In 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue, a company researching MicroLED display technology. This month, Oculus has acquired another MicroLED company, InfiniLED. MicroLED is a new self-emissive display technology that unlike OLED uses inorganic material.
A new type of display
MicroLED technology was invented in 2000 by a research group of the Texas Tech University. Several companies have since begun researching and developing MicroLED display technology under various names.
In 2014, Apple acquired LuxVue Technology, a company developing MicroLED display technology. At that time it was rumored that Apple was aiming to use the new display technology in Apple Watch but as you may know Apple Watch currently uses OLED technology. The Apple Watch series 2 has an upgraded OLED display that is capable of reaching over 1000 nits peak brightness. One of the major advantages of MicroLED is said to be the high brightness level that can be achieved while keeping power consumption to a minimum.
Facebook’s Oculus has also acquired a company developing MicroLED technology this month, according to local media in Ireland and reported by VentureBeat. Oculus has confirmed that the team will join Oculus Research in a new office in Cork, Ireland. This may suggest that Oculus is considering using MicroLED in future VR headsets. Oculus is currently using OLED displays in the Rift headset.
In 2012, Sony showcased a Crystal LED prototype that builds on MicroLED and Samsung is working to combine MicroLED with quantum dots in "QLED".
Like all new display technologies, it will take considerate effort to mass produce MicroLED but in the future it could emerge as an alternative to OLED as LCD slowly fades away.