We haven't been serving up quantum dots
news for quite as long as we've been regaling you with tales of quantum computers
, which is just as good because we're about to tell you the technology is still at least three years away from showing up in something you can buy. But, it is
getting closer, with Samsung
demonstrating a four-inch quantum dot display with full color. Quantum dots are nanocrystals that emit light when they get excited, perhaps on Christmas morning or when waiting for the list of school cancellations on a snowy morn. The size of the crystal dictates the wavelength of light emitted, and by laying precise grids of different sized crystals Samsung creates RGB pixels of the sort needed to make a display. Pixels can be applied directly to glass or to a flexible surface, and in theory they'll be far more efficient than an LCD while brighter and longer-lasting than OLED. Right now, however, they don't achieve any of those benchmarks, which is unfortunately where we circle back to the whole "three years away" thing.