In the world of Harry Potter, the wizard newspaper The Daily Prophet is characterized by photos that move on paper. When the first book of the series came out in 1997, it indeed seemed like magic was the only way moving photos would be possible.
Twenty-one years later, 2018 has shown us the lighting speed at which consumer electronics - OLED devices in particular - have developed, making The Daily Prophet one step closer to reality.
OLEDs are the pivotal technology that are (literally) changing the shape of displays. "OLED" stands for "organic light-emitting diode." Organic refers to how OLEDs are made of carbon and hydrogen. The biggest difference between LED and OLED technology is that OLEDs are produced using individual, light-emitting pixels to create images on a display. LEDs, on the other hand, act together in a single large, rigid backlight to transmit light through liquid crystal and glass layers to a display screen. Since OLEDs are so tiny, and emit light independently, they can be printed on an array of flexible substrates. Each OLED is individually lit, so there is no backlight required, enabling a thin display that can even be rolled or folded, like a piece of paper.
Image from "How LG's OLED displays will shape the future" video.
The flexibility of OLED technology has diversified the application of displays, making OLED the next target tech for major manufacturers. Most large companies are still at the "concept" stage with flexible OLED displays, developing devices to fit consumer needs while bringing down development costs.
Eventually, OLED could be present in just about every industry, with application in phones, computers/tablets, wearables (like fitness trackers), lighting (OLED wallpaper!), bendable lighting, contact lenses, clothing, and even fashionable breathalyzers. Yes, really.
|OLED Wallpaper||OLED Dress||OLED Breathalyzer|
So, in a few short years, you'll likely be able to read "muggle" news on a beautiful display with your own foldable and bendable OLED device, complete with moving pictures. And as long as we're using technology to bring magic to life, my fingers are crossed for flying cars (Where you at, Elon?).
If you want to see more, check out this video of OLED rolling up like a newspaper.