Image: An LGD 18'' rollable OLED prototype (CES 2016)

CAPE TOWN - OLED technology is a big tech term and type of technology that is currently making major waves. However, many people do not know or understand what it is. 

OLED materials were discovered back in 1950. The first practical OLED device was built in 1987 by American physical chemist Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke at Eastman Kodak. 

What is OLED?

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes)  is a flat light emitting technology, made by placing a series of organic carbon-based thin films between two conductors.

When electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. A light-emitting diode is a light source.

OLED is seen as more efficient, simpler to make, and much thinner than LCD displays as OLEDs do not require a backlight and filters. 

It offers better image quality (think blacker blacks and brighter whites)  which in turn produces better colours and infinite contrast. 

Since OLEDs are flexible, they can be used to create better transparent displays. 

This is how it can be used when making devices: 

1. Curved OLED displays, placed on non-flat surfaces
2. Wearable OLEDs
3. Transparent OLEDs embedded in windows
4. OLEDs in car windshields

5. New designs for lamps 

OLED also take less power consumption and has a faster response than traditional LED TVs.

Here are a few recent phones that feature OLED screens:

1. Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

3. OnePlus 5

4. LG V30

5. YotaPhone 3

6.Meizu Pro 7

7. Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition

8. Vivo X9s

9. iPhone X