PI-SCALE flexible OLED design competition announces winner


PI-SCALE, a pilot line for the manufacture and system-level integration of flexible OLEDs into products, recently announced Eduardo Camarena as the winner of its design competition, for his proposal of a wearable fitness device, ‘Goal Colour’. As the winner, Camarena will receive a cash prize of €2000, and his winning design will be turned into a prototype model with the help of technical experts.

Set up by the PI-SCALE consortium, the competition was designed to highlight the value of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting in products, and to increase pick-up of the technology from research to pilot production. Partners include the Holst Centre, Fraunhofer FEP, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), M-Solv, Amires, Coatema, NSG Group, REHAU, BOM, DuPont Teijin Films, emdedesign GmbH, and Audi. Over 45 entries were received from individuals, groups and organisations all over the world. After careful consideration, Camarena, an architect in the UK with a passion for product design, was awarded first prize, and will now work closely with VTT, CPI, Fraunhofer FEP and the Holst Centre to fabricate his winning design.

OLED technology has many special features that Camarena utilised in his design. This includes being foldable, twistable, and bendable, as well as offering large area illumination and fine-patterned design. OLED light is also cool, meaning it can be implemented in applications where it can be touched. Camarena was decided as the winner thanks to his imaginative use of the unique OLED features, alongside his passion for utilising OLED technology in design, which was consistently evident to the project partners throughout the competition process.

The ‘Goal Colour’ was conceptualised from Camarena’s drive to produce a sport product designed wholly with people’s wellbeing in mind, instead of consumerism, as he believes is all too often the focus in product development. The device is worn around the wrist, and includes an accelerometer, so that the OLED band can change colour as the wearer achieves their sports goals. For example, if running, the ‘Goal Colour’ could change colour once a certain number of miles have passed, or when the wearer’s ideal pace is achieved. This subtle change in colour is thought to be easier to perceive when taking part in sport, compared to the quantitative measures given by other devices at present. This will allow sportspeople to reach their goals quicker, and in a more relaxed manner, as there is no need to worry about counting, reading numbers, or listening in loud environments. Camarena hopes that the ‘Goal Colour’ will also be used in non-sporting environments, for example as a soothing wearable light when reading.

“Winning the flexible OLED design competition will allow me to bring forward a project that I deeply believe in. I am very grateful to PI-SCALE for the opportunity and feel so lucky that I am going to see a prototype of one of my most technically complex products to date. I feel that this can be the first step to bring ‘Goal Colour’ to the market,” said Camarena.

Markus Tuomikoski, senior scientist and project manager from VTT, said: “We feel very proud that Camarena’s design presents unique features of flexible OLED technology. Camarena has thought of not only design uniqueness, but also the manufacturability of his design. He has also shown to be very enthusiastic to collaborate with the PI-SCALE consortium to build up the design prototype.”

Caption: The winning device of PI-SCALE’s design competition (photo: PI-SCALE)

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