It's almost 2013, and with that, I wish everyone sincere wishes to a wonderful new year. Although not quite 2013 yet, the tenth edition 2013 findings from the New Media Consortium Horizon Project is out. The report identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Twelve emerging technologies are identified across the horizon over the next one to five years.
Flexible Displays is one technology I'm highlighting here. Organic light emitting diode displays (OLED), which first entered the mass market in 2004 is different from traditional glass-based LCD units as OLED displays are manufactured on thin, pliable plastics, prompting the term "flexible displays.” The arrival of the world’s thinnest OLED display in 2008 by Samsung introduced a screen that was pliable and could easily be folded — features that gave rise to the ideas of unbreakable smartphones and bendable tablets. By 2009, popular news outlets including CBS and Entertainment Weekly were including “video in print” inserts in smaller circulations of their magazines, demonstrating the new technology. Opportunities offered by flexible OLED screens in educational settings is now being experimented for e-texts, e-readers, and tablets. Flexible displays can wrap around curved surfaces, allowing for the possibility of smart tables and desks!
What is the relevance for Teaching, Learning, Research, or Creative Inquiry?
- Flexible screens can easily be attached to objects or furniture, regardless of their shape, and can even be worn — making them far more adaptable and portable than standard computer screens and mobile devices.
- Prototypes for flexible displays in the form of “e-paper” that can be crumbled up and discarded just like real paper. This will be revolutionary to e-book publishers, librarians, and others to reimagine how digital textbooks and e-readers are produced and delivered with inexpensive low-cost e-reading devices (on paper!)