E-paper and OLEDs
E-paper can also bend like the newest OLED and LCD displays, but is much more energy efficient as it is a bistable (only uses power when changing the image) system that does not require a backlight. Readable in any light regular paper is, e-paper promises to create a new means of accessing information that will challenge traditional paper media. This e-paper display (EPD) from LG Display uses e-ink core tech and LG driver and backplane technology.
Here's an e-paper electronic notepad development kit from E-Ink. That means there will be a bunch of devices with e-paper pads just around the corner. This kit contains everything an engineer needs to integrate a daylight-visible bistable rewritable electronic sketch pad into their designs.
There must have been a rule at the show for every vendor to have at least one flexible (or at least bendy) display at their booth. This prototype media player with curved OLED display was a joint venture between Universal Display and LG Display. Due to their high brightness and contrast, OLED displays will dominate high-performance portable device applications. (That market niche is also very forgiving of OLED's aging issues, as a portable device's lifetime is significantly shorter than a traditional home display product.
As we pointed out, OLED's thin profile, high brightness, color saturation, and contrast make it a very good display for small-form-factor devices and interesting configurations. This OLED notepad concept piece from Samsung SDI had a lot of people drooling.
One of the issues of OLEDs is their sensitivity to oxygen and moisture, resulting in color shift as the phosphor degrades over time. One way to get around that is to use the OLED as backlight. A white OLED BLU-driven display will not have the color-shift issues of an RGB OLED, but still be extremely thin with excellent color saturation due to the higher quality of white light provided by the OLED. This prototype from Kodak uses an OLED BLU with advanced color filter technology.
Even though aging issues make larger OLED displays problematic, that doesn't mean that there aren't any large OLEDs around. This collection of 32-inch OLED displays from Samsung SDI shows that large OLEDs are not just one-off samples, but are truly on a commercialization process that will result in a finished product.
On a slightly different note...
One of the reasons we develop new technology is so we can create cool new devices with it. Anyone who knows me knows I love the gadgets. At the Kopin booth, I found the Spy Video ATV-360, which uses a Kopin microdisplay-based light engine in the operator visor. The ATV-360 is presented as the first remote-controlled Spy Gear vehicle to offer video and audio transmission, full-circle spin control, and tank tracks. It will be available by the holidays for about a hundred bucks. I wish I had toys like this when I was a kid.