updated 04:30 pm EDT, Fri October 10, 2008
OLED touch light prototype
At the Plastic Electronic 2008 show, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems showed the first touch-controlled flat light source. Because Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are cold to the touch, they could act as ideal touch controls. The innovation lies in the lack of any additional foils traditionally required to operate the light, which is both a switch and a source. Therefore, no additional hardware is required as the OLED is used to read the touch signal.
The technology includes an optimized readout circuit, which reduces the cost of the system compared to adding additional hardware, while not negatively affecting the efficiency of OLED light sources.
"The touch function generate a completely new feeling of light. It's like magic: turn on the light simply by a hand movement," said the head of business unit of organic materials and systems at Fraunhofer IPMS, Jörg Amelung. [via OLEDinfo]