Broadcasting Company (NHK). Panasonic designs a TV prototype with ability to display 1,125 lines of pixel, a first at the time.
1987 – The Rise of OLED : Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke invent the OLED and are considered as the primary inventors of the OLED Display technology.
2007 – LCD Passes by Plasma : It’s no secret that Plasma TVs were more popular than LCD. All that changed when the large size and low cost of LCD attracted consumers towards it and it replaced Plasma’s as the standard.
2014 – Debut of Retina Displays : Retina display simply put is so exemplary in quality that the human eye cannot see the pixels on the screen. Retina display is exclusively used for products made by Apple.
Today one thing that’s common and a standard in each and every phone is the Touchscreen.When the first iPhone was released in 2007, in a way, it made the market accept a niche concept for what today is known as the Smartphone. Today, be it phone, tablet, laptop or even a personal computer for that matter, all have touchscreen functionality. 3D has been integrated into mainstream display with the help of 3D televisions and glasses.
The display has seen a migration from the normal TFT-LCD screen to OLED. The transition is even more apparent with AMOLED – active matrix organic light emitting diode, which increases the screen resolution and overall quality of the OLED screens. Manufactures are adopting OLED faster than ever especially in the television and smartphone market with advanced versions of OLED like Super AMOLED, HD Super AMOLED, Super AMOLED Advanced now available in the market.
The future looks promising a for OLED as it is set to outpace and eventually replace other displays.