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Philips developing energy gathering OLED sunroof concept, leaves roof open for other exciting applications


Philips and chemical company BASF have recently teamed up to create an OLED concept for your car that would also function as a high-tech window when switched off, according to a recent article in PhysOrg.

OLED-Lighting-Display-OffWhile this isn’t the first we have heard of transparent display technology, it’s certainly the first time we have heard of applying it to automobiles by utilizing OLEDs — although GM’s Windows of Opportunity project comes close.

Philips, along with BASF, is hoping its collaborative efforts garner interest from the automotive community as well as consumers by leading the research in this area. While driving, Philip’s new technology would allow drivers to have a transparent view of the outside of the car in addition to providing ambient OLED lighting. Philips even suggests that the panels could be fitted with solar panels allowing it to naturally charge during the day without cause for concern, and creating a self-powered sunroof in the process.

“This combination allows the driver to enjoy a unique open-space feeling while it generates electricity during the day and pleasantly suffuses the interior with the warm light of the transparent, highly efficient OLEDs at night,” said Dr. Felix Görth, head of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and Organic Photovoltaics at BASF Future Business GmbH.

OLED-Lighting-Display-OnFor those that might not be entirely familiar, Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are tiny organic compounds which illuminate when struck with an electric current, they also happen to be the next big trend in high definition televisions. But instead of just applying that tech to your living room, Philips is also looking to plant it in your car.

At the moment, we are not sure we’re entirely sold on the idea of having ambient lighting present while we drive. However, we do think there is a wealth of possibility with this exciting and new technology. If Philips and BASF can manage to power more than just the OLED sunroof with outfitted solar panels, like other parts of a car, or even apply the technology to other practical non-automotive uses, we do think they might be onto something beyond merely enhancing the traditional driving experience. 

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