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Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (, a leading distributor and solutions provider with nearly 15 years specializing in the global LCD display industry and PCAP touchscreens. This blog is an open resource for the display industry and welcomes content and sponsorship from readers. Contact us to discuss how we can work together on Display Alliance. For display panels, visit the Smarter Glass display database to search and compare thousands of panels side-by-side.

Taking Touch-Based Display Interfaces to the Next Level "It is time to take touch-based interfaces to the next level, and a UK startup called Ultrahaptics proposes to do just that by providing multi-point, mid-air, haptic feedback. The company has developed a novel approach using an old technology, promising to overcome the limitations found in current touch-based systems and open the door for a fundamental shift in the way people interact with electronic devices. ...In the medical arena, the incorporation of touch-based interfaces in systems presents its own hurdles. While touchscreens provide a fast and efficient way to interact with healthcare equipment, they also pose hygiene risks arising from the very physical contact that makes the interface so effective. What all these applications require is touch without touch. To meet this unique demand, developers have turned to 2-D arrays of ultrasound transducers, or emitters, to create haptic feedback systems. The arrays create airwaves that stimulate neuroreceptors in the skin, allowing users to feel sensations on their hands. By modulating the output of the emitters, a system can induce a variety of tactile sensations. However, implementing this approach comes with a fair share of difficulties." via IHS Electronics360

4-D laser printing: holograms and beyond ""Not long after we received the NSF funding, we were able to create something called the direct-write laser scanner (DWLS), which allows us to create nearly perfect geometric phase holograms," says Escuti, an engineer at North Carolina State University. "They look like flat, semi-translucent plates, but they give us unprecedented control over the behavior of light. We can use them to make more efficient displays for mobile devices, sensors with greater resolution, and, frankly, we're still discovering all of the potential applications for this technology." To make geometric phase holograms, the DWLS "prints" using an ultraviolet laser on a super-thin film--only about 50 nanometers thick. The film is made of a photoreactive polymer that responds to both the intensity and the polarization of the light. When the DWLS is done printing, a much thicker layer of liquid crystal is applied, amplifying the pattern on the underlying thin film. To understand how the DWLS works, you have to understand that it doesn't have an inkjet--it prints light, and it prints in four dimensions." via National Science Foundation

How LED display technology creates this dazzling, data-driven chandelier "Soaring 33 stories above downtown Pittsburgh and built to use half the energy consumed by typical office buildings, this LEED Platinum-exceeding glass and steel edifice, complete with double-skin façade and solar chimney, has been heralded as the greenest skyscraper ever completed. (Seattle’s six-story Bullitt Center still likely rules when it comes to green commercial buildings.) And as for the Tower at PNC Plaza's main lobby, it's one high-rise lobby that can never, ever be accused of being soulless. ...And, as PNC explains, the installation itself is, go figure, super-efficient: Each panel has liquid crystal film that becomes clear when it receives electricity, or opaque without it. Inside is a grid of 8 LEDs that show a range of colors. These elements can be used simultaneously or separately to create animations with a variety of color, motion, and diffusion. The liquid crystal film draws no energy when opaque and uses very little when transparent, while LEDs use less energy than incandescents, making the Beacon highly energy-efficient." via Mother Nature Network

Can China's LCD Panel Industry Dominate By 2018? "It is being predicted that China will become the world leader in LCD panels in 2018 by beating Korea, as the nation began to make massive investments in LCD panels used in smartphones and flat TVs. Japan’s Nippon Keizai Newspaper reported that China’s four leading display companies, such as the BOE Technology Group, will build seven big factories in China with investments of about US$25 billion for three years. According to the newspaper, the investment volume is very large compared to the fact that Samsung Electronics invests US$3.5 to 4 billion in the LCD business a year. Chinese companies with strong financial support from the Chinese government will lift China over Taiwan in 2017 and Korea in 2018 in terms of the volume of LCD panel production, the newspaper expected. It is said that despite an economic slowdown, China began such massive investments as it intends to escape from the market structure where China depends on Korea and Taiwan for 70 percent of its demand for LCD panels. It is expected that this move by China will give Korean companies two troubles – a drop in exports to China and a price war triggered by an increase in LCD panel supplies by China." via BusinessKorea

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In Search of the Perfect Pixel: What Are the New Developments in LCD Panels? "Another development that we do not readily see immediately is the inclusion of Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) in displays. It is an Internet-standard protocol for managing devices on IP networks. Historically, we have had devices that typically support SNMP, including routers, switches, servers, workstations, printers, modem racks– and now finally displays, as LG showed at InfoComm 2015. SNMP is widely used in network management systems to monitor network-attached devices for conditions that warrant administrative attention. Having this available on large scale displays is a great addition, but one that may be overlooked. Consider the ability to monitor and manage the health of multiple displays across an office complex using standard tools the IT department already has. Also, think about the implications for digital signage applications. One last development that we see gaining traction is System on a Chip or SoC for short. Samsung did most of the pioneering work on this and now has been followed by others. The SoC is a mini computer built into the display in the form of a chip. It can act as a media player for digital signage or perform other computer-based tasks but it eliminates the need for external devices in many cases. Some of these, like the units developed by Samsung run proprietary software, but we are seeing more “open” platforms, like the WebOS SoCs offered by LG, and the Android powered devices offered by BenQ." via AVNetwork

What is "technorating" with digital signage? "Back in 2008, LG Electronics coined the term "techorating" for that latter one, a fusion of technology and decorating, using tech to create or be an element of interior design and decor. At the time, LG was focused more on the consumer- or residential-grade market, even enlisting the help of celebrity interior designer Doug Wilson of TLC's "Trading Spaces" as the first official "Techorator" to develop consumer tips and tricks to guide consumers through the techorating process. Since then, LG and all the digital signage display manufacturers from Christie to NEC to Samsung have explored ways their professional- or commercial-grade displays or projectors could be used in a kind of digital signage techorating for professional spaces and businesses, whether it's in a corporate or hotel lobby, restaurant dining room or even a museum. Display provider Planar Systems Inc. helped lead the charge in the commercial space, with its Mosaic system that allowed its displays to be hung in artistic or unusual configurations for video walls that broke out of the square or rectangular box on the wall. But the trend has moved beyond any one company or even any one industry, as the Society for Experiential Graphic Designers and other professional groups representing architects, interior architects, interior designers and interior decorators have started to take a longer look at including display technology in their plans, sometimes even before a single brick is laid." via Digital Signage Today

All-inorganic perovskite quantum dot display breaks Cd-barrier "Ever since the first cadmium selenide (CdSe) QD-based light-emitting devices (QLEDs) were reported in 1994, the dominant materials for QLEDs investigated since then have been limited to wurtzite or zinc blende Cd-based QDs. Similarly, the best developed and studied colloidal QD lasers have been fabricated from Cd-based semiconductors. Now, researchers have presented a new family of photoelectric materials for light-emitting devices: colloidal all-inorganic perovskite cesium lead halide QDs. This new material could find applications in LEDs and lasers, and has an especially big potential in high-performance displays, lighting, monochromatic narrow-band photodetectors, and optical communications." via Nanowerk

Bright Blue PHOLEDs Almost Ready for TV "Phosphorescent OLEDs (PHOLEDs) use only one quarter the energy of conventional OLEDs. Green and red PHOLEDs are already used in smartphones and TVs, leading to longer battery lives and lower electricity bills, but developing the kind of bright deep blue PHOLEDs needed for video displays has proven challenging. Now scientists have developed what they say are the brightest deep blue PHOLEDs reported so far, work sponsored by Universal Display Corporation and the U.S. Air Force. The researchers added their new lights nearly meet the most stringent requirements of the National Television Systems Committee (NTSC), the video standards used across most of the Americas. "There have been previous works that reported PHOLEDs having similar color as ours, but their brightnesses were very dim, about 10 times less," says study lead author Jaesang Lee, an electrical engineer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "A combination of high brightness and deep blue color is quite revolutionary."" via IEEE Spectrum

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Can Projectors Compete with Flat Panel Displays? ““Typically projectors are more flexible than flat screen displays because the size of the image projected can be adjusted to meet the needs of the customer and tailored to specific applications,” adds Damien Weissenburger, head of corporate and education solutions at Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “For large rooms which require large screens – more than 75in – or a more flexible format – that is, something other than 16:9 – projection remains the main technology. Projectors often provide a more affordable and flexible solution which can appeal to budget-conscious AV managers.” Versatility, affordability, ease of installation are all contributing to projection’s longevity – even as flatpanel displays are getting larger and, in theory, displacing what would previously have been projection installations. But projectors have an important advantage here too." via Installation

Will touchscreens be replaced by eye-tracking display technology? "Eyefluence, a company that has created a unique eye tracking system for use with today’s virtual reality/augmented reality headsets, emerged from stealth today with a $14 million Series B funding round. “Eyefluence transforms intent into action through your eyes. We believe anything you can do with your finger on a smartphone, you should be able to do with your eyes on a head-mounted display — only faster,” Eyefluence CEO Jim Marggraff told TechCrunch. While Eyefluence isn’t the first eye-controlled operating tool, it claims to be the first one to interpret intent with your eyes in real time. With eye controllers I’ve seen in the past, you need to stare to show intent, Eyefluence wanted to change this to a glance." via TechCrunch

How can large touchscreens be like your smartphone? "The Business Research Company’s report “Touch Screen Market Globally 2015” finds that since 2009, it is projected -capacitive (P-CAP) technology which has captured the highest-volume touch categories of mobile phones. This success has been driven by a feature set which includes an effectively unlimited lifespan conferred by a resistant all-glass surface, edge-to-edge design capability (with no requirement for bezels) and high levels of sensitivity. PCAP manufacturers are now taking this technology to screens as large as 85 inches. Four important aspects of the screen design are: speed, accuracy, EMI immunity and integration. Where consumer phones have to register just one or two touches on a screen of around 4.5-inch diagonal, commercial touch screens of 47-inch diagonal that can register between 10 and 40 touches with a precision of 1mm are now commonplace. The area of a 16:9 format screen roughly quadruples when the diagonal doubles." via ElectronicsWeekly

Automative Touchscreen Buttons You Can Actually Feel "Bosch has come up with an experimental solution to our touchscreen woes: A screen with simulated "buttons" that you can navigate by feel, without taking your eyes off the road. Haptic elements in the screen allow users to distinguish different "keys" on the touchscreen by feel—rough, smooth, and patterned surfaces can be created to denote individual keys or functions. "The keys displayed on the touch screen have the feel of realistic buttons so that it is often possible for users to find their way around the keyboard without looking while operating the applications," Bosch says. "They can keep their eyes on the road for much longer periods, substantially enhancing safety while driving"" via Road and Track

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How Can a Touchscreen Know the Angle of Your Finger? "A Carnegie Mellon University spinoff called Qeexo might have just one-upped the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’s 3D Touch capabilities—and instead of buying a new phone for the new feature, you’d just need to upgrade it.The researchers behind FingerAngle developed a brand new algorithm that allows a smartphone to estimate the pose of a finger, in 3D, as it makes contact with a touchscreen. This includes its angle relative to the display, as well as any rotation of the finger while it’s making contact. It’s subtle, but the shape of a fingertip while pressed against a glass display is very distinct based on what part of the finger is making contact, and its angle. And this is what the researchers rely on to determine a finger’s orientation relative to a touchscreen. So why is this useful? To do on-screen rotations with a touchscreen currently requires the use of two moving fingers. But the tiny display on a device like a smartwatch barely has enough room for a single digit. (Video)" via Gizmodo

'BitDrones' Offer 3D Computer Displays Based on Programmable Matter "How's this for a bad-ass future? "Interactive self-levitating programmable matter." This is how researchers at Queens University's Human Media Lab are describing their new virtual reality scheme, dubbed BitDrones, set to be unveiled Monday at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Charlotte, North Carolina. The floating interface is enabled by swarms of nano quadcopters (the drones of BitDrones), of which there are three varieties. "PixelDrones" come equipped with a single LED and a small dot-matrix display; "ShapeDrones," which are intended to form the building blocks of 3D models, come covered in a fine mesh and a 3D printed geometric frame; and, finally, "DisplayDrones" are fitted with a curved flexible high-resolution touchscreen, a forward-facing video camera, and an Android smartphone board. All three varieties then come equipped with reflective markers, allowing them to be tracked in real-time using motion capture technology. (Video)" via Motherboard

Planar Introduces Transparent OLED Digital Signage "Reminiscent of those products dreamt up by science fiction filmmakers – where video content seems to float on an almost-translucent display – the Planar LookThru OLED transparent display uses OLED technology to eliminate the need for a backlight or enclosure. According to Planar, transparent OLED technology overcomes one of the main hurdles to transparent LCD display adoption by making it possible to create truly see-through installations unobstructed by enclosures that sit behind the displays. The LookThru OLED transparent display allows users to view video content, digital images and text on a virtually frameless glass display while enabling designers to overlay this content onto real objects or scenes that sit behind the glass. The company first showcased a transparent OLED technology display demonstrator at the Integrated Systems Europe event in February." via Government Video

Wearable Mini-Display Helps Medical Doctors Save Patient Lives "Opting for a minimalist, hands-free approach, user-experience design firm Method, in collaboration with Bay Innovation, have designed a new HUD (Heads-up Display) named Vivi that instantly delivers patient vitals and supplementary materials to doctors mid-operation. Most notable for its simplicity, the wearable pops over one eye when operating and subsequently swivels out of the way when not needed, making for a practical-use case that’s as serviceable as it is modest. Peering into the device, surgeons are presented with a diminutive 8-bit-esque display configurable through their smartphones." via psfk

Apple’s 3D Touch displays on the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus can be used to weigh objects "In a playfully written blog post, Simon Gladman talks about his newest app, which is called the Plum-O-Meter. As its name implies, the app leverages the 3D Touch technology in his iPhone 6S to act as a scale of sorts that tells the user which of the objects placed on the smartphone’s screen is heavier. ...Technically, the iPhone’s multitouch display can simultaneously sense up to five objects at a time, iDownloadBlog points out. "I did originally build this app for grapes, but they’re too light to activate the 3D Touch," Gladman writes in his blog post. (Video)" via Digital Trends

Folium Optics brings plastic displays to medical and defense markets "Folium Optics was founded two years ago by Kitson and John Rudin, after both had worked on display solutions at Hewlett Packard's HP Labs Bristol research center. When HP's goals shifted, the pair set up Folium to pursue flexible displays, and rather than basing their efforts on any existing HP technology, chose to begin with a clean sheet - "applications-driven and technology-agnostic," commented Kitson. ..."We use a similar materials set to a conventional LCD, but dope it with dye molecules. These molecules are rod-shaped and designed to orientate themselves with the liquid crystals under an applied voltage. When the liquid crystals rotate, the dye molecules rotate too." Controlling the profile that the dye molecules present to an observer also controls the strength of color perceived by that observer, and does so without the need for the polarizers or related technology which can contribute to the cost and complexity of other LCD systems. "This principle is called a guest-host LCD and has been known for some years, although it went out of favor as interest focused on backlit displays," noted Kitson. "It has been a little neglected; so we are revitalizing it, improving the materials and combining them with flexible plastics."" via

Why Display Manufacturers Need A Hand "While we see some companies capitulate during crystal cycle busts (asset impairments/sales by CPT is a recent example) we have not seen mergers on the scale of AUO buying Innolux or AB InBev buying SAB Miller. Lack of scale economies is one reason for this, perhaps. As I have presented at SID conferences, adding AMLCD area capacity does not seem to reduce AMLCD area cost. A big merger might lead to a swanky party but the hangover would certainly lead to a long-term headache trying to load the increased capacity with profitable product. If there is no advantage to consolidation, we may see the AMLCD industry continue to evolve along national lines of interest. China is doing what it did in LED and PV industries and it hopes to do in the IC industry: cultivate national champions and capture global share. If this is the future, what can we do but give display makers a hand?" via Display Daily

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Display Technology News Roundup 10.16.2015

Image via GelTouch

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (, a leading distributor and solutions provider with nearly 15 years specializing in the global LCD display industry and PCAP touchscreens. This blog is an open resource for the display industry and welcomes content and sponsorship from readers. Contact us to discuss how we can work together on Display Alliance. For display panels, visit the Smarter Glass display database to search and compare thousands of panels side-by-side.

