Kodak demos underwater flexible OLEDs

September 3, 2009 // 2:56 p.m.

Tags: #flexible-oled #kodak #oled #playmobil #rugged-oled #underwater-display #underwater-oled #waterproof-oled

Okay, so we might be waiting a while until OLED displays become "as inexpensive as printing newspapers," but how do you fancy a flexible display that operates underwater?

That's exactly what the boffins at Kodak have been working on, opening the door for rain-resistant gadgets and an e-book reader you'll feel comfortable using in the bath. As shown over on Maximum PC, the demonstration shows the curvable display submerged in a jar of water - and held in place by clips with what appear to be hippopotamuses on them, because Kodak engineers are just that awesome - with giant, glowing fish entertaining a small crowd of Playmobil figures - again, because Kodak engineers are awesome.

While the technology is currently limited to a single colour - although in a variety of brightnesses, giving the impression of differing shades for more detailed images - the company believes that its robust technology could solve many of the issues that plague OLED use outdoors, such as its apparent sensitivity to moisture. Whether this will actually lead to more rugged portable devices or just annoying animated advertising remains to be seen, although Kodak believes that the glowing screen could "have broad applications in the lighting industry."

While the world might not be quite ready for a giant, eerily glowing representation of a fish in their nearest body of water, it's certainly interesting to see continued innovation in the field of OLED displays. With Sony having already started work on flexible screens - and, we are assured, not purely to make a joke about squeezing Beyonce - Kodak's ruggedisation process could well be the next step into making a truly portable device that can be used and stored pretty much anywhere.

Can you think of uses for a flexible OLED display that operates underwater, or do you just want a gadget that you don't have to hide every time it rains? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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