In 1973, Prof George Gray revealed his major breakthrough that enabled liquid crystal displays to be used commercially, paving the way for the screen technology we know today from TV screens to the smartphone in your pocket.
Since then, the University of Hull has continued to house research into cutting-edge visual technologies, with the focus shifting now towards organic light-emitting diodes, known as OLEDs.
Start-up company Polar OLED, which is based on campus and draws on decades of world-leading expertise, makes and develops the wafer-thin OLEDs.
This state-of-the-art technology is thin enough to be embedded in credit cards or clothing and flexible enough to be used in paper train tickets.
Polar OLED are testing devices such as contactless credit cards which light up when a transaction is successful. Future iterations will feature in-card displays to show how much has been spent.
The team are also working on travel cards which tell the user how much credit they have left and which they will be able to top-up on the go with their smartphones.
And researchers are working on displays that could be incorporated into the packaging of high end products like spirits and fragrances.
Lead scientist Dr Stuart Kitney says the potential uses of the technology are virtually limitless.
“With the increased importance of the internet of things, we are just at the beginning of where this technology could go,” he said.