Could You Make Your Own Buttons with a Gel Touchscreen? "Researchers hailing mainly from the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany built a prototype of a touch screen with a layer of gel atop it that can change from soft to stiff when heat is applied—making it possible to create temporary buttons in all kinds of shapes that needn’t be defined in advance, which users can feel and use to interact with the display. Such technology could make it easier to use a range of electronics, from in-car displays to smartphones and wearable gadgets, to do things like receive alerts or input information without needing to glance at the devices themselves. (Video)" via MIT Technology Review

Researchers Create Nanocrystalline Thin-Film Transistor for Next-Generation LCD Screens "If you're reading this story on a screen with a liquid crystal display, thank thin-film transistors. Thin-film transistors function like standard semiconductor transistors, but are deposited on top of a layer of glass. In LCD screens, this allows the transistors to be embedded directly in the screen, which improves image stability. Researchers at Korea University and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology have now developed a new type of thin film transistor that's significantly faster than its predecessors -- an important step toward speeding up image display on devices like TVs and smartphone screens. The scientists made the transistor from zinc oxynitride, or ZnON, which they then plasma treated with argon gas." via AZoNano

How LCD screen glare could be solved with sunglasses "New sunglasses brand NoonWear, which uses "proprietary implementation of polarization technology," has launched NoonWear Ones, the "sunglasses that help owners of LCD screens, like laptops and tablets, use their devices outdoors." ...“NoonWear sunglasses provide traditional sunglass light protection and UV ray blocking, but they also let you see your laptop,” said Charles Barr, co-founder of NoonWear and an MIT graduate, in a statement. “We want to bring the LCD generation outdoors and let people use their electronic devices while in the sun.”" via Boston Business Journal

Will Foxconn Close Deal to Control Sharp's LCD Business? "Foxconn Technology Group has signed a letter of intent to buy a stake in Sharp Corp.’s liquid-crystal display business in a deal that would give Foxconn management control as the Japanese electronics maker spins off the unit, according to people familiar with the plan. ...Foxconn wants to model this deal on Chairman Terry Gou’s personal investment in Sharp’s Sakai Display operations in 2012, which resulted in the Taiwanese company having management control over the LCD factory, one of the people said. Hon Hai is Foxconn’s largest unit and the world’s biggest maker of iPhones. The company also makes iPads, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox console, and personal computers for Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Hon Hai gets about half its revenue from Apple and is seeking to expand beyond assembly to offer components, including displays and semiconductors." via Bloomberg Business

Display database for engineers Search thousands of display panels by multiple characteristics and compare results side-by-side using the display database multisearch.

A low-power reflective display with a wide color gamut "High-resolution reflective displays with motion image capability and a broad color gamut are considered by many to represent the next-generation display technology. Reflective displays dramatically reduce power consumption and allow for the realization of new display applications, such as smart watches and digital textbooks. In recent years, the electrophoretic display (EPD)—in which images are formed by the electronic rearrangement of charged pigment particles—has been widely implemented as a low-power display for e-book applications. The optical diffusion of EPDs is, however, essentially Lambertian, resulting in relatively low reflectivity. Narrow color gamut filters must therefore be used to avoid further reduction in the reflectivity, negatively impacting the display properties. To overcome this issue, we have developed a reflective color liquid crystal display (LCD) using a mirror electrode and a diffusion film that is designed to diffuse light only in its direction of travel. This display system requires that the chromaticity of optical components be suppressed, and establishes a method by which the optical diffusion of reflected light can be controlled. This results in a display with a wide color gamut and high reflectivity, making it optically similar to white paper." via SPIE

Will Lasers Light the Way for Projectors in Digital Signage? "Replacing lamps is a costly endeavor, and translates to steep labor costs when lamps reach their end of life after 1,500 to 4,000 hours of use. And the accumulation of dust typical in projectors that use lamps further accelerates their demise. However, laser phosphor projectors, which emit a more consistent light output over their lifetimes, are changing the game. With lasers as their light sources, these distinctly modern projectors offer up to 20,000 hours of projector life at maximum brightness. Lamp-less projectors also offer flexibility that is a major benefit in an environment that experiences heavy foot traffic on a daily basis. They have given users more placement options for display signage installations, for example. With their robust durability and convenient flexibility, laser phosphor projectors are positioned to shine a bright light on digital signage in the transportation industry." via Mass Transit Magazine

Japan Display plans R&D hub in China "Japan Display plans to open a smartphone panel development site this year in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, employing about 100 people. In addition to sending staff from Japan, the company gradually will transfer engineers from a design site in Taiwan. Besides handling designing, marketing and quality control, the site will also have a unit in charge of procurement. Conducting procurement operations there will make it easier to capture smartphone technology trends faster, and the company said sending marketing staffers from Shanghai was not enough to respond to customer needs adequately." via Nikkei Asian Review

Can the display industry in Korea continue to grow? ""Korea's longtime leadership in displays is increasingly challenged as Chinese and Japanese competitors are quickly narrowing the gap with Korean companies with massive investments in displays," said Minister of Trade and Energy Yoon Sang-jick at an event at the JW Marriott Hotel in southern Seoul, Friday. "We need to think how to keep the country competitive in the industry." Yoon referred to China's recent approval for BOE to invest in super-sized OLED displays using advanced 10.5-generation glass-cutting technology and the launch of JOLED in Japan. He told participants that the country plans to offer more financial benefits such as tax exemptions to companies focusing on OLED projects. "With a combined global share of 42.8 percent, the country is still leading the industry. But the issue is that the market has already been crowded due to weak demand and continued oversupply," said the minister. Korea has designated OLEDs as one of the next-generation key items. " via The Korea Times

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What's Next in Display Technology? "Reaching a bit further in the health sector beyond display apps, electro-stimulation, medical monitors are coming. UV skin docimeters and even electronics in contact lenses hold promise because of silver nanowire's incredible flexibility and transparency versus other materials. Major electronics OEMs like Samsung, Lenovo, Karbonn, NEC, Toshiba, and LG have shipped products ranging from mobile phones to large-area monitors using silver nanowires. Many others are in development or in the pipeline but not yet public. The switch is on by companies in both the consumer and industrial sectors, driven by product improvements and manufacturing cost benefits. Technologies that are synergistic with silver nanowires are providing opportunities to explore new applications." via EE Times

Should We Say Goodbye to the Display Screen at Work? "Here is a closer look at some screen-free interfaces that could revolutionize the way we work, as well as some of the challenges companies may face as they become more widespread. Ambient notifications: The ORBneXt, a screenless cube-like device sold by Advanced Lumonics LLC, continuously tracks any data stream you choose and changes color to notify you to take action when, say, an important email arrives or product inventory drops below a threshold. You could, for instance, program the cube to glow green when you get an email from your boss or an important collaborator. These kinds of screen-free, background notifications are essentially a way to curb the digital itches we tend to continuously scratch—such as checking our inboxes or stock prices—guiding us back to more productive activities." via The Wall Street Journal

Hello, Retina: New iMacs Get Eye-Popping Displays "Last year, Apple began offering an upgrade to 27-inch iMac called Retina 5K that quadrupled its resolution (5120x2880 pixels)—so many pixels that they seemed to just melt away, and made text look like the printed page. But Apple originally targeted professionals by charging a $700 premium for iMacs with these screens. Now Retina screens come standard on all 27-inch iMacs, starting at $1,800. There’s also a new screen for the smaller 21.5-inch iMac. At a resolution of 4096x2304 pixels, it packs 4.5 times as many as before for $1,500, a $400 premium. The new color capabilities may take more of an experienced eye to appreciate. The human eye and high-end cameras can see a wider range of colors than most LCD screens can reproduce. But in the last year, manufacturers have figured out how to amp up the color range (called gamut) even on consumer-level monitors and TVs." via The Wall Street Journal

Is Ultrasound the Future of Touchscreens? "UK start-up Ultrahaptics, for example, is working with premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover to create invisible air-based controls that drivers can feel and tweak. Instead of fumbling for the dashboard radio volume or temperature slider, and taking your eyes off the road, ultrasound waves would form the controls around your hand. "You don't have to actually make it all the way to a surface, the controls find you in the middle of the air and let you operate them," says Tom Carter, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ultrahaptics. Such technologies, proponents argue, are an advance on devices we can control via gesture - like Nintendo's Wii or Leap Motion's sensor device that allows users to control computers with hand gestures. That's because they mimic the tactile feel of real objects by firing pulses of inaudible sound to a spot in mid air." via Khaleej Times

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Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays "In research published in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers at Stuttgart’s Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research and LMU Munich, Germany have developed nanostructures capable of changing their electrical and optical properties when a finger passes by them. The resulting device could usher in a new generation of touchless displays. While touchless displays raise the question of whether every finger that passes by a display’s surface is really intended to interface with the computer, the researchers believe this new interface will address the problems of mechanical wear suffered by today’s touch screens over time, as well as concerns over screens, especially at ATMs, being transmission vectors for viruses and bacteria. Computer hardware analysts aren’t completely sold on whether touchless displays are really next step in computer interfaces. That debate notwithstanding, the technology that enables this approach is impressive. The researchers have developed what amounts to a humidity sensor that reacts to the minute amount of sweat on a finger and converts it to an electrical signal or a change in color of the nanostructured material. (Video)" via IEEE

Is Apple’s 3D Touch the Start of a New Interface Revolution? "It’s all very heady and philosophical—Petschnigg apologized a few time during our conversation for having his head so far in the clouds. Developers are still figuring out what this all means. Petschnigg imagines you could use Peek and Pop to look through your notes faster, for one thing. And who knows what else? “We know basic selection, text selection is going to change,” he says. “Object selection is going to change. We know on the tools side we gained an entirely new dimension of expressiveness.” They’re prototyping a lot of new ideas. “Diagram tool!” he proclaims at one point, like he just remembered it. “In our diagram tool, if you want to pick up a shape, duplicate a shape, stamp a shape, these all start to feel totally natural." There’s one more example he’s excited about: window management. As the world moves from mouse and keyboards to touchscreens, even for productive uses, how do we deal with having a dozen apps running at once? Right now, Petschnigg points out, the metaphor fails. “You know, you click on the window, it comes to the front. The same with ordering of shapes on the screen.” When you want something else, you Alt-Tab, which no one does, or rely on some hacky workaround. “Now,” he says, “you can push things back. You can’t push a window back today. Now, all of a sudden, the street that used to be one way is now two way. Things will change.”" via WIRED

Is 3D Touch 'game-changing' for mobile developers? "3D Touch is a new screen technology that Apple developed for the iPhone 6S and detects variable pressure placed on the screen. It works by using capacitive sensors, which can measure microscopic changes in distances between the backlight and the cover glass as pressure is applied. ...3D Touch is going to improve the overall experience of navigating and shortcutting across all touch screen applications. I do think games are best placed to show if off, though. Knowing what 3D touch is capable of, I think game developers are going to come up with all sorts of new creative gameplay which incorporates the tech. There’s going to be games that people will want to download just to try out those new types of gameplay, things that will only be possible with 3D Touch." via Develop

Communicating with Touch "The heart of Sensel Morph consists of two layers: an electrode grid made up of 20,000 force-sensing elements and a sheet of polymer material that enables each sensing element to measure force over 4,000 detectable voltage levels. This means that the Morph can detect anything from the delicate touch of a paintbrush to the hard slap of a hand. Sensel uses an advanced lithographic manufacturing process to create the electrode grid, unlike most force-sensing arrays, which are typically screen-printed on Mylar film. The advantage of Sensel’s approach is that the lithographic process can produce a sensor array that consistently delivers high-resolution data, where screen-printed systems usually cannot." via IHS Electronics360

Are gaming display touchscreens the best for skill-based games? "So let’s add what happens in a casino environment to the touch screens on slots machines. Drinks get spilled, cigarettes are smoked leaving nicotine and smoke film, people have everything from hand lotions to body oils to a range of other substances on their fingers that can build up on the touch screens making it harder overtime, particularly without regular cleaning, for the screen and finger connection to be properly made and recognized on the touch screens. Net result of a dirty touch screen, is having to tap the screen a few times for your command to be recognized. Not real efficient for a skill game that relies on the player’s speed and timing along with game responsiveness. As the technology standards related to skill-based gaming are still evolving and pending approval, it is likely the type of circumstance described here will be included in the testing process. Yet I would suggest this very issue will be added reason for the skill-based games to migrate from traditional slot machine boxes to player’s smart phones or tablets. During a media only Skill-Based Gaming Panel at G2E, Bryan Kelly, SVP of technology for Scientific Games, in reaction to concerns about the future cost of games to operators by Melissa Price, SVP of gaming for Caesars Entertainment, disclosed that other form factors such as tablets would likely be a part of the future way for skill-based games to be played." via Gaming Today

OLED Gets Cheaper: LG Slashes Its OLED TV Prices "In what could prove to be a watershed moment in the history of TV technology, LG has announced that it’s slashing the prices of its OLED TVs to such an extent that they can now compete on price with some LCD TVs. LG’s new pricing takes between 30% and 45% off the prices of its new flat-screened EF9500 and curved EG9600 4K UHD TVs, as well as bringing full HD OLED down to below $2,000 for the first time. The full details of LG’s new OLED pricing scheme run as follows." via Forbes

What are the pros and cons of video walls vs. large-format displays? "A tiled LCD video wall will be less expensive and will have greater flexibility in how the final image is displayed than a single unit. For instance, a site may want to cover a long, thin wall or a curved wall that a single large-format display doesn't fit on, but deploying the solution will take a little more effort and the finished product will always have the bezel line in the image. A single large-format display is easier to deploy and can show great UHD content without a bezel break, but there may be locations that simply can't accept a single panel this large. A 98-inch panel doesn't fit in the average elevator or in areas with tight corners." via Digital Signage Today

