Reducing product weight with plastic OLCDs
May 01, 2019
When describing the benefits of plastic Organic LCDs (OLCDs) for end-user products, the focus is often on OLCD’s unique attributes such as conformability, shapeability and scalability which are required by many target applications such as consumer electronics, smart home appliances and automotive. As a matter of fact there are many applications for which the thinness and ultra-light weight of OLCD are equally or more important. Here I describe some of these applications.
Laptops and tablets
I often travel for business and every time I am surprised by how heavy my bag becomes when I pack all my electronic items. Most users don’t think about the weight of their devices until they have to carry a few of them together and walk with their luggage for a long time. For business people who rely on public transport on a regular basis (whether it’s a plane, train or a tube), lighter and shatterproof laptops and tablets enabled by plastic displays would be a relief.
Speaking about traveling, aeroplanes are a good example of a market segment where weight matters a lot. For example, an airline company spends between $250-500 on fuel for every extra kilogram of mass transported throughout the year. Considering the combined weight of all the in-flight entertainment displays on an average aeroplane, the effect on fuel consumption is significant. By replacing the glass displays with thin and light-weight plastic OLCDs significant savings could be made with every single flight.
Similarly to aeroplanes, weight affects vehicle fuel consumption significantly. The HMI in cars is currently going through a transformation with a lot of the communication between the driver and the vehicle taking place via screens rather than manual knobs. As the number and size of screens in cars gradually increases, this will affect the weight and the fuel consumption. This is important particularly for electric vehicles where weight translates to range. Replacing in-vehicle glass LCDs with OLCDs (which are also conformable) can make the car lighter and hence more fuel efficient.
Glass LCD displays are often used for digital signage. Larger glass displays are very heavy and hard to install. For smaller displays the fragility of glass, combined with lack of flexibility limits the choice of surface that can be used to mount the display, for example on vehicles, bicycles or around pillars and posts. A lightweight and more robust display alternative will help to improve design and expand use cases.
Drone remote controls
Remote controls with displays are another class of products that can benefit from plastic LCDs. Drone remote controls for example, are bulky and heavy partly as a result of the glass LCD used. Continued use of these remote controls can be inconvenient or tiring for the users, so making them lighter will bring clear advantages.
If you want to learn more about the unique attributes of OLCD on plastic, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.