Digital wallpaper like this is only the beginning... Photo via R▲▲S via Flickr CC
Imagine: Wallpaper that glows, lighting up a room evenly, with sunlight-like coloring, and consuming a fraction of the energy of an overhead lamp. Thanks to an enormous grant, one company is working out how to make our wallpaper into a light source, using super low-power OLED lighting technology.Gizmodo writes that the government-backed Carbon Trust has handed over $720,000 in grant money to Lomox, a company working to develop the wallpaper, which is inspired by the thin OLED televisions just now beginning to hit the market.
Lomox isn't the only company looking at how ultra-thin OLED lighting can be integrated into wallpaper. Back in March we heard about Panasonic Electric Works Co Ltd working on the same concept of turning OLED panels, which can be as thin as 1 mm, into anything from wallpaper to curtains. The Research Institute for Organic Electronics (RIOE) is also focused on creating OLED windows. And while not dealing specifically with wallpaper, Kodak has received funding from the Department of Energy to improve OLED lighting, hoping to spur the progress of the energy-saving technology.
Financial Times reports that the technology could be out as quickly as 2012, which is far sooner than the previous estimates we heard that put all this research at about 10 years away from being marketable. But with this kind of grant money being given to companies working on it - and with patents owned by Lomox that supposedly overcome the two main problems of cost and lifespan - we likely won't have to wait much longer than that to have walls that glow with sunlight-like lighting.
More on OLED Technology
GE Shows Off Cool OLED Concepts (Video)
Apple Going With OLED in New Notebooks?
Cutting Back on Colors for OLED Screens Boosts Cell Phone Battery Life by 40%
How OLEDs Work and Why They're Green (Video)