The new digital battlefield

One of the most exciting areas of innovation right now is the screens themselves, particularly the OLED technology. Although it may seem like just another addition to the alphabet soup for underpaid teenagers to confuse us with at Best Buy, this really does represent a fundamental change.

The screens are made of special materials that don’t need to be back-lit and back-lighting is what makes screens heavy and clunky. So these will be lighter, thinner and eventually much cheaper than we ever thought possible. To get an idea how different the experience will be, check out this super cool video from Corning.

How close are we? At CES 2012, LG showed of a 55 inch OLED that will retail for about $5000 later this year. Samsung had a smart window that was completely transparent. In the future, they will become bigger and much, much cheaper. Michio Kakupredicts they will be eventually cost about as much as wallpaper and be almost as thin.

The bottom line is that we’ll be using screens for a lot more than a viewing experience, but as an integral part of our environment.