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You’re in the middle of a Tom Clancy novel, immersed in a world of espionage. Then you get a sudden urge to reread Moby Dick . Because you’re reading on an electronic device, with the push of a button you can make the spy novel’s text disappear from the screen and replace it with Melville’s masterpiece. That’s the beauty of e-book readers. Like the iPod, which lets audiophiles carry their entire music collections in a gadget smaller than a deck of cards, these devices let avid readers haul dozens of books in a single lightweight tablet the size of a small paperback.

But that’s still too big for some consumers, who’ve grown accustomed to electronic devices that can slip into a pocket. So goes the thinking behind the Readius e-reader from Polymer Vision in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The company, which has a number of patents related to superthin flexible electronics, has created a rollable display using that technology and low-power, image-stable reflective-display technology from E-Ink Corp. of Cambridge, Mass. The display can be read under various lighting conditions, including direct sunlight, from all viewing angles. The 120-millimeter screen bends like a trifold wallet, forming an easily stashable 115-by-57-by-21-mm block.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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