Move over OLED, MicroLED is on Its Way

MicroLED Screens will Soon be Prominent

When smartphones were first invented, they used LCD screens.  This was the standard technology at the time, and remained in the spotlight for the first 10 years or so.  In the last couple of years there has been a big shift from LCD to OLED.  OLED screens provide a better contrast, sharper images, can be thinner, and are more efficient.  But OLED’s days are numbered, MicroLED is making a move.

MicroLED to replace OLED

MicroLED isn’t actually new technology.  It has been around since the year 2000.  What is new, however, is being able to produce it in the right way to make it affordable to put into our phones and watches.  Here’s how it works.

LCD vs OLED vs Micro LED

LCD requires multiple layers in order to work properly.  Essentially it filters an electrical current through a liquid crystal display, which combined with a backlight and a filter, create the image that we see on the screen.  The biggest problem is that the LCD doesn’t create its own light, thus the need for the backlight.  The result is that you have a thicker display.

OLED changes from LCD to LED, or light emitting diode.  The LED creates its own light, eliminating the need for the backlight module.  The O stands for organic.  This organic film mixes the red, green, and blue to create images that are sharper and contrast better than those created with an LCD screen.

MicroLED gets rid of the organic layer, and is essentially comprised of tiny LED lights.  How tiny?  Each one is less than the width of a human hair.  Each MicroLED functions as an individual pixel, and can emit its own light.  The modules are smaller, brighter, produce better image quality, and ultimately response speed vastly improves.  MicroLED is simply LEDs (you know, the lights in most Christmas lights now) shrunk down to near microscopic scale.

Here’s a great article that really dives into the science behind these screens.

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Why is the Technology Taking so Long?

If the technology was invented nearly 2 decades ago, why don’t we have it now?  The truth is that we do.  Sony made a TV using MicroLED technology back in 2012.  The problem was that it was so incredibly expensive to create, nobody would ever buy it.

Fast forward a few years, and it’s been discovered that using this LED technology in watches and phones, items at a much smaller scale than televisions, isn’t that outrageous.  With the right setup, it can be done on a mass production scale.

Apple May Pave the Way

Apple likes to take their time.  They let other phones be the first to come out with the technology, and then they improve upon it.  There are rumors, however, that Apple may be the first to jump on the MicroLED game.

In 2014 they purchased LuxVue, a company specializing in MicroLED technology.  They had made enough headway that some rumors thought this year’s Apple Watch would use MicroLED; other rumors are pointing to the 2018 watch.

iDoctor Fixes Technology

In terms of technology, a couple of years is eons.  Just look at your iPhone 6 or even 7.  It’s almost archaic already.  That means we have to keep up with the latest technology in order to repair your devices properly.  And we do just that.  When MicroLED becomes the norm, we will be able to repair your phones when they drop and break.

Here at iDoctor we are excited for MicroLED.  This technology is the starting block for ultrathin displays, and may also pave the way for bendable technology.  Give it a year and we’ll know a whole lot more.