Global Trends’ editors are often blown away by the tech-savvy products and projects we find on the Fast Company site and in their print magazine, but this particular post on their Fast Co.LABS blog has us feeling an entirely new level of awe! The product is Rohinni’s LightPaper™, a remarkably thin and printable source of lighting that will be rolling out in the commercial and industrial markets by the middle of this year.
So how’d they create a source of light that can be applied to any surface, anywhere, in any shape, and for any situation? By mixing ink and the tiniest of LEDs, then printing them on a conductive layer. This layer is then sandwiched between two others and sealed. Fast Co.LABS reports that the diodes, randomly dispersed on the material, are akin to the size of red blood cells; when the current runs through them, they glow.
The breakthroughs in OLED technology (such as Global Trends featured when Japanese scientists Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and American Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Prize in physics for their revolutionary invention of a blue light-emitting diode, or LED) have made this product possible. Until now, the biggest benefit consumers have seen is that televisions keep getting thinner and thinner, but this is an off-the-charts level of svelteness! What might you do with it? Well, we can just see our Global Lighting blog printed on the luminescent paper, or how about travel night-lights that tuck into a briefcase for those many nights business professionals spend in hotels while on the road?
According to Nick Smoot, the CMO of Rohinni, the process is super fast—it can almost be accomplished in an afternoon. This is a level of agility that has been unheard of until now. One of the kinks they are working out with this first version of LightPaper™ is getting the LEDs to evenly distribute when they are printed, a feat they expect to accomplish soon. We find ourselves wondering if Thomas Edison would be speechless when hearing about Rohinni’s advancements (though we bet he’d be grinning from ear to ear!).
Thanks, Fast Company, for putting this remarkable story on our radar. And for another angle on the product, take a look at the post the 3ders.org site put up regarding the Coeur d’Arlene, Idaho/Austin, Texas-based startup’s efforts. We’ll be watching to see what offshoots hit the marketplace once they do. What would you do with LightPaper?
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