At the rate handheld gadgets are shrinking and condensing into a single über-device, it isn’t a stretch to picture a future where we’re strapping touchscreen mini-PCs onto our wrists like bracelets. As technology advances and flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens become more sophisticated and cost-efficient, wearable devices like Sony’s conceptual Nextep Computer Bracelet could become as ubiquitous as iPods in as little as 10 years. They might even be solar-powered.
ALL IN THE WRIST
Designed by Hiromi Kiriki, the OLED-constructed Nextep is a huge step up from ye olde calculator wristwatch. It features a holographically projected screen, pull-out keyboard panels, and one-touch access to your social networks. For tasks that demand more than a few cursory taps—a marathon IM session, perhaps?—the Nextep can be laid flat in the manner of a digital tablet.
OLEDS measure only 100 to 500 nanometers thick—about 200 times thinner than the width of a human hair.
OLEDs are made up of thin films of organic compounds that generate light when zapped with electricity. Besides consuming less power than light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs), OLEDs also offer brighter, sharper resolutions, all while measuring 100 to 500 nanometers thick (that’s roughly 200 times thinner than the width of a human hair!)
This may sound like a pipe dream, but Sony is already working on an entire line of OLED computer screens and televisions, which it will begin releasing this year. That’s one small step for science fiction, one giant leap for real-world computing to come.