Skip to main content

Video: OLED may change the way we think about interior yacht design

What's got designers and technology experts alike buzzing about OLED?

It’s early evening in Antigua. Cocktails are poured, hors d’oeuvres are served, guests are content … the picture is perfect, save for the dreary late-day rainshower lingering outside. Then, at the push of a button, the ambiance morphs into a crystal-clear, starry night. Not a raindrop can be seen outside and glimmering constellations now grace the liner overhead. Have we been teleported to another planet? Perhaps. (Stranger things have surely happened in Antigua.) But a more rational—and not too distant—explanation might be OLED.

You’re probably familiar with LEDs, or “light-emitting diodes.” OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) are the next generation, and Fort Lauderdale-based Palladium Technologies is ready at the helm.

“OLED is a carbon-based technology made from organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied,” said Michael E. Blake, president of Palladium Technologies. “Since no backlighting or filters are required, they’re highly efficient, easier to make, and much thinner; flexible—even rollable—and transparent.”

Flexibility is the key here, especially for a yacht application. OLEDs offer superior picture quality, brilliant colors, fast response rates and a wide viewing angle.

“Imagine the whole interior of a vessel becoming a living, breathing display with indirect lighting all around you,” said Blake. “Entire walls changing color schemes at the push of a button, real-time videos taken under the waterline projecting vivid seascapes onto a salon’s headliner … the possibilities are endless.”

OLED materials were discovered in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers began embracing the technology. Today, OLED displays are made using a vacuum evaporation technique, which is relatively simple, but wildly inefficient and difficult to scale up for larger applications such as, say, an owner’s stateroom. (Fancy falling asleep in Antigua and waking up next to a babbling brook in the Cascades?) Next-gen fabricating techniques including laser forging and inkjet printing will be scalable and much more efficient. And according to Blake, they’re already in the works—likely only a couple of years out. At the very least, it’s real food for thought to the next generation of new yacht owners with a flair for the innovative.

Want to learn more? Check out the video: