Business Development Manager, Philips
Knappstein, 41, is helping Philips bring OLEDs to market by selling do-it-yourself kits, including glowing sheets called Lumiblades, to kick-start their use within the creative community.
"OLEDs are a disruptive technology. Traditional lighting manufacturers are always thinking dollar per thousand lumen. They aren't going to be the ones that drive innovative applications. When we show OLEDs to people in architecture, product design, or surface design, they say, 'Wow.' They understand it not as a light source, but as a material.
OLEDs by themselves are not nice, but if you add sensors or programming, then you get something great. That inspired us to get this technology — much earlier than normal — out of labs and into the hands of creatives. They can make a product based upon the OLED being flexible, being a mirror, or having the option to be structured. We get their juices flowing, and they start developing products. We want to prevent this from becoming just another light source."
A version of this article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.