OLED could become the next major illuminated touch-sensitive technology, taking advantage of the fact that the homogeneous area light-source can be used to recognize points of contact without requiring a separate touch foil as LEDs would. The system, developed by Fraunhofer IPMS, is initially being touted as a light controller, for switching and dimming, but could apparently be applied to any OLED such as those used in PMPs and other mobile devices.
"The touch function generate a completely new feeling of light. It's like magic: turn on the light simply by a hand movement" Jörg Amelung, head of business unit of organic materials and systems, Fraunhofer IPMS
The absence of heat given out by OLED makes it safe for touch-control applications, and it requires less power than traditional LCD touchscreens due to the absence of a separate backlight panel. OLED TVs are already being touted as the next big move in the HDTV market, with multiple manufacturers promising large-scale production over the next five years.
OLED brightness and efficiency is unaffected by the Fraunhofer IPMS system. There's no suggestion of when we could see products using this technology on the market.