OLED car sunroof drinks in sun by day, provides light at night

Remember that transparent OLED TV from CES 2012? Well, here's another application of that technology: as a multi-functional sunroof for a car. Better yet, it's one you'd never have to open or close, because it's way smarter than that.

Philips, along with chemical company BASF, created this concept with a mind to rethink how we approach a car's roof. The design calls for an OLED automotive topper equipped with solar panels. During the day, your roof would be transparent and let light in, while charging up at the same time. At night, the roof would be opaque, and that charge would then power a little ambient lighting.

It's interesting less for what it does, than for what it represents: smart materials that don't necessarily jeopardize the integrity of the car while adding some functionality in at the same time. We're not there yet, of course — and who likes driving with a light on inside the car, anyway — but hey, it's a cool-looking roof interior if nothing else.

BASF, via The Verge, via CNET

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