What Is "Internet of Display"? Are you Viewing Your Information Through a Straw? "Most of you have probably heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT) which refers to the fact that millions and soon, probably billions of devices will be connected to information via the Internet. Recently Andrew (Drew) Jamison at Scalable Displays has been chirping about what he calls the “Internet of Display” (IoD). Since reading his article introducing the concept, I have been having spirited debates with a number of people about this concept – and trying to decide if the term has merit and if so, a concise way to describe it. In this article, I will lay out the concept in more detail as I understand it and I invite you to chime in with comments and your input. One of the trends behind IoT and IoD is that functionality and data that used to reside on PCs, workstations or company servers is moving to the cloud. The result is that the conventional display/workstation paradigm is changing and moving in the direction of simply a “dumb” display being all that an end user needs to do complex tasks. For example, this means that a CAD designer can interact and render designs in the cloud delivering just images to his display. A digital signage media player can migrate to the cloud delivering the content playlist in real time. A control room can use the cloud to aggregate multiple sources of data and video using management software resident in the Internet to deliver images to the display solution. A 360-degree video of computer-generated or video images can reside in the cloud streaming to VR headsets or mobile devices." via Display Daily

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Display Technology News Roundup 9.21.2015

Image via Honeywell

How Display Technology Transforms Control Rooms "Regardless of the size of the display, ease of use is a key design factor. Operators are being asked to control far more pieces of equipment, and many of them are complex machines that run at far higher speeds than their predecessors. That means operators must be able to understand and analyze a lot of information. "The amount of data available today is an order of magnitude different than several years ago," Scott says. "We’ve moved to graphics, but a human’s visual awareness to see everything and the amount of information people can process hasn’t changed. Going forward, HMIs need to provide better information and keep the operator in the loop so they truly know what’s going on. When something goes off the rails, they need to know what steps to take." Many HMIs are being designed to help operators focus in on problems. And when problems occur, they’re providing information that helps operators know what to do to rectify the situation." via Automation World

Apple 3D Touch – the iPhone 6s reboots multitouch "Apple revealed the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and along with them a new sort of multitouch: 3D Touch. This system has Jony Ive saying that "tapping, swiping, and pinching have forever changed the way we interact with our digital world" - now it's time for Peek and Pop. This is what you might recognize as a technology called Force Touch, but here Apple is suggesting it's different enough from previous iterations that it'll be called something different: 3D Touch. According to Ive, "you can dip in and out of where you are, without losing sense of your context." This system has a light press for one action and a deep press for another. To see and sense these touches, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus works with capacitive sensors integrated into the backlight of the phone's display." via SlashGear

The Smart UI Design Behind Apple’s Frictionless 3D Touch "You could think of 3D touch as a right-click for a touchscreen. It’s a gesture that unearths a vast amount of extra information and functionality with very little effort. To make sense of this new form of interaction, Apple has given different types of presses playful nicknames—peek and pop—that fit neatly into the vocabulary we already understand with swipe, tap and pinch. Peek and pop have essentially turned the iPhone operating system into nesting dolls of information. Press on the screen a little harder than usual and you’ll experience peek—a preview of information like emails, directions, or photos. Press harder yet and you’ll “pop” into that information deeper, navigating directly to the app itself. “It isn’t really a new gesture, just an extension of one you already know very well,” explains Tobias van Schnieder, lead designer at Spotify. ...True 3D touch doesn’t feel essential in the way that the first generation of multi-touch interactions do today. It might not for a while." via Wired

Profit Margins for Large-Area Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Displays to Drop ""Even with recent price declines, many large panel sizes currently sell at marginal profits," Annis said "At least for now, panel makers have decided to keep utilization high and minimize overhead costs, in order to chase as much profit as possible while they are still able to. The downside to this strategy is that panel inventories at set-makers have ballooned, widening the gap between TV panel shipments and TV set shipments." As this excess inventory is sold down, panel prices are also expected to decline rapidly. Large-area display profitability will likely follow the same trajectory. At the same time, a substantial number of new eighth-generation (Gen 8) factories are currently ramping up production. Dedicated capacity for large-area displays will grow at a rate of 6 percent in 2015 and 8 percent in 2016, the highest rates in several years." via I-Connect007

Displays for a New Generation of Electronics "Whether the display serves a large-screen TV, a smartphone, or a wearable device, power consumption plays a key role in the design process. The issue of energy efficiency poses a problem for OLEDs that rely on fluorescent emission. This technology converts only 25% of the excitonic energy used to create light, with the remaining 75% lost as heat. In the late 1990s, Princeton University and the University of Southern California found that the use of soluble phosphorescent small-molecule materials improved the energy-to-light conversion efficiency to nearly 100%. UDC has since refined and advanced phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) technology. In addition to achieving greater energy efficiency, PHOLED technology reduces the display’s operating temperature considerably. Because higher temperatures accelerate degradation of the organic materials, the heat reduction extends the life of the PHOLED and reduces the amount of air conditioning required to keep the display cool." via IHS Electronics 360

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Quantum dots move into monitors "According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-out QD Vision, upon whose “ColorIQ” technology the displays are based, that represented the world’s first quantum dot monitor. ...When illuminated by the blue LEDs that typically feature in LCD backlights, the quantum dots act like a phosphor, generating light across the rest of the visible spectrum. The specific wavelength of that re-emitted light depends on the precise size of the quantum dot nanocrystals, and can be carefully controlled. According to the company, it means that its Color IQ optics emit “pure, finely-tuned colors”, enabling better color saturation and color rendering compared with standard LCD screens. “Most LCD TVs available today offer size and definition at the expense of color, using a smaller color gamut that only achieves 60-70 percent of the NTSC standard,” claims the firm. “With Color IQ optics, LCD TVs and other displays can achieve 100 percent of the standard.”" via

Military display technology lets commander 'see through' armour "Developed by defence firm BAE Systems, the BattleView 360 is a digital mapping system that uses cameras and sensors to track the positions of all surrounding features of interest in both two and three-dimensional modes. A specially designed headset can be synced to vehicle cameras to allow commanders to 'see through' their vehicles in both visual and infra-red in real-time, or alternatively the feed can be transmitted to a touch-screen display. The live-feed will be overlaid with information from other vehicle systems and the touch-screen display can be used to identify friendly and enemy forces, for route planning and to let the commander view the display of other crew members, such as the gunner." via E&T Magazine

Will the next big Samsung phone have a display screen that folds in half? "With Samsung's phone sales looking troubled these days, the company has been forced to differentiate its devices with features like dual-curved displays and the S Pen stylus. A phone with a foldable display could be exactly what Samsung needs to win back customers who have defected to cheaper Chinese devices or Apple's iPhones. A foldable display isn't without precedent. In 2008, Samsung showed off a prototype of a display that folds in half at The Society for Information Display (SID), an event that showcases innovative display technologies. You can see the prototype display in action in the video above. (Video)" via Mashable

Will in-cell touch displays for smartphones rise rapidly? "The share of in-cell and on-cell touch display solutions within the smartphone industry is rising fast, according to WitsView. With Japan panel makers as the leading adopter, the combined share of in-cell and on-cell solutions in the smartphone market is expected to hit 40.6% in 2015 and will likely reach 47.8% in 2016, as these technologies will subsequently gain support from other panel makers from South Korea, Taiwan and China. "In-cell technology began to attract the market's attention when Apple introduced it to the iPhone 5 series," said Boyce Fan, senior research manager for WitsView. "The technology gained additional momentum as Japan panel maker Japan Display (JDI) seized the opportunity to apply its hybrid in-cell solution to all of its high-end smartphone panels. Since then, JDI has aggressively promote this technology in China, raising both the reputation of in-cell displays in the high-end smartphone market and the panel maker's brand recognition."" via DigiTimes

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What Is HDR (High Dynamic Range) Display Technology? "HDR-capable displays can read that information and show an image built from a wider gamut of color and brightness. Besides the wider range, HDR video simply contains more data to describe more steps in between the extremes. This means that very bright objects and very dark objects on the same screen can be shown very bright and very dark if the display supports it, with all of the necessary steps in between described in the signal and not synthesized by the image processor. To put it more simply, HDR content on HDR-compatible HDTVs can get brighter and darker at the same time, and show more shades of gray in between. Similarly, they can produce deeper and more vivid reds, greens, and blues, and show more shades in between. Deep shadows aren't simply black voids; more details can be seen in the darkness, while the picture stays very dark. Bright shots aren't simply sunny, vivid pictures; fine details in the brightest surfaces remain clear. Vivid objects aren't simply saturated; more shades of colors can be seen." via PC Magazine

Exploring Virtual Reality Display Technology in the Military Industry "The reason why I am reporting this here is the appearance of VR & AR components directly into the military mix, and also the latest technology seen here that is also about to once again cross the divide and make itself felt in the consumer sector. Regarding home grown technology from the defence industry (that we are able to talk about publicly), the big buzz at the show was the Striker II. Developed by BAE Systems, and called by the company most advanced fighter pilot helmet, to evaluate its digital night vision capability and target awareness. This space age Head-Mounted Display (HMD) (the defence sector coining the phrase originally) utilizes cutting-edge tracking system that ensures the pilot’s exact head position and the aircraft computer system are continuously in syn. While the digital night vision is projected into the pilot’s view, along with representations of target and aircraft instrumental data." via Road to VR

How Display Technology Is Going Organic "A third challenge involves cost. OLED displays are made using a fine metal mask to create the pixel pattern. In this approach, a thin sheet of metal with holes in it is placed over the substrate, and the organic molecules travel through the holes before ending up on the substrate. That is cost-effective for small displays, which helps explain why OLEDs have done so well in mobile applications. When the same technology is scaled up for a large display or television, however, drawbacks appear. It becomes difficult to make the masks and to maintain the proper tolerance. Also, during processing, the masks have to be cleaned periodically. What’s more, the mask must be precisely positioned from one pass to another so that the different colors found in each pixel properly align to each other. Partly as a result of such factors, today a large OLED TV can be many times the cost of a similarly sized LCD TV." via Photonics Spectra

How Is Clothing Being Turned into Information Displays? "Researchers from Holst Centre (set up by TNO and imec), imec and CMST, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University, have demonstrated the world’s first stretchable and conformable thin-film transistor (TFT) driven LED display laminated into textiles. This paves the way to wearable displays in clothing providing users with feedback. ...The conformable display is very thin and mechanically stretchable. A fine-grain version of the proven meander interconnect technology was developed by the CMST lab at Ghent University and Holst Centre to link standard (rigid) LEDs into a flexible and stretchable display. The LED displays are fabricated on a polyimide substrate and encapsulated in rubber, allowing the displays to be laminated in to textiles that can be washed." via Solid State Technology

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NASA’s Avionic Cockpit Display Helps Mitigate Supersonic Booms "While low-boom supersonic aircraft will minimize the intensity and occurrence of sonic booms, atmospheric physics still dictate that shock waves will reach the ground in some form, no matter how well the vehicle is designed. The question is whether the location and strength of these waves can be predicted and, if so, can the information be relayed to the crew in time for them to do something about it?" via Aviation Week

Car makers going big on 3D touch control, says UK sensor firm "The company said it is seeing its QTC force touch sensors being integrated under in-car surfaces such as plastics, rubbers, wood, leather, metals and glass. Neil Jarvie, Peratech sales v-p, says that the capability to incorporate pressure sensing that capacitive touch sensing does not provide is important for Tier 1 automotive companies. The matrix sensors are designed to track multiple touches for position on X and Y axes and independent pressure sensing along the Z-axis. According to Jarvie, this allows designers to reduce button count in the centre stack, steering wheel and other cockpit surfaces." via ElectronicsWeekly

What is the challenge of parasitic extraction for touchscreen designs? "One of the major verification challenges for touchscreens is parasitic extraction. Because a finger or touch tool is essentially a big conductor sitting on top of the screen, a 3D field solver extraction tool is typically required to achieve the desired accuracy necessary to capture the subtle effect at the touch point. However, most field solvers do not have the capacity to evaluate an entire design in a timely manner, making them unacceptable for production design. Capacity in this instance means the ability of the extraction tool to run on big designs to completion. For example, if an extraction tool runs on a design for three days and generates accurate results, it does not suffer from a capacity issue, but it may suffer from a performance issue. If another extraction tool runs on that same design, but never finishes, it has a capacity issue, which means the algorithm inside the tool is not well-suited for large designs. Capacity is simply a metric, like accuracy and performance. With field solvers, capacity is typically an issue because of the resources required to do the extensive computational work. What is needed is an extraction tool that can deliver field solver accuracy with a satisfactory turnaround time for production designs." via EDN

Here's why Apple made the touchscreen stylus that Steve Jobs hated "When Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller announced that the company's stylus for new iPad Pro would be called Pencil, the crowd audibly laughed in unison. On the surface, it was because it played into the stereotype that Apple lays claim to everyday inspirations. But on a deeper level it traces back to former CEO Steve Jobs, who famously said in 2007 at the initial iPhone reveal, "Who wants a stylus? You have to get em', put em' away. You lose them. Yuck." Yet it turns out that eight years later, some people do want a stylus — and they've improved substantially alongside the devices with which they're used. ...Steve Jobs didn't envision the iPhone 1 being a viable tool for graphic designers and illustrators, people who've long used pro-grade products from companies like Wacom. But now, the Pencil is an option for those who want to use the iPad Pro as if it were a sheet a paper and the stylus as if it were — wait for it — a real pencil. Apple has designed the pen so that it has little to no latency. It can draw thicker lines with applied pressure and orient its toolset to whether you're tilting the pen, for shading, or dragging it along the surface to draw lines or form letters. These selling points make it clear that the Pencil is not designed to help you clean out your inbox." via The Verge

This Head-Up Display Helmet Will Make F-35 Pilots Missile-Slinging Cyborgs "After years of delays and more than $60 billion dropped on development, the jet is finally just about ready, and it’s bringing some pretty slick tech along with it—including a brand new helmet that will let the pilot see through the plane, aim missiles with his eyeballs, and keep an eye on key data no matter where he turns his head. The F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System, developed by a joint venture led by defense contractor Rockwell Collins, takes the head-up display (HUD) usually projected onto on a piece of glass at the front of the cockpit, and puts it on the helmet. That means the pilot’s always got it in his field of vision, and can see useful data like the horizon, airspeed, altitude, and weapons status wherever he’s looking. More than keeping the pilot’s cranium safe from smacking against the canopy, and mounting stuff like a sun visor and oxygen mask, the Gen III helmet is designed to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. At engagement altitudes of a few thousand feet and speeds of up to Mach 1.6, it’s crucial to know what’s going on ahead of, to the side of, above, and below and the jet." via Wired

Virtual Reality's Pursuit Of Presence and True Immersion "Depending on where an object lies in our visual periphery, our sight of it may be less sensitive to fine detail (or high-resolution), but more aware of latency and rapid changes. Research into VR must account for both this requirement of highly precise rendering in particular regions of the visual spectrum and the low-latency necessities of generating the entire view-scape. What does this all mean? Well, an immersive display capable of outputting a human eye’s expected resolution of 60 ppd requires an incredible 7.2K of horizontal and 8.1K of vertical pixels per eye — or 116.4 million pixels (megapixels) total or 16k resolution! Current displays, such as the latest home entertainment systems and VR technology, are capable of up to “only” 4K resolutions. As VR display research advances, though, 16K per-eye resolutions will likely be achievable within a few years. But what about latency? After all, low latency is absolutely essential for true immersion, and arguably is the most important performance metric for VR." via TechCrunch

