The 55′ LG OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode, display took Best of Show at CES 2012.  The TV is as thin as 3 credit cards in it’s most narrow point and weighs a mere 16.5 pounds.  These dimensions, coupled with the amazing picture clarity from it’s 4 color OLED technology allowed this TV to rise to the top.  It has been 15 years since flat screen TVs have emerged on the scene and since then the TV has remained relatively unchanged.  Yes, picture quality has increased greatly even as TVs have become more affordable, but the game hasn’t been turned on it’s head since then.  With the relative uneventful appearance of 3D TVs, LG is hoping their OLED display will shake things up.  Since this is new technology, being the first to get your hands on the the cutting edge TV will cost you.  Predicted to be around $8000 to $9,000, it appears as if the OLED technology will take time before it becomes affordable and is truly able to take off.  However, OLED displays are not limited to TVs alone.  Many people see practical uses in the technology’s future thanks to it’s ruggedness, flexibility, light weight, and energy efficiency.

Research and development in the field of OLEDs is proceeding rapidly and may lead to future applications in heads-up displays, automotive dashboards, billboard-type displays, home and office lighting and flexible displays. Because OLEDs refresh faster than LCDs — almost 1,000 times faster — a device with an OLED display could change information almost in real time. Video images could be much more realistic and constantly updated. The newspaper of the future might be an OLED display that refreshes with breaking news (think “Minority Report”) — and like a regular newspaper, you could fold it up when you’re done reading it and stick it in your backpack or briefcase.  So keep an eye out for OLED, it looks as though it will be around for quite some time.