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Watch this: Philips illuminates the future with impossibly-thin OLEDs

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philips lumiblade (dezeen)
philips lumiblade (dezeen)

Back in October we took a look at the Philips Hue — a customizable LED array that lets you manipulate which bulbs turn on when, and with what colors and intensities, all from your smartphone. Now, the company is showing what’s possible with the other white light — OLED — in a new video (below), courtesy of Dezeen. The big difference between OLED and other light sources, even LED, is that it enables a whole surface to emit light, rather than just a point, “so for the first time, people don’t need a system to spread the light, the system is, so to say, built in,” said Philips’s Dietmar Thomas. Later, Thomas shows off a prototype for an OLED window that’s transparent during the day, but can light up at night.

"In the evening you're not switching on the ceiling lamp or the wall lamp, but instead you're switching on the window."

Philips says all of the products you see in the video are made of commercially-available components, but the high prices ($556 for a 3-panel starter kit) of OLED lighting are going to limit its appeal for some time. That said, in the next five years or so, Thomas is confident that prices will drop to mass market levels, “so everyone can buy OLED systems at Ikea, for example.”