New system for deposition of OLED barrier films "AIXTRON SE a worldwide leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has sold the first Optacap-200 encapsulation tool to a major Asian display manufacturer. The standalone R&D system that handles substrate sizes of 200 mm x 200 mm was ordered in the third quarter 2015 and is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter 2016. The innovative Optacap plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology enables the deposition of highly flexible and effective barrier films for thin-film encapsulation of OLED display, OLED lighting, organic photovoltaic and flexible electronic devices." via Printed Electronics World

Introducing an Automultiscopic Display "A team of researchers at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (Playa Vista, CA) have developed a system that captures videos in a unique way and then presents full sized images of people on a so-called 'automultiscopic' display. The term automultiscopic is used to define a display that allows multiple users to view 3D content simultaneously, without the need for glasses. A recent publication by the team is entitled 'Creating a life-sized automultiscopic Morgan Spurlock for CNNs "Inside Man."' A copy of this brief article is available on-line and can be found here. The production of an automultiscopic image begins with capturing video of the subject. Done while the subject is uniformly bathed with intensely bright light, the capture is accomplished using 30 Panasonic X900MK 60p consumer cameras spaced over 180°." via DisplayDaily

Projected Capacitive Touch Screen Technology and Borders "The size of a PCAP sensor is directly related to the size of the display active area and the borders needed to have a linearly sensitive, reliable sensor that can be manufactured efficiently. Many different options are available for hosting the conductive traces that make up the bulk of that border, all with their own pros, cons and costs. Ideally, the sensor and the display would have the same active and outer areas, but as display borders get narrower, the touch sensor industry is striving to keep pace. By far the most common type of projected capacitive touch screen traces is the printed metal trace, usually Ag (silver). There are three main methods for creating these traces: printing, laser ablation and sputter deposition. These are listed in increasing trace density and price. The printing option is the cheapest and fastest method, but the traces are limited by the screen or ink deposition resolution." via TouchInternational

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Display Technology News Roundup 9.1.2015

Image via Polyera Wove Band

Polyera's Wearable Flexible Display Can Roll Up "Polyera today introduced the Wove Band—a flexible display that can lay flat or wrap around a wrist, like a 1980s slap bracelet. Ten years in the making, Polyera Digital Fabric Technology and the Wove Band are expected to launch in mid-2016. Free developer units will be available to pre-order in September, before they ship to a select group of artists and developers in December. ...The Wove Band promises "a flexible, low-power touch display," which combines the company's Digital Fabric Technology with electronic ink film, allowing for an always-on display." via PC Magazine

Will the display screen of the future be a sort of 3D aquarium? "The screen of the future is not a flat panel, but rather a sort of aquarium. If you walk around it, from various sides and angles you will see a single luminous image formed inside something resembling an `aquarium,’ as if by cross-sections. Each is visible thanks to liquid crystals activated from a transparent to dissipative state of light by electric voltage (a movie screen sends out a constant stream of light). If all of the cross-sections are on and rendered visible with a frequency of over 25 frames per second, then moving objects can be observed in an `aquarium’ as a single whole. ...Igor Kompanets is head of the opto-electronics division at the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and an honorary director of the Russian branch of the International Society for Information Display (SID)." via Russia Beyond the Headlines

How Is LG Display Spending $8.5 Billion on Next-Gen Display Screen Technology? "LG Display Co., a supplier to Apple Inc., plans to invest about 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) over the next three years to develop next-generation screens to reverse slowing growth and gain an edge over competitors. LG Display will shift its investment focus to screens powered by tiny organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The world’s largest maker of liquid crystal displays is betting on growth in demand for advanced displays, including foldable screens, for wearable devices, cars and televisions." via Bloomberg

AUO and 3M team up to bring quantum dot 4K UHD LCD panels to mass market "AU Optronics Corp., one of the world’s leading makers of LCD panels for various devices, and 3M this week announced a new technology alliance that can dramatically improve quality of TV-sets and displays. The two companies will offer turn-key solutions that will help suppliers of televisions to offer TV-sets with quantum dot (QD) technology that enables wide color gamut and high dynamic range for ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs. The QD display enhancement technology significantly improves quality of backlighting in LED LCD panels by integrating a special quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF) with trillions of semiconductor nanocrystals into an LCD panel stack. A quantum dot can emit (or, in the case of QDEF, filter) light at a very precise wavelength. The ability to control the spectral output of a quantum dot allows QDEF to create an ideal white backlight, something that allows to display more accurate red, green and blue colours, thus enhancing color gamut." via KitGuru

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Sharp May Consider LCD Joint Venture Rather Than Sale "Sharp Corp. is leaning toward spinning off its liquid-crystal display business into a joint venture with a third party, rather than selling the unit outright, people familiar with the matter said. Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. are the two leading candidates Sharp is considering for partnership, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. ...If Innovation Network, also known as INCJ, injects capital into the joint venture, it may combine the business with Japan Display Inc., a competitor the Japanese state-backed fund already supports, according to two of the people. There could be antitrust concerns in combining two operations." via Bloomberg

Finally, A Convincing 3D Display That Doesn't Require Glasses "At this year’s SIGGRAPH, a group of researchers presented a display that creates a 3D human in stunning detail using a cluster of 216 projectors. A team from USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies has built an automultiscopic 3D display which essentially makes a 3D model of the person with video. After capturing video of a person using 30 cameras in intensely bright light, the images are divided among the 216 projectors. The projectors are arranged in a semicircle around a large screen, so as viewers walk around the screen their eyes smoothly transition from one projection to the next. The result is feeling as if you can see crystal-clear depth and detail." via Gizmodo

Merck unveils future display technologies at 2015 Touch Taiwan "Pursuing the goal of "The Perfect Pixel" material innovation, Merck has teamed up with local panel makers as a key strategic partner and to provide them with the crucial materials for creating better visual experiences and enjoyment. ...As panel resolution increases, four times of pixels are required to put into the same area, so the number of metal wires that connect pixels is also on the rise. Therefore, it's important to reduce the effects of cross talk that are caused by the increase of wiring density. Merck has acquired AZ Electronic Materials, which is a leading company that specializes in providing high tech materials that enables a high precision manufacturing process for LCD's. Merck's product line is now expanded to include high contrast photoresist that can be used to accurately align the sophisticated wires in lithography process. Also, by using ultralow-K SOG (Spin on Glass) material, light transmission can be effectively increased to improve the yield rate for 4K 2Kpanel manufacturing and cost control." via DigiTimes

Why are LEDs for wearable devices due for a comeback? "OLED devices, especially those on flexible polymer substrates, are thin enough, but suffer from lifetime problems. Neither is as power efficient as would be desired. The solution is to develop and enable a new class of display that uses micro inorganic light emitting diodes (μLEDs) that will be more energy efficient, longer lifetime, and thinner than incumbent display technologies. These won’t be limited to monochrome red, but be full color, sporting a color gamut wider than LCD and rivaling OLED. Given that the number of color primaries is only limited by the number of source wafers, these displays may be multiprimary for greater energy efficiency and wider color gamut. They will be very high resolution, certainly greater than 600ppi. Just as with LCD and OLED displays today, they will be subpixel rendered for better performance and lower manufacturing cost." via DisplayDaily

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Virtual Reality project is like The Matrix built inside a holodeck "The University of Michigan has hosted a 10-foot-by-10-foot virtual reality testing environment covered with projection walls since 1997. Now they’ve reprogrammed the system to be run by the powerful Unreal Engine videogame software, which can be used to create extremely detailed and ambitious environments. Dubbed MIDEN (Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus), the virtual-reality system uses stereoscopic glasses and a gaming controller for motion and perspective. By using the controller, users can manipulate objects in the environment, and potentially move through a virtual world of limitless size. The Unreal Engine allows for the creation of realistic water, foliage or glass, and effects like fire and transitions in the time of day — which go a long way in building the illusion. (Video)" via blastr

How Kyocera is giving touchscreens a real button feeling "Kyocera has introduced a newly patented technology in Europe for real touch feeling and force feedback in display screens. The development of a real button sensation is expected to create a new type of user interface. It can be used in touch panel or touch pad products for a broad range of applications such as automotive and industrial equipment or in the field of information and communications. ...The technical principle of creating this sensation works as follows: the button impression is composed of pressure feeling (a button response feeling with micro-movement only), which is perceived by the finger while pushing the button at first, and a subsequent stroke-down impression (a button response feeling caused by movement). Kyocera’s new technology called ‘Haptivity’ evokes these impulses towards the nerve of the finger and creates the sensation of a real button operation by both pressure detection and specified frequency vibration output features. (Ex. Patent No. EP2461233B1 effective until 2030)." via Electropages

McDonald’s introduces touchscreen ordering and customisation in the UK "Customers visiting the fast food giant can now place and pay for their orders using the screens, which also offer options to help them get their food just the way they like it. ...McDonald’s is looking to an improved customer experience to fight off competition from rival burger chains in the UK including Byron and Five Guys. It recently trialled a table service to provide a more personal experience in Manchester, which also incorporated the placing of orders through digital kiosks." via Business Reporter

Microsoft's prototype keyboard cover has an e-ink touchscreen "Looking to further bridge the gap between slate and laptop, Microsoft Applied Sciences built a prototype device it calls the DisplayCover: a keyboard cover that houses an e-ink touchscreen display. The 1,280 x 305 resolution panel not only provides access to app shortcuts, but it can also handle touch gestures for navigation and accept stylus input. The stylus feature seems to make things like signing documents and scribbling notes a breeze, based on the demo video. (Video)" via Engadget

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How Is LG Making the Capital Investment Gamble? "With falling TV panel demand and high fixed operation cost, Sharp accumulated drastic losses, pushing the company to the edge of bankruptcy. For the first time a larger substrate size did not automatically translate into business success. A valuable reminder that it is not only important what you do, but also when you do it. Today, several companies are talking about Gen 10 and Gen 10.5 LCD Fabs to gain a cost advantage in the display panel business. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Digitimes quoted the Korea Money Today newspaper as a source saying that LG is thinking about the investment in a Gen 9 LCD Fab instead of a Gen 10, to compete with Chinese and Japanese competitors. While there is no way to verify this report, as LG is just not commenting on this speculation, it may just be an idea from the analyst instead of actual LG insider information. Or is it actually possible that LG would do such a thing?" via DisplayDaily

Why does digital signage have friction in buying and supply? "The goals of different business units that may be involved add complexity. Purchasing wants to minimize the capital outlay, information technologies want a solution that is RAS-able (reliable, available and scalable), facilities seek digital signage that will deliver improved performance of the location and a better visitor experience, and marketing wants better branding and merchandising at lower ongoing communications cost. The biases of the department that is taking the lead on the project can minimize the goals of other stakeholders, and coordinating this range of interests can be like herding cats. The sourcing agent (IT, facilities, purchasing, etc.) often see their role as concluding at vendor selection and contracting, whereas the end-user department (e.g., marketing, human resources, student communications) must live with the solution and vendor that are selected. Digital signage can deliver a wide range of benefits, but too often end-users do themselves a disservice in not defining the benefits they seek, in particular over the life of the investment where their growing application of the media can change as they become more familiar with its use." via Digital Signage Today

Planar Acquired by Leyard "Portland, OR-based Planar was to be acquired by a U.S. affiliate of the Chinese company Leyard (for a purchase price of $6.58 per share, or approximately $156.8 million). ...The direct-view LED video market is rife with competition from low-cost companies mostly based in Shenzhen, China. As I wrote earlier this year after the news broke of Samsung acquiring Yesco, smaller local companies such as YESCO have been particularly hit by such competition, while premium brands such as Daktronics, Barco, and Mitsubishi have been able to maintain revenues due to their reputation in the market. Samsung provides YESCO and its customers the credibility of a global multinational brand, after that acquisition. And now Planar, a sophisticated engineering company with well above average 4K LCD flat panels and other digital signage offerings, should do well with the deeper pockets and R&D of a larger company like Leyard– and the “synergies” we hear about in every acquisition press release are real here, and should make for intriguing developments from this new pacific rim entity." via AVNetwork

How Does UX Design for Very Large Touchscreens Differ from Mobile Screens? "Dorothy Shamonsky shares other findings based on her research experience with very large touch screens, "A large touchscreen can look beautiful and is enjoyable to interact with! At the same time, a large display will magnify a poor user experience. If you don’t like the way an interface looks at a small size, on a large screen it will be more offensive. Everything about the user experience is exaggerated at the large size—the beauty and the fun, as well as the effort and the frustration. Attempting to use touch on sites and apps that are were not designed for touch is, if nothing else, boring. Creating compelling touch interaction requires an understanding of the familiar gestures and how to use them appropriately. Use simple and clear visual and aural feedback to create a sense of tactile feedback. Tune into the joy of a good user experience."" via Nielsen Norman Group

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 8.14.2015

Image via Google / Project Jacquard

Google and Levi's Team Up For Touch-Screen Enabled Clothing "Google and Levi Strauss have teamed up for a new project called Project Jacquard, named after a Frenchman who has invented a type of loom. This new initiative will be designed and spearheaded by a small Google team called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) and is taking touch screen to another level by developing touch screen enabled clothes. The touch controls will weave "interactive" textiles right into your clothes, giving any garment the ability to communicate with other gadgets and operate just like a touch screen device. “We are enabling interactive textiles,” the ATAP's own Emre Karagozler stated as part of their announcement. “We do it by weaving conductive threads into fabric.” “It is stretchable; it is washable,” he added. “It is just like normal fabric.”" via Shalom Life

How recycling LCD screens could solve rare metal shortage "The team from the School of Environment of Tsinghua University in Beijing tested 18 methods for removing indium from discarded LCD screens and displays. The methods involved crushing and grinding the LCD glass into particles less than 75 micrometres in size. The researchers then soaked the particles in a sulphuric acid solution at a temperature of 50 ºC. ...With the electronics industry selling millions of gadgets equipped with LCD screens, displays and panels of various sizes every year, there could easily be supply problems within the next 20 years if a sustainable way of indium recycling is not developed, some estimates suggest." via E&T Magazine

LG Display shows off press-on 'wallpaper' TV under 1mm thick "The 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display weighs 1.9 kilograms and is less than a millimeter thick. Thanks to a magnetic mat that sits behind it on the wall, the TV can be stuck to a wall. To remove the display from the wall, you peel the screen off the mat. The unveiling was part of a broader announcement by LG Display to showcase its plans for the future. The company said its display strategy will center on OLED technology." via CNET

"Always-on" Color Memory LCD is Ideal Graphic Display for Wearable Products "Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA) has unveiled its 1.33-inch (diagonal) Color Memory LCD graphics display. The 8-color LCD module has ultra-low power consumption, enabling longer time between recharges for small-display products with a battery. It also enables designers to meet the growing demand for "always-on" devices – e.g., products such as smartwatches that show a full array of data at a glance without need to "fire-up" the device. The high-resolution display (LS013B7DH06) delivers smooth graphics and simple video capability, thus showcasing richer content than many cholesteric, electrophoretic, and other bi-stable, "e-ink" type display solutions – all with lower energy requirements. Transmissivity allows addition of a backlight for visibility in low ambient light." via PR Newswire

Sharp to Explore Options for LCD Panel Business "Sharp Corp. said it would seek external help to prop up its LCD panel-making business and plans to quit selling televisions in the U.S. and much of the rest of North and South America, as the electronics company steps up its turnaround plan aimed at ending steep losses. ...In withdrawing from the TV business in the Americas, Sharp will sell much of its North and South America TV operations, with the exception of Brazil, to Hisense Co., a Chinese manufacturer. Sharp had a 4.6% share in the North America TV market, far behind market leader Samsung’s 35.1%, according to research company IHS." via WSJ

Samsung creates "transparent" truck display "When driving behind big semi-trailers, people regularly take risks overtaking them because they often have to first move out from behind the truck to see if the road ahead is clear before passing. This is particularly dangerous on single-lane highways because such a maneuver can mean driving into the path of oncoming traffic. Now Samsung Electronics has come up with a way to help reduce this problem by mounting cameras on the front of a truck and large screens on the rear to display to following drivers a clear view of the road ahead. Like the See-Through System we wrote about in 2013, the prototype video system on "Safety Truck" comprises a front-mounted camera to capture view of the road ahead of the truck. Rather than wirelessly send a live feed to a transparent LCD screen installed in a trailing driver's car, Samsung's solution transmits a continuous view of the road in front of the truck to exterior monitors mounted on the rear. (Video)" via Gizmag

Shape-shifting display projects objects out of TV screens using ultrasound levitation "The shape-changing display breakthrough is part of the Generic, Highly-Organic Shape-Changing Interfaces (GHOST) project and is the product of three years of research by the University of Copenhagen, the University of Bristol, Lancaster University and Eindhoven University of Technology. As glass cannot be bent as it will break, the researchers instead made a flatscreen display out of Lycra, which can be deformed at will. When a finger presses in on the display, a camera captures 3D depth data of the position and pressure of the finger on the screen. The researchers have developed computer algorithms that are able to detect and understand the depth information from the screens when a hand pulls at the display, as opposed to a glass screen display like an iPad, which has technology that only detects the limited area of a fingertip pressing on the glass in 2D." via International Business Times

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Researchers develop the first skin-like flexible display "A research team from the University of Central Florida, led by Professor Debashis Chanda, has developed the first-ever skin-like colour display, which is thin and flexible enough to be used alongside fabrics. The research team’s technique could open the door to thin, flexible, full-color displays that could be built into plastics and synthetic fabrics. The technology is only a few micrometres (um) thick. That is considerably smaller than a human hair, which is typically around 0.1mm thick." via Android Authority

Samsung Display Introduces First Mirror and Transparent OLED Display Panels "The new Samsung Display OLED panel technology provides a digital viewing platform for making the consumer purchasing experience more visually engaging. When Samsung’s OLED display technology is integrated with Intel® Real Sense™ technology, a visually compelling, interactive closet or “self-modeling” wardrobe is created that can enable consumers to virtually “see” clothes or other retail items from an extremely realistic, customized perspective. Together, the two technologies create a “virtual fitting room” that will be used to help consumers vividly see themselves wearing clothing apparel, shoes or jewelry that they might wish to buy. Once retailers like Chow Sang Sang adopt the combined Samsung-Intel “personalization” virtual imaging solution, consumers will be able to go to leading stores around the world to see retail items in ways that will greatly enhance point-of-purchase shopping as we know it today." via BusinessWire

How the world’s first white laser could revolutionize lighting and display tech "Incandescent bulbs have given way to CFL and LEDs, but these lighting technologies may be destined for extinction as well. A team of scientists at Arizona State University have developed a laser that can produce pure white light that is brighter and more efficient than even the best LEDs. Technically, the laser itself isn’t white from the start, but the clever use of nanomaterials allows three colored beams to become one white beam. Lasers have always had appeal for lighting technology as they’re very bright, work over long distances, and have high efficiency. The problem has always been that lasers can’t be white. This work builds on a laser created in 2011 at Sandia National Laboratories. However, that was merely a proof of concept, not a functional device. The ASU team’s white laser produces enough light that it’s visible to the human eye. That’s a step in the right direction." via ExtremeTech

E-paper display gives payment cards a changing security code "Using payment cards with an embedded chip makes payments more secure in physical stores, but it's still relatively easy for criminals to copy card details and use them online. Oberthur's Motion Code technology replaces the printed 3-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) code, usually found on the back of the card, with a small screen, where the code changes periodically. Today, any criminal who has seen a card or overheard the owner dictating the CVV code can make an unauthorized purchase online or by phone. With Motion Code, because the CVV changes from time to time, the time a fraudster has to act is reduced." via Computerworld

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LG scales up In-Cell technology for thinner touchscreen laptop displays "With the launch of Windows 8 and its awful Start screen interface, we also got an influx of touch-enabled laptops and convertibles. It was a nice feature you could happily ignore if you so wished, but it does add a little extra bulk to the display because a touchscreen requires a touch layer in the panel. However, LG is about to fix that by scaling up the touchscreen tech used in its smartphones. The technology in question is called Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT). What it does is remove the need for a separate touch layer by integrating the touch sensor directly into the LCD panel. You no longer need to add the touch panel on top of the LCD, it instead comes as standard and reduces the thickness (by 1mm) and weight (by 200 grams) of the finished display." via Geek

Apple Watch Sapphire vs Glass Display "The world’s best [and most expensive] watches all have a sapphire crystal because sapphire is incredibly hard, making them extremely scratch resistant and almost scratch proof under normal use. But sapphire is fairly expensive, so most watches instead have a glass crystal, which isn’t as hard or scratch resistant as sapphire, but still holds up pretty well. But is there a visual difference between a watch that uses sapphire versus glass? If you were to hold up two identical watches side-by-side, the one with a glass crystal would be about 20 percent brighter than the one with sapphire (due to fundamental principles of optics that reduce its light transmission), so it appears somewhat darker and duller, particularly because the light has to pass through the crystal twice. There are some new upcoming advanced technologies that can make significant improvements on this issue that we’ll mention below. The above discussion is for traditional watches, which work by reflecting ambient light off the watch face that lies below the crystal. On the other hand, the visual consequences from using sapphire and glass are considerably greater when they are used on displays, including smartphones and smart watches, because minimizing screen reflections is especially important for displays, and sapphire has almost double (191%) the Reflectance of glass, which we consider next…" via DisplayMate

Researchers' 'Fairy Lights' Promise Floating, Touchable Laser Displays "As the researchers explain in their paper, an earlier incarnation of the technology relied on a nanosecond laser to create bursts of plasma that, when fired in rapid succession, can effectively act as a floating display. The problem, as IEEE Spectrum notes, is that while those plasma bursts can deliver tactile feedback, they can also burn you. The latest version developed by the researchers, on the other hand, uses a femtosecond laser to create a similar type of floating plasma display that's safe to touch. And while it won't burn you, the plasma will apparently still generate "shock waves" that will let you feel an "impulse on the finger as if the light has physical substance."" via Tech Times

Could this could be the big OLED breakthrough we've been waiting for? "But a joint venture by Fujifilm and nano-electronics research institute, imec, might well have turned up a more cost-effective method of producing high-resolution, big-screen OLED displays. This pairing produced photoresist technology for organic semiconductors back in 2013 and they have recently demoed full-colour OLEDs using that photoresist tech. It's a different method of producing OLED displays compared with Samsung's Full Metal Masking (FMM) tech and LG's white OLED (WOLED) with colour filters. The research is most encouraging though because it uses an OLED patterning setup that uses standard lithography tools in its manufacture." via TechRadar

Facebook’s Oculus to Pay About $60 Million for Gesture-Control Firm Pebbles "Pebbles has recently integrated its technology into the virtual-reality headset developed by Facebook’s Oculus VR, enabling users to interact with the device via hand and finger gestures. Unlike competing gesture-identification technologies, Pebbles’ enables users to see images of their own arms and hands in their virtual-reality display. In some other technologies, users can’t “see” their bodies, or only see generic digitally-generated versions. Pebbles’ technology can show unique features like clothing, scars or items held in one’s hand." via WSJ

Apple might be bringing fighter-jet technology to car windshields "The world’s most valuable company is “very likely” working on a 27- to 50-inch head-up display, a technology most famously used by jet pilots, that could project vivid icons and information for drivers while on the road, a tech analyst with Global Equities Research said Thursday morning. The curved-glass screen could also be wired with sensors and “may be completely gesture-controlled,” a stealth project that analyst Trip Chowdhry said could be Apple’s “next generation” device, after gadgets such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch." via Washington Post

Switchable holographic pixel elements for 3D displays "Many so-called 3D display technologies rely on optical tricks, such as stereoscopy and reflective prisms, to give the illusion of depth. However, holograms can record, and display, all the information of the original light field using optical interference so that there is no visible difference between the optical information in the displayed image and the real-world scene. Hence the display is a true 3D view into the world (see Figure 1).1 Such an ideal 3D holographic display requires an array of multifunctional, highly dense pixels working in unison to encode phase, amplitude, wavelength, and polarization information yet with dimensions similar to visible wavelengths." via SPIE

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Are quantum dots ‘ready for prime time’? Analyst says yes "Until OLEDs are ready, says Yole, “QD-LCD technology will have a unique window of opportunity to try to close enough of the performance gap such that the majority of consumers will not be able to perceive the difference between the two technologies so price would become the driving factor in the purchasing decision.” Under this scenario, the analyst believes that QD-LCD could establish itself as the dominant technology while struggling OLEDs “would be cornered into the high end of the market.” Yole acknowledges that OLED-based displays potentially offer more opportunities for differentiation but the analyst notes, “OLED proponents need to invest massively and still have to resolve manufacturing yield issues. For tier-2 LCD panel makers who cannot invest in OLED, Quantum Dots offer an opportunity to boost LCD performance without imposing additional CAPEX on their fabs.” At this year’s Consumer Electronics show, as reported, no fewer than seven leading TV OEMs including Samsung and LG demonstrated QD-LCD TVs." via

The impact of consumer demand for cutting-edge display technology on the gases market "Currently about 20% of smartphones – the ones with lower resolution displays – use a-Si display process. Higher resolution devices and new effects such as curved displays require higher performance transistors and improvements in electron mobility. This can be achieved by switching from amorphous silicon (a-Si) transistors to low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) or metal oxide (MO), also known as transparent amorphous oxide semiconductor (TAOS). LTPS is used in about 44% of high-end LCD smart- phone displays as it has the highest performance. Due to its higher costs and scalability limitations, LTPS is less suited for large screen displays. Small displays with very high pixel resolution are produced with LTPS. High-definition large displays can be made using MO. Metal oxide semiconductors can remain in an active state longer than traditional LCD and can cut power consumption by up to 90%, which is a huge benefit." via Solid State Technology

Huge 8K panels shipping from China this year "The new screens are rocking Advanced Super Dimension Shift (ADSDS) panel technology, which sounds like some serious quantum physics kinda extra-dimensional voodoo, but is actually another liquid crystal tech allowing the wee molecules to be rotated in a more efficient way. The advantages of this technology is it's capable of dealing with incredibly high resolutions (lucky as we're talking about 7680x4320 here…) with low levels of power consumption. Another bonus of ADSDS - and why it's part of these big screens - is that it has a seriously wide viewing angle of 178º. OLED on the other hand is still sat at a slightly more limited 160º viewing angle." via TechRadar

Laser-projected mouse melds trackpad, touchscreen "ODiN is the world's first laser projection mouse, claims its creator, Taiwanese company Serafim Technologies. The device was shown off on Monday, a day before the Computex trade show in Taipei. Users who buy the product will receive a small projector that can sit on top of a table, and connects to a PC via its USB port. It works by displaying a virtual trackpad on a hard surface like a table. For users, this means they'll essentially see a small box, made out of red light, with the right and left click buttons projected at the top of the trackpad. To read the gestures, the projector has built-in sensors that can track a user's finger movements over the trackpad. The company created the product as a way to meld mouse and touchscreen functions, said Serafim's CEO GZ Chen." via Computerworld

Austrian Company Invents a Touch Screen for the Visually Impaired "Here's the gist of it: the tablet is just like an e-reader but instead of a traditional LCD display, it has one that's made out of a smart liquid that forms bubbles on the surface. When the software recognizes text from either a USB drive or webpage, it converts them into Braille letters. "We call the materials 'tixels' from 'tactile pixels' because we do not use any mechanical elements to trigger the dots," Kristina Tsvetanova, Blitab's founder, says. (Video)" via Fast Company

Everything you can do with the Force Touch Display on Apple Watch "Force Touch adds a new dimension to the watch’s user interface, a necessary one given the device’s small screen. The Retina display’s electrodes can sense when you’re tapping the screen to select an option and when you’re forcefully pressing down to bring up a secondary menu. Apple calls Force Touch the “most significant new sensing capability since Multi-Touch,” the touchscreen tech that transformed the way we interact with phones (and everything else). Apple Watch and the trackpads on the new 12-inch MacBook and revamped 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro have the new Force Touch gesture baked in, and Apple is reportedly planning to add it to the next generation of iPhones." via Macworld

Google's new finger control technology is straight out of a science fiction movie "Google showcased an early prototype of the Soli technology on stage with impressive results. Google showed how precise, fine motor skills, such as pinching the thumb and index finger, or rubbing them together at different speeds, could be used to control all sorts of things without actually touching them. In one demo, the founder of Google's Project Soli, Ivan Poupyrev, kicked a virtual soccer ball by flicking at the screen. In another, he changed the hours on a clock by turning an imaginary dial with his fingers, and then changed the minutes by raising his hands further away from the screen and doing it again." via Business Insider

Most Colorful Color Display Yet Eliminates Need For Backlight "The new display is the latest version of Mirasol, an established commercial product from Qualcomm. Instead of emitting their own light, the Mirasol displays basically use a sophisticated mirror to selectively reflect light from the environment. Researchers report in a paper published in the journal Optica that they have solved many of the biggest problems that the technology has encountered so far, decreasing the display's power demands and making it easy on the eyes in bright environments. "No more squinting at a hard-to-read display outdoors where we spend much of our time," lead author John Hong, a researcher with Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc., said in a statement. "We ultimately hope to create a paper-like viewing experience, which is probably the best display experience that one can expect, with only the light behind you shining on the page."" via Tech Times

Nanostructure design enables pixels to produce two different colors "The main challenge to overcome was the mixing of colors between polarizations, a phenomenon known as cross-talk. Goh and Yang trialed two aluminum nanostructures as pixel arrays: ellipses and two squares separated by a very small space (known as coupled nanosquare dimers). Each pixel arrangement had its own pros and cons. While the ellipses offered a broader color range and were easier to pattern than the nanosquare dimers, they also exhibited a slightly higher cross-talk. In contrast, the coupled nanosquare dimers had a lower cross-talk but suffered from a very narrow color range. Because of their lower cross-talk, the coupled nanosquare dimers were deemed better candidates for encoding two overlaid images on the same area that could be viewed by using different incident polarizations." via

The Days of Squinting at Laptops in the Sun Are Almost Over "It’s a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day—before 2006, according to this fine historical document—laptops had those squishy LCD screens that would leave psychedelic trails when you’d run your finger over them. Beyond that trippy side effect, the screens had one big benefit: Matte that were seemingly resistant to glare. Those days are gone. Pick up any laptop and odds are it’s got a glossy screen. Apple dropped the matte screen option from the MacBook Pro in 2013, and people were none too pleased. But according to Dr. Raymond Soneira, founder and president of display-testing and -calibration company DisplayMate Technologies, matte screens have their own problems." via Wired

Fiber-like light-emitting diodes for wearable displays "Professor Kyung-Cheol Choi and his research team from the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST have developed fiber-like light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can be applied in wearable displays. The research findings were published online in the July 14th issue of Advanced Electronic Materials. Traditional wearable displays were manufactured on a hard substrate, which was later attached to the surface of clothes. This technique had limited applications for wearable displays because they were inflexible and ignored the characteristics of fabric. To solve this problem, the research team discarded the notion of creating light-emitting diode displays on a plane. Instead, they focused on fibers, a component of fabrics, and developed a fiber-like LED that shared the characteristics of both fabrics and displays." via Printed Electronics World

Forever 21's 'Thread Screen' displays Instagram pics using fabric "Most companies seek out the latest displays for high-tech billboards, but Forever 21 has decided to take a different route for this particular Instagram project. For the past year-and-a-half, the folks at connected hardware maker Breakfast New York have been building a "Thread Screen" for the company. It's called that, because well, it's literally a screen made of 6,400 mechanical spools of multicolored threaded fabric. Those spools have five-and-a-half feet of fabric each, divided into 36 colors that transition every inch-and-a-half. They move like a conveyor belt, stopping at the right hue based on what picture they're displaying -- an infrared even scans the finished product to make sure each spool is displaying the correct color." via Engadget

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 5.3.2015

Image via Apple Watch

How does Apple's Force Touch enhance the touchscreen experience? "On March 9, Apple announced the Apple Watch and new MacBook at its Spring Forward event. The company also acclaimed its Force Touch (with Taptic Engine) as a new concept in these products. Apple previously seemed more interested in pressure-sensing technology, as it applied for a stylus use patent. However, tap-sensing replaced pressure-sensing. Tap-sensing is limited in pressure detection, and its sensing level is not as sophisticated as pressure-sensing technology. ...Force Touch is more of a marketing term than a specific technology. Apple will likely adopt the most appropriate tap-sensing technology depending on the product. For example, the company already indicated that touch screens are not suitable for clam-shell notebook form factors. Still, Apple will continue to improve its user interface. In addition to the new butterfly mechanism replacing the scissor-like keyboard, Force Touch replaces the diving board design to make its trackpad better." via ECN Magazine

Sharp may spin off LCD unit "Loss-making Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp (6753.T) may spin off its LCD panel business and seek funding for it from the government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a source familiar with the plan said on Sunday. The Nikkei business daily earlier reported that the LCD unit, which supplies displays to smartphone and tablet manufacturers, will be spun off in the current fiscal year and that INCJ could invest 100 billion yen in the new entity." via Reuters

How refrigerator LCD screens are driving consumers to drink "The latest digital screen innovation for hospitality businesses is a refreshing change: pub refrigerators with transparent LCD displays built in. Heineken has ordered 200 of Focal Media’s new Damoc Cooler Displays for UK and Ireland locations serving its products, hoping to raise its beer brand’s profile and develop sales. Irish firm Focal Media creates content, digitising conventional advertising where necessary to tie in with events featured at the venues – particularly Heineken-sponsored sporting fixtures such as Champions League and European Cup rugby, which can be big attractions for pubs that show them on TV. Content also includes promotional videos and social media updates." via Screenmedia Magazine

Researchers developing LCD shutters that go from transparent to a new scene "A group of researchers at Pusan National University in South Korea are developing LCD shutters that can be either transparent — allowing you to see your neighborhood — or opaque — giving you views of anything you choose to put on the screen. While not a completely new idea, Tae-Hoon Yoon and his group have a new design that could eliminate some of the problems associated with making a transparent display out of OLEDs. "The transparent part is continuously open to the background," Yoon told AIP Publishing, which published his work in AIP Advances. "As a result, they exhibit poor visibility." Instead, the group’s idea involves a polymer network of liquid crystal cells that don’t absorb light when the shutter is "off," making the material transparent. To make the shutter opaque and ready to project an image, you supply electricity, letting special dichroic dyes absorb the light reflected by the LCDs." via Digital Trends

Shape-changing display could spell the end for the 2D graph "Researchers have developed a 3D prototype display which brings data to life in just this way sounding the death knell for the two dimensional bar chart. Human Computer Interaction specialists at Lancaster University have built a device which translates data into a three dimensional display. The interactive grid of 100 moving columns enables people to understand and interpret data at a glance. People can also physically interact with data points by touching, selecting and swiping through them to hide, filter and compare sets of data easily. The 3D display is radically different to interacting with data on a flat screen. A month's sales figures for example spring to life and take on a 'shape' in front of you, numbers become 'things', trends become gradients which you can reach out and touch." via

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Graphene produces a working 3D holographic display "The graphene-enabled display created by a team of researchers from Griffith University and Swinburne University of Technology is based on Dennis Gabor's holographic method, which was developed in the 1940s and won Gabor the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. The team has created a high-definition 3D holographic display with a wide viewing angle of up to 52 degrees, based on a digital holographic screen composed of small pixels that bend the light. ...To create the hologram, graphene oxide (a form of graphene mixed with oxygen) is treated with a process called photoreduction, using a rapidly pulsed laser to heat the graphene oxide. This creates the pixel that is capable of bending the light to produce a holographic image. This, the team says, could one day revolutionise displays -- with the most obvious implications in mobile technology and wearable technology. It could also be used for holographic anti-counterfeit tags, security labels, and personal identification." via CNET

Refurbished Avionic Display Panel Connectivity "As part of our continuing series on aircraft refurbs, we’ll focus on a specific avionics upgrade this month—the wireless interface of a portable device (tablet or cell phone) running a flight planning app with IFR-certified, panel-mounted avionics. If you’re doing an avionics upgrade as part of a refurb, we think wireless avionics integration makes sense, especially as the cost may be as low as $1,000 plus installation on top of what you may already be doing. We’ll look at the underlying concept and outline what’s available from the two main players, Aspen and Garmin. We’ll also tell you up front that while Aspen was the first to deliver, its capabilities are limited, and Garmin’s offering is less expensive and more able." via AVweb

Should outdoor digital signage be enclosed? "As enjoyable as a bright sunny day is, it can wreak havoc on an LCD display. There are two main concerns, the first of which is brightness. An average brightness rating for a commercial LCD screen is usually somewhere about 500 nits, which is fine for indoor environments; however, put that screen in sunlight and it will be very difficult to view. With the increased demands on display manufacturers for products to be placed outdoors, we are now seeing displays made for this purpose with brightness ratings of 2,000 nits and higher. The second major concern is that many LCD panels, when exposed to direct sunlight, can become unstable and the image can turn black. In most cases this is temporary, although at a minimum it will cause a disruption to the messaging on the screen. Thankfully, we are starting to see manufacturers produce products that are designed to be viewed in direct sunlight. As you can see, there are several factors that need to be addressed when end-users are looking to expand their digital messaging beyond the inside of their store. " via Digital Signage Today

How to Use Imaging Colorimeters for Automated Visual Inspection of Flat Panel Displays "The use of imaging colorimeter systems and analytical software to assess display brightness and color uniformity, contrast, and to identify defects in Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) is well established. A fundamental difference between imaging colorimetry and traditional machine vision is imaging colorimetry's accuracy in matching human visual perception for light and color uniformity. This white paper describes how imaging colorimetry can be used in a fully-automated testing system to identify and quantify defects in high-speed, high-volume production environments." via Quality Magazine

Which Apple Watch Display Is the Best? "DisplayMate has taken a close look at the OLED screen in the smartwatch, and it notes that sapphire carries its share of drawbacks over the toughened glass in the Watch Sport. While you're still getting colorful, sharp visuals, the higher-end Watch's sapphire reflects almost twice as much light and washes out the picture in very bright conditions. And no, Apple can't use an anti-glare coating to fix this -- that would scratch easily, which misses the whole point of sapphire." via Engadet

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Could butterfly wings could reduce display screen reflections? "Materials such as glass always reflect part of the incident light, making display screens hard to use in sunlight, but the glasswing butterfly hardly reflects any light in spite of its transparent wings. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have found that irregular nanostructures on the surface of the butterfly wing cause the low reflectivity and hope that a synthetic version of the structure could be used for lenses or mobile phone displays." via E&T Magazine

How will new electronic paper make inexpensive electronic displays? "Researchers from the University of Tokyo have revamped an old e-paper concept to make an inexpensive handwriting-enabled e-paper well suited to large displays like whiteboards. They describe the e-paper in the Journal of Applied Physics ("Electrically and magnetically dual-driven Janus particles for handwriting-enabled electronic paper"). Traditional ink and paper is convenient for both reading and writing. In e-paper development the writing feature has generally lagged behind. Handwriting-enabled displays mainly show up in the inexpensive, but feature-limited realm of children's toys, and in the high-end realm of touch-screen e-readers and smart pens. A team of Japanese researchers has now taken an e-paper technology originally developed in the 1970s and updated it to make a tough and inexpensive display that could be used like a whiteboard when a large writing space is required." via Nanowerk

Why does HDR for 4K Display need end-to-end thinking? "According to Mark Horton, strategic product manager, encoding portfolio at Ericsson Television, "There is a big push back happening against phase 1 (4K resolution). There is little consumer benefit of Phase 1 at sets below 55 inches and they (broadcasters and service providers) think the extra bandwidth doesn’t justify the consumer benefits". These comments were some that he made at this week’s DVB World in Copenhagen. It’s for this reason, according to Horton, that many broadcasters and media companies think HDR is the much more worthwhile investment and that it can create improved results for consumers simply by being applied to HD instead of 4K resolution. Horton also claimed that Ericsson is working independently of the various HDR-related proposals being reviewed by ITU, MPEG and other standards bodies. So far Ericsson doesn’t favor any specific proposal but the company’s unique position of being involved in the entire content chain from content acquisition to end-user screen technology is causing Ericsson to worry about HDR-related standards and decisions being reached in isolation from each other in ways that cause harm to the entire HDR content transmission line. HDR content, in other words, needs to be implemented across the board in a uniform way and according to Horton, "We need to understand what the ‘HDR look’ will be for types of content, whether sports or drama, and need end-to-end tests in a real-world situation."" via 4K News

Oppo's bezel-less display technology appears on video "A video from China reveals some of the technology employed by Oppo that gives its newer handsets a look of being bezel-less, when in actuality there is a razor thin border around the glass. A prototype stars in the video and in real-life this technology will be employed on the Oppo R7. The extremely thin handset has been the subject of quite a few leaks. Besides presenting a bezel-less look, the Oppo R7 also could be the thinnest smartphone in the world measuring less than 4.85mm thick." via phoneArena

Google Unveils a Stick That Turns Any Display Into a PC "This is the Asus Chromebit, and according to Sengupta, it will reach the market this summer, priced at less than a hundred dollars. Sengupta is the Google vice president who helps oversee the distribution of Chrome OS, the Google operating system that runs the Chromebit. The device is a bit like the Google Chromecast—the digital stick that plugs into your television and streams video from the internet—but it does more. Google pitches it as something that lets you walk up to any LCD display and instantly transform it into viable computer, whether it’s sitting on a desk in a classroom, mounted on the wall in an office conference room, or hanging above the checkout counter in a retail store or fast food joint. “Think about an internet cafe,” Sengupta says during a gathering at Google’s San Francisco offices. “Think about a school lab.”" via Wired

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Light-emitting paper acts as a cheap, flexible display "Ludvig Edman and a team of researchers at the Umeå University in Sweden believe they have solved the problem by going back to basics. They asked the question: "how do you make a display as flexible as a sheet of paper?" And the obvious answer they came back with was: "by using a sheet of paper." What Edman has done is to develop a spray-on solution which allows a sheet of paper to be turned into a usable display. Six layers are sprayed on to the sheet. The first layer is an adhesive allowing the rest of the layers to stick to the paper. Next, four layers form the actual display, allowing electricity to flow across the paper sheet and be turned into light. The final layer seals the sheet and protects the newly formed display." via Geek

How can a touchscreen display become a biometric scanner? "A team of researchers from Yahoo Labs has developed a much affordable alternative to fingerprint sensors for phones. It's a biometric system called "Bodyprint," and it only needs devices' capacitive touchscreen displays to authenticate body parts. Since displays have lower input resolution compared to specialized sensors, the system requires you to use larger parts of your body. It can recognize your ear, fist, phalanges, set of five fingers and your palm -- simply press any of them on the screen for access. In addition to serving as your phone's gatekeeper, it has a number of other potential applications, as well. (Video)" via Engadget

How can video display re-create human vision models? "Image processing technology has achieved remarkable breakthroughs, with more vivid colors, richer detail and higher definition images. This adds up to better resolution and a broader range of available colors at lower cost per pixel. But despite these stunning advances in visual display, it has been impossible to accurately reproduce what the human eye would see when viewing the scene directly. ...The human eye adjusts how it sees colors based on brightness, and color of the viewing light. Technological displays, unlike the human eye, do not differentiate between regions that should be adjusted (such as shadows) and those that should not. ...This new era of real-time color processing, first developed by Entertainment Experience for its eeColor software application, in partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology, is now a reality. The new model displays vibrancy that even in Ultra HD, has never before been possible." via TechRadar

Could Silver Nanowire Conductors Improve Touchscreen Displays? "There are several factors that make silver nanowires a material ideally suited to new products for the "touch age." Let's start by noting that touchscreens should be thin, light, visible in various ambient light conditions, highly responsive, and -- perhaps most importantly -- lower-cost. The most popular touchscreen technology is projected capacitance, or pro-cap. At the core is a transparent conductor -- a layer of material that needs to conduct electricity while remaining transparent so as to allow light from the underlying display to shine through the screen. Indium tin oxide (ITO), the legacy conductor material, is neither very conductive nor transparent compared with silver nanowires. It's also too brittle for flexible display and touch applications. Forthcoming generations of both smaller and larger touch interfaces need to be very responsive; also, the display needs to be bright and visible in all types of ambient lighting. This requires notably more highly conductive transparent conductors with high transmission ability. Silver nanowire delivers on all counts." via EE Times

World's first multitouch, button-free 3D shaped panel for automotive "Canatu, a leading manufacturer of transparent conductive films, has in partnership with Schuster Group and Display Solution AG, showcased a pioneering 3D encapsulated touch sensor for the automotive industry. The partnership is delivering the first ever, button-free 3D shaped true multi-touch panel for automotives, being the first to bring much anticipated touch applications to dashboards and paneling. The demonstrator provides an example of multi-functional display with 5 finger touch realized in IML technology. The integration of touch applications to dashboards and other paneling in cars has long been desired by automotive designers but a suitable technology was not available. Finally the technology is now here. Canatu's CNB™ (Carbon NanoBud®) In-Mold Film, with its unique stretch properties provides a clear path to the eventual replacement of mechanical controls with 3D touch sensors. The touch application was made using an existing mass manufacturing tool and industry standard processes." via Printed Electronics World

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 3.17.2015

Image via Saarland University

DIY printing custom touch-sensitive displays "Computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom displays, including touchscreens. Using a regular inkjet printer equipped with a special ink, a DIY thin-film electroluminescence (TFEL) display can simply be printed out from a digital template of the desired size and shape using a program like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. "So far, nothing like this has been possible," says researcher Simon Olberding. "Displays were produced for the masses, never for one individual user."" via Gizmag

Japan Display confirms new plant "Japan Display Inc said on Friday that it would build a new $1.4 billion liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing plant, which a source said would supply smartphone screens for Apple Inc. The company did not name Apple, in line with its policy of not identifying clients. A person familiar with the matter said Apple would also invest an unspecified amount in the plant, which would further the Japanese screen maker's aim of becoming the primary supplier of high-tech screens for iPhones. ...Japan Display said it aims to start operations at the plant in 2016 and expects the move to increase its LCD capacity by 20 percent. The company, formed in a government-backed deal in 2012 from the ailing display units of Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd, has led a volatile course since its public offering last year." via Reuters

Sharp Reiterates Commitment to Panel Business ""Our panel business hasn’t worsened to the point where we’re saying it is facing an uphill battle yet, and we are committed to developing more value-added products and to remain an important pillar for the company," Norikazu Hohshi, who heads Sharp’s device business, said at a news conference. The display maker recently slashed its business outlook, saying it would record a net loss of ¥30 billion ($246 million) in the fiscal year ending this month, compared with a previous forecast of a ¥30 billion net profit. The company has struggled as rival Japan Display Inc. has made aggressive sales pitches to Sharp’s main customers in China such as Xiaomi Corp." via The Wall Street Journal

Is VR Union more immersive than Oculus Rift? "VR Union, a two-year old startup based in Prague, has leapfrogged his advances in virtual reality by creating virtual-reality goggles with a display that is triple the resolution of anything else available on the market. ...VR Union also found a way to leverage Fresnel lens technology, originally developed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for lighthouses in 1823. The tech allows for a nearly 180-degree field of vision and makes it possible for users to wear prescription glasses inside the headset. In contrast, Oculus uses a conventional heavier aspheric lens, similar to a handheld magnifying glass, that offers a 100-degree field of vision. VR Union says the conventional approach disturbs complete immersion by creating the effect of peering through two short tubes. Dozens of display companies, including Sony and Samsung, are vying to become the global standard for VR goggles before they become a mainstream device." via Fortune

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Are real-time holographic displays one step closer to reality? "Real-time dynamic holographic displays, long the realm of science fiction, could be one step closer to reality, after researchers from the Univ. of Cambridge developed a new type of pixel element that enables far greater control over displays at the level of individual pixels. The results are published in Physica Status Solidi. ...“In a typical liquid crystal on silicon display, the pixels’ electronics, or backplane, provides little optical functionality other than reflecting light,” said Calum Williams, a PhD student at Cambridge’s Dept. of Engineering and the paper’s lead author. “This means that a large amount of surface area is being underutilised, which could be used to store information.” Williams and his colleagues have achieved a much greater level of control over holograms through plasmonics: the study of how light interacts with metals on the nanoscale, which allows the researchers to go beyond the capability of conventional optical technologies." via R&D Mag

Sharp's sensitive 70-inch LCD responds to brushstrokes "The capacitive touch panel screens, shown off Tuesday in Tokyo, provide an experience that's closer than ever to working with pen and paper, even with large screens. Technology in the prototypes could be used in a range of applications from sketching to calligraphy to writing memos on mobile devices. ...Capacitive stylus brushes and touchscreens that respond to pencil have been commercialized already, but Sharp says its displays are more sensitive and work with large formats. When screens are larger, noise from the display reduces the sensitivity of the touch panel. Sharp was able to keep the noise in check by using a parallel drive sensing method, which drives the processes of multiple touch sensors at the same time." via CIO

How do LED displays work? These amazing GIFs show exactly how "Designer Jacob O'Neal of has created a series of beautiful animations that show just how all these pixels and crystals combine to display the words and pictures we see." via Business Insider

Prototype of Retina Imaging Laser Eyewear for Low-Vision Care "QD Laser, Inc. and the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics at the University of Tokyo announced the prototype of the retina imaging laser eyewear for low vision care. ...The laser eyewear has a miniature laser projector on the glasses frame that provides the wearer with digital image information using the retina as a screen. Remarkable characteristics, not achieved by other devices using liquid crystal displays (LCDs), are as follows: 1. Wide viewing with a small device owing to the projection principle. 2. High brightness, high color reproducibility and energy reduction owing to semiconductor lasers as RGB light sources. 3. Image viewing at any position of the retina. 4. Focus free - meaning picture clarity is independent of the individual’s visual power. 5. All optics to be installed inside the glasses owing to the “focus free” characteristics. The glasses appear to be normal." via Novus Light

Korean researchers develop microencapsulation technology for displays "A team of experts at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed technology that they say will help viewers see images three-dimensionally. "We use molecular engineering to create rubber covered microcapsules that can move around in liquid and change shape and color, making displayed images look three dimensional." They say their technology, which microcapsules phototonic crystals, can be used for next generation reflective-type color displays that can bend or fold. What's more, these microcapsules have characteristics that allows them to change colors based on varying temperatures, which would result in a more brilliant display panel." via Arirang

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How does Kyocera's smartphone display prototype soak up solar power? "This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Kyocera is showing off a concept phone that uses its own display to convert the sun's rays into juice for its battery. While we've previously seen devices that harness the sun's rays via solar cells mounted on the chassis, Kyocera's prototype employs a transparent photovoltaic layer that can be placed on top of or beneath the touchscreen. The specific technology on display this week comes from a company named Sunpartner, which makes a power-generating display layer called the Wysips (What you see is photovoltaic surface) Crystal connected to a chip that manages and converts solar energy into power that can be stored in the device's battery. Sunpartner says Wysips is capable of delivering up to 5 milliWatt-peak/cm2, a figure the company expects to soon double thanks to next-generation photovoltaic materials. The layer is only 0.1 mm thick, making it easy to add to a device without impacting the aesthetic design. The company also claims that it will not impact the the display's touch capabilities. (Video)" via Gizmag

AMD's LiquidVR Technology Signals New Battleground For The GPU Wars "The holy grail of virtual reality is a concept known as presence. For a user to feel fully immersed in a virtual environment, the time between the user moving their head or hands and seeing that action reflected in the virtual space (defined technically as "motion-to-photon latency") needs to be minimal, or preferably non-existent. Reducing that latency involves a lot of moving parts, from the software to the GPU to the display technology inside of a VR headset. That’s the battleground, and it’s what AMD hopes to improve with LiquidVR. The company says it intends to bring "smooth, liquid-like motion and responsiveness to developers and content creators for life-like presence in VR environments powered by AMD hardware." AMD released the Alpha version of their LiquidVR SDK (software development kit) to developers today." via Forbes

ITO Recycling: A Green Ecosystem for Multi-Screen Era "One person having multiple devices is already an unshakeable trend. Moreover, manufacturing more display screens means ITO material consumption. Consequently, finding ways to create environmentally friendly recovery mechanisms for display materials in the multi-screen era will be an important link for the industry’s sustainable development. Environmental ITO recycling technology is beginning this solution mechanism. ...Currently there are two major sources of Indium tin oxide recycling. The first is ITO glass (such as displays, touch panels, and solar batteries). The second is ITO target materials. The former requires first breaking the materials into pieces, and then a chemical solution is used to filter out impurities and refine Indium tin. Afterwards, from the cladding material equipment, stripping and refinement can be carried out by directly soaking it in a solution." via CTimes

How will digital signage benefit from new reading speed technology? "Reading a text is something that each of us does at our own individual pace. This simple fact has been exploited by computer scientists in Saarbrücken who have developed a software system that recognizes how fast a text on a display screen is being read and then allows the text to scroll forward line by line at the right speed. The technology makes use of commercially available eye-tracking glasses, which are able to capture the motion of the user's eyes and convert this into a reading speed. Potential future areas of applications include electronic books or the large-scale displays used in railway stations and shopping centres. The research team will be showcasing its project from March 16th to March 20th at the Cebit computer expo in Hanover." via

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Retina MacBook Pro Users Complain of Anti-Reflective Display Coating Wearing Off "A growing number of users have turned to the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums and Facebook in recent weeks to voice their complaints about the anti-reflective coating on Retina MacBook Pros becoming stained or wearing off. The long-standing display issue appears to affect several MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present. The anti-reflective coating appears to be wearing off under a variety of circumstances, including the pressure of the keys and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of third-party cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths. While the issue is typically isolated to small areas of the screen, some users have shared pictures showing the anti-reflective coating wearing off across virtually the entire display." via MacRumors

Researchers create glasses-free 3D display with tiny spherical lenses "The most successful foray into the realm of 3D technology is probably the Nintendo 3DS, which has sold quite well by the standards of handheld game consoles. Part of that is effective use of 3D in games, but more importantly, you don’t need glasses to experience a 3D effect. Glasses-free 3D comes with drawbacks, but a team of researchers from Chengdu, China might have figured out how to make this type of 3D viable using spherical lenses in the display. ...Most people can tolerate a narrow viewing angle with a handheld device. But with anything larger, it’s far too inconvenient. The spherical lens display design featured in the new paper has the potential to boost the viewing angle of an autostereoscopic screen dramatically. The proof-of-concept display created by the researchers works at 32 degrees, with a theoretical viewing angle of up to 90 degrees. Additionally, microsphere-lens (MSL) arrays can be produced inexpensively using ball placement technology." via ExtremeTech

UniPixel Touchscreen Film Near Manufacturing "Texas-based UniPixel and its joint venture with Eastman Kodak Co. has been plagued with delays as it works on the underlying technology, which would use a similar process Kodak traditionally used to make film. The two companies announced in 2013 the joint venture that was expected at that time to turn out touchscreen sensor film by the end of that year from its Eastman Business Park plant. Now, nearly two years after that initial announcement, UniPixel CEO Jeff Hawthorne said the company expects initial commercial shipments in the second quarter of 2015." via Democrat & Chronicle

Qualcomm’s fingerprint tech turns touchscreen into Touch ID "The company has announced Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology at MWC 2015, a long name for what's shaping up to be a potentially big improvement in security ergonomics. Rather than a capacitive sensor, as used in Apple's Touch ID and on the new Samsung Galaxy S6, Qualcomm's approach uses ultrasonics so that it can sense through a variety of materials. ...That would mean pressing your finger against the display itself could be used to authenticate access, allowing for slimmer and more compact devices overall. Qualcomm says the sensor can see through sweat, grease, and hand-lotion, and other substances which would confuse a regular biometric scanner. Interestingly, an Apple patent suggesting just that sort of approach, embedding Touch ID into the touchscreen rather than in the home button, was spotted back in February." via SlashGear

AUO pushing 5 major selling points for panels "For 2015, AU Optronics (AUO) is pushing five major selling points for its panels to boost product demand. The points are Ultra HD resolution - AUO will upgrade all sizes of its panels to support Ultra HD resolution; curved display technology; integrated touch control technology; image improvement technologies such as wide color gamut and ultra-high dynamic contrast; and value-added functions for industrial, enterprise, car-use and wearable applications. The points were outlined from AUO president Paul Peng who added that AUO's aim for 2015 is not to gain market share but rather focus on profitability from high-end, differentiated products that outline AUO's technology advantages in the market." via DigiTimes

Flexible Hybrid Films For Longer Lasting Displays "The paper by polymer scientists Park Soo-Young and Cho A-Ra of Kyungpook National University describes a method to create a type of so-called "hybrid" film, composed of both inorganic and organic materials. A process known as the sol-gel fabrication technique can create hybrid films, but it, too, is less than ideal, because it requires the use of acids that corrode the metals and metal oxides in the devices' electronic components. … The hybrid films showed less depreciation in flexibility after 10,000 bending cycles than the inorganic layered films. Resistance of a material increases because of the formation of minute cracks as it flexes—just as it would when used in a flexible display screen. A film with higher resistance has lower electrical conductivity, meaning that more voltage must be applied to send a signal through it, which further degrades the material." via AsianScientist

NASA Is Developing Wearable Tech Glasses for Astronauts "The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is working on computerized glasses for astronauts that can guide them through how to repair a latch on their ship or conduct an experiment in space. NASA is teaming up with a San Francisco company called Osterhout Design Group, which makes augmented-reality glasses that project information onto the lenses. The plan is to create a system where how-to guides can be uploaded to the glasses, allowing astronauts to follow directions while their hands are full. NASA's engineering teams are working on integrating their software into the glasses and, later this year, will test them in an undersea lab to simulate the environment of space flight. Eventually, the device will be submitted to NASA's flight program team for its first trip into space." via Bloomberg

Visual science research is needed as displays get "There is an interplay between design, which makes the display attractive and can be for branding, and legibility. As displays get smaller, there is less room for flexibility and the exact balance between design (which is an artistic endeavour), and legibility (which can be measured with visual science) becomes more important. The trouble is, said Reimer, that there is not yet enough visual science to pin down the legibility end of the spectrum: “As displays get smaller, we must think much more cohesively. We need to get much more to the root of visual science to inform decision makers so they can balance design with science.” MIT AgeLab, together with typeface company Monotype Imaging, has developed a method for testing the legibility of typefaces on screens under glance-like conditions – an adapted form of ‘stimulus onset asynchrony’ (SOA) for use on a PC, by automotive manufacturers and human-machine interface designers for example."via Electronics Weekly

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 2.28.2015

Image via Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft unveils computer with ‘holographic’ display "Unlike competitors, Facebook-owned Occulus VR and Samsung, Microsoft aims not to immerse the user in an entirely virtual environment but instead to bring the virtual environment into the real world in the form of what it calls “interactive holograms”. HoloLens itself, an unassuming, futuristic-looking headset, will run the latest iteration of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Windows 10. It is one of the first computers to operate solely using voice and gesture based commands. ...The transparent lenses in front of each eye are made up of three layers of glass, each corrugated with tiny grooves to form diffraction gratings.Visible light is projected onto the lens by a so-dubbed “light engine”, and is diffracted and reflected between the layers of glass, using constructive and destructive interference of the light waves to create a virtual object in the user’s field of view." via Electronics Weekly

Apple Inc. Teams Up With Japan Display For LCD Production "Apple is reportedly in talks with Japan Display to help finance an LCD display factory in Ishikawa something next year. Japanese publication, Nikkan Kogyo, has reported that the deal is still in the works, and Apple is expected to invest around 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) into this strategic partnership. The factory would be responsible for manufacturing low-temperature polycrystalline silicon displays utilized in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Moreover, the Japanese publication states the factory will also be used to make OLED panels like the ones being used in the upcoming Apple Watch, slated for release in April." via Bidness Etc

Quantum dots: How nanocrystals can make LCD TVs better "Quantum dots are microscopic nanocrystals that glow a specific wavelength (i.e. color) when given energy. The exact color produced by the QD depends on its size: larger for longer wavelengths (redder colors), smaller for shorter wavelengths (bluer). That's a bit of an oversimplification, but that's the basic idea. Specific wavelengths of color is what we need to great an image on a television. Using the three primary colors of red, green, and blue, we can mix a full rainbow of teals, oranges, yellows, and more. Plasma and CRT televisions used phosphors to create red, green, and blue. All LCDs use color filters to do the same. There are multiple ways to use QDs in a display." via CNET

FlexEnable and Merck Take Major Step Forward in Plastic LCD Technology "A plastic LCD has been developed which is completely free of glass, instead using organic transistors on a plastic sheet, offering multiple benefits. Plastic LCDs have the potential of making products ten times thinner, more than ten times lighter and cheaper than conventional glass-based displays - all while delivering differentiating product benefits of being shatterproof and even conformal. The demonstrator was developed in a very short timeframe, and combines the key benefits of organic transistor technology (OTFT), including superior quality and yield. Ultimately, it shows a route to low-cost solutions for volume manufacturing with LCDs, the dominant display technology in the market today. FlexEnable has now demonstrated the world's first plastic LCD with active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS). It uses FlexEnable's OTFT array as well as liquid crystal (LC) and organic semiconductor materials from Merck. While the first demonstrator employs an IPS mode, this concept will be equally attractive for many other LC modes and applications such as e-readers, dynamic public signage and advertising. " via PR Newswire

Tech Time Machine: Screen and Display Technology History "'80s and '90s - Touchscreen Invades. IBM, Microsoft, Apple, HP and Atari are among just a few of the tech companies bringing touchscreen into the mainstream in this era. In 1992, IBM's Simon is the first phone with a touchscreen. FingerWorks, a gesture recognition company that is later acquired by Apple, produces a line of multi-touch products in 1998." via Mashable

Why are display makers looking to next-generation cars to drive growth? ""Previously, display makers saw little merit in auto displays because of their small volumes and slim margins ...but they are now revising their strategy as the market is growing," said Lee Byeong-hoon, a principal engineer at the South Korean unit of German auto parts giant Continental, the biggest buyer of automotive displays. Luxury cars already carry two or three displays and could have as many as nine in the near future, as safety and convenience features proliferate. Kia Motors' K9 sedan, for example, has five displays - an instrument panel, a centre information screen, two backseat displays and a "head-up" display projecting information onto the windshield. Future cars could add transparent side-window displays and replace rearview mirrors and side mirrors with screens, according to LG Display, the biggest liquid crystal display (LCD) maker." via The Star

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How does rewritable paper print with light rather than ink "A new type of paper can be used and reused up to 20 times. What’s more, it doesn’t require any ink. Its designers think that this new technology could cut down on tons of waste — and save people tons of money. A special dye embedded in the paper makes it printable and rewritable. The dye goes from dark to clear and back when chemical reactions move electrons around. (Electrons are the subatomic particles that orbit in the outer regions of an atom.) The paper’s color-change chemical undergoes what are known as redox reactions. Redox is short for reduction and oxidation." via Student Science

Xerox licenses Thinfilm printed storage tech for smart labels "The Norwegian printed electronics firm Thinfilm has formed a strategic partnership with Xerox around printed storage. Xerox will license Thinfilm’s proprietary technology and make Thinfilm Memory labels, which have some very interesting characteristics. Each label, costing a few pennies, is a plastic tag that’s based on ferroelectric capacitors and allows for power-free archival storage in the 10-15-year range. This isn’t some data center technology though; we’re only talking 10-36 bits. They are however very rewriteable – the data can be rewritten 100,000 times. This means the labels are perfect for continually storing and refreshing the output of sensors." via Gigaom

Pixel QI is Officially out of Business "Pixel Qi first first established in 2008 by Mary Lou Jepson and her husband John Ryan took over the reigns as CEO in November 2012. Mary left the company in March of 2013 to become Head of Display Division at Google X. John followed her in September to become the Director Program Management at Google X. With a non-existent executive team and no display prospects for the future, for all sense and purposes, Pixel Qi is out of business. The company designs liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be largely manufactured using the existing manufacturing infrastructure for conventional LCDs. The advantage of Pixel Qi displays over conventional LCDs is mainly that they can be set to operate under transflective mode and reflective mode, improving eye-comfort, power usage, and visibility under bright ambient light." via Good e-Reader

How Quantum Dots Are Taking a Quantum Leap "Outside his career as a noted nanochemist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Paul Alivisatos is an avid photographer. To show off his photos, his preferred device is a Kindle Fire HDX tablet because “the color display is a whole lot better than other tablets,” he says. What he may neglect to mention to the viewer is that not only did he take the photograph, he also helped invent the nanotechnology allowing the viewer to see those brilliant greens, rich reds, and bold blues, all while using significantly less energy. In fact, the Kindle display utilizes a technology manufactured by Nanosys, a startup Alivisatos cofounded in 2001 to commercialize quantum dots. ...Since then, Berkeley Lab’s quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now Alivisatos’ lab is exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications." via Controlled Environments

Japan Display unveils low-power screen for smartwatches "Japan Display’s new screen could reduce power consumption dramatically since it’s designed to show color text and graphics without a backlight. Not only does that mean the screens use less power than traditional LCD displays, but they’re also easier to view in direct sunlight. Japan Display says its screens also feature memory built into the pixels of the display, allowing a watch to display a static image without using much electricity." via Liliputing

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Glasses-free 3D could revolutionise advertising and cinema "In 2013, the young start-up company TriLite Technologies had the idea to develop this new kind of display, which sends beams of light directly to the viewers' eyes, andhas been working with the Vienna University of Technology to create the first prototype. Currently it only has a modest resolution of five pixels by three, but it clearly shows that the system works. 'We are creating a second prototype, which will display colour pictures with a higher resolution. But the crucial point is that the individual laser pixels work. Scaling it up to a display with many pixels is not a problem', says Jörg Reitterer (TriLite Technologies and PhD-student in the team of Professor Ulrich Schmid at the Vienna University of Technology)." via Daily Mail

Startup developing full-color holographic display for mobile devices images and video. "Fattal’s company, appropriately named Leia, will demonstrate a prototype of its new 3-D display next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Later this year it plans to release a small display module capable of producing full-color 3-D images and videos that are visible—with no special glasses—from 64 different viewpoints.Key to Leia’s technology is an invention by Fattal that takes advantage of advances in the ability to control the paths light takes at the nanoscale. He first revealed the concept, which Leia calls a “multiview backlight,” in a Nature paper published two years ago. At the time, Fattal was a researcher at HP Labs and his work applied to optical interconnects, which allow computers to exchange information encoded in light. But he realized that the idea could also be used to display holographic images, and he left Hewlett-Packard to pursue that idea." via MIT Technology Review

New Technology Will Make Fonts Look Great on Small Screens "Monotype debuted Spark, a technology that consumers can’t even buy. In fact, a measure of Spark’s success down the line might be how few, not how many, people notice it. That’s because Spark is a new software program from Monotype meant to make fonts on tiny screens, like on smartwatches and digital dashboards in cars, as intuitive and legible as the ones on your computer. The problem with fonts on small screens has to do with bitmap fonts, which get pre-coded into devices because they require less computational power. Unfortunately, those bitmap fonts are pixelated, so they won’t allow for the beauty and flexibility of rendered fonts—like Times New Roman or Helvetica—which scale more easily and can be found on bigger computer screens with plenty of power. That poses a problem for manufacturers peddling luxury goods, because a crappy screen display could easily cheapen even the most beautiful of devices. This where Monotype’s new software comes in." via Wired

Tackling the "achilles' heel" of OLED displays "Kateeva aims to “fix the last ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the OLED-display industry — which is manufacturing,” says Kateeva co-founder and scientific advisor Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology, who co-invented the technology. Called YIELDjet, Kateeva’s technology platform is a massive version of an inkjet printer. Large glass or plastic substrate sheets are placed on a long, wide platform. A component with custom nozzles moves rapidly, back and forth, across the substrate, coating it with OLED and other materials — much as a printer drops ink onto paper. An OLED production line consists of many processes, but Kateeva has developed tools for two specific areas — each using the YIELDjet platform. The first tool, called YIELDjet FLEX, was engineered to enable thin-film encapsulation (TFE). TFE is the process that gives thinness and flexibility to OLED devices; Kateeva hopes flexible displays produced by YIELDjet FLEX will hit the shelves by the end of the year." via R&D Magazine

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Magic Leap CEO says Stereoscopic 3D may cause permanent brain damage "Recently the CEO of a Google backed start up Magic Leap has claimed Microsoft's HoloLens could cause permanent brain damage and to no one's surprise Magic Leap has a 'better' and 'safer' competing product. Without giving any details Rony Abovitz, the CEO of Magic Leap, says consumers should avoid HoloLens when it comes out and stick to products made with superior technology. "There are a class of devices (see-through and non-see-through) called stereoscopic 3D. We at Magic Leap believe these inputs into the eye-brain system are incorrect -- and can cause a spectrum of temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits." - Abovitz" via WinBeta

Intel snaps up Swiss eyewear startup "Just as Google has stepped back from making networked eyewear, Intel is stepping into the gap with the purchase of Swiss startup Composyt Light Labs for an undisclosed amount. ...Most of the near-eye display technologies behind smart glasses involve some sort of trade-off. They either, like Google Glass, only show information in a small area over the eye, or are often too bulky to be practical. Composyt's smart glasses feature a patented see-through display architecture that shows images over a field of vision of 40 degrees on normal eyewear. The startup says the fact that its product works with standard and prescription glasses, has a large image size, and very high transparency will appeal to enterprises, where practicality is more important than designer style." via ZDNet

Displio Is A Tiny E-Ink Display That Runs Programmable Widgets "The Displio is the latest in a line of Internet-connected ‘displays’ designed to sit on a desk, or perhaps on a shop counter, and exhibit various online information, such as Facebook ‘Likes’, weather, number of unread email, and so on. However, although similar to the LaMetric, a fully-programmable but simple, ticker-style Internet-connected display, the Displio is considerably smaller, housing a 2.7 inch e-ink screen. Not only does this change the aesthetics considerably, and allows for a greater amount of information to be displayed, but e-ink’s lower power consumption — requiring power upon refresh only — means the Displio claims to be able to run on a single charge for up to a month." via TechCrunch

'Phorm' Case Adds Morphing Tactile Keyboard to iPad Mini "For the last several years, Tactus Technology has been working on displays that take advantage of microfluidic technology, with buttons that raise up and disappear on demand for a superior touchscreen typing experience. ...Here's how it works: there are a series of small channels filled with fluid behind an elastomeric panel (aka the screen protector portion of the case) and when activated by the slider, pressure is introduced, causing the fluid to come up through the channels and into holes, where it presses against the elastomer, physically changing and morphing the display portion of the case to create buttons. In the opposite slider position, the pressure is released and the buttons disappear as the liquid is dispersed back into the channels. (Video)" via MacRumors

Glyph head-mounted display shoots DLP images directly into your eyeballs "Rather than use an OLED display to provide an image, the Glyph uses a pair of small DLP arrays to bounce light directly onto the wearer’s retinas. This results in a very clear, very bright pixel-free image with an extremely high effective refresh rate. According to founder and chief strategy officer Edward Tang, Avegant started out with the intention of marketing its MEMS-based DLP display technology to the military, before the sudden explosion in the consumer market (driven, as Tang says, in no small part by Oculus) led him to retarget the technology at consumers. This has taken the form of a pair of chunky, oversized headphones, with the DLP components hidden in the connecting band. The idea is that you could wear the final production version of the Glyph (mostly) unobtrusively, and then perhaps flip the band down over your eyes when you’re on the train or something similar and want to watch a movie." via Ars Technica

See how different touchscreens were back in 1982 "While modern touchscreen displays use either a resistive or capacitive display to sense what your finger is touching, touchscreens in 1982 actually used a grid of intersecting infared light beams. When your finger touched the glass of the display, it would interrupt the horizontal and vertical infared light beams, sending a coordinate of where your finger was to the TV. (Video)" via Business Insider

DARPA developing neural display interface connected to your spine "The US military’s advanced research division – DARPA – has revealed details of its ‘cortial modem’ which wants to turn the inside of the human eye into an advanced display powered by the spine. Revealing details of its plans at an event called Biology is Technology (BiT) in the US, the organisation and its director Dr Arati Prabhakar said that their eventual goal is to an internal display system that would look as if you were wearing a Google Glass-style headset, but without any external technology. According to H+, DARPA’s short term goals are to begin by creating a small device that would cost no more than US$10 of showing a basic digital display, similar to a digital clockface, through a direct interface with the visual cortex." via Silicon Republic

Top 5 problems with HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) "Backlit villains - When choosing a HMI, parameters such as display life, picture quality, and display brightness all need to be factored into the process in correspondence to the application. There's no need to get a super bright and or high quality interface if it's only used rarely or for menial tasks. Brightness often means heat. What you have to remember is that heat seriously affects the life of a backlight and, although some HMI manufacturers try to make bulbs easy to replace, it is more common for the entire unit to be replaced instead. This is obviously more costly and so efforts to reduce overheating and overuse should be made." via Process and Control Today

Sapphire Glass: Engineering vs. Physics "This long intro is a preface to discussion of Apple's recent decision to spend $2 Billion to convert the GTAT facility into a data center. Clearly Apple is giving up on sapphire, otherwise GTAT or some restructured version of it might be useful going forward. This would tend to show that Apple ran into a Physics Problem in converting from glass to sapphire, not: cost or yield issues, design issues, tooling or such. Sapphire actually had to physics issues fundamental to the nature of the material. As described in "Big Surprise," although sapphire was harder and more scratch resistant than glass, with that hardness came brittleness. Secondly, and more importantly, sapphire has a higher index of refraction meaning that screens made with a sapphire overlay would have much higher surface reflections than glass." via Norm Hairston's Flat Panel Display Blog

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 1.4.2015

Image via Cicret Bracelet

Could You Transform Your Skin into a Touchscreen? "The bracelet works by projecting the interface onto the user’s arm using a tiny ‘pico projector’. When the wearer places their finger on the display projected on their skin, it interrupts the sensors encased in the bracelet, and this information is then relayed to the processor which responds - thus allowing the user to scroll, answer calls and generally use the screen projected on their wrists as they would their actual phone. If their crowdsourcing is successful, the waterproof Cicret bracelet could allow a user to access their phones services underwater, answer calls and texts without actually using their handset and access films, games and music with ease whilst on the go. (Video)" via Newsweek

Understanding Brightness in AMOLED and LCD Displays "AMOLED is a fundamentally different approach to the problem, which uses organic emitters deposited upon a substrate. These emitters are designed to emit red, green, or blue when voltage is applied across two electrodes. Similarly, TFTs are needed to control each pixel. As one can see, AMOLED is a simpler solution, but in practice the issues with such an implementation can be quite complex. In order to determine what picture content to use for a measurement of maximum brightness, we must turn to a measurement known as Average Picture Level (APL). This is best explained as the percentage of the display that is lit up compared to a full white display, so a display that is completely red, green, or blue would be 33% APL. As one might already be able to guess, with AMOLED power consumption is highly dependent upon the content displayed." via AnandTech

Toshiba To Show Advanced 3D/2D LCD Technology "The technology is said to use low-crosstalk liