Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flexible OLED - dream on

Like Baldrick in Blackadder, I’ve come up with a cunning plan – to design the ultimate mobile computing device and win fame and fortune.

What we need is a device for all situations and applications. Laptops? Too big to pull out in an elevator. Smartphones? Screen too small for – well, anything. Netbooks? Is that a netbook in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

No, we need radically new technology and design.

My idea: a modular device with separate flexible OLED screen (robust, easy to stow), paperback-size (or smaller) CPU/storage unit, keyboard (flexible?), phone with Wi-Fi and small touchscreen, all communicating over Bluetooth, ultra-wideband or whatever.

Just want to make a voice call? Pull out the phone. It communicates with the CPU/storage unit (tucked in pocket or briefcase) to find the number. Need to check your e-mail or make a video call in the back of a cab? Pull the phone (it works as a wireless controller) and screen.

Need to respond at length to an e-mail? Pull the keyboard and screen. And back at the office, all the pieces fit into a docking station. It’s your smartphone, laptop, desktop, netbook – in one. Or four.

We might need to design new apparel to house the gear when you're mobile. And a viable FOLED (see videos re: Sony and Samsung flexible OLED prototypes here and here) is still some years away – despite recent news from the University of Arizona of advances that could hasten commercialization of the technology.

I did say, “like Baldrick in Blackadder.” Those who know the show - possibly the greatest sitcom of all time IMHO - will understand this is not the highest recommendation.

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