Wearables are a growing, and very exciting, part of the tech world. There is potential for everything from seamless on-the-go computing to good old self-expression. Progress is being made in leaps and bounds, but one big challenge that still remains is how to make a fabric-friendly display that actually works in the real world.
A new development from researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) may be a big step forward. Their breakthrough is a process for making OLED thread that’s perfect for use in wearables. The benefit is obvious: the fabric of your garment itself can light up, as opposed to the more ham-fisted approach of sticking a display onto it.
The key to the breakthrough is the manufacturing process used to make the OLED thread. The method they came up with starts with a PET thread, which is a very command textile material. That’s then dipped into a series of solutions to build up the necessary layers for an OLED. Using this process, the team was able to make OLED thread that has luminescence and efficiency on par with traditional planar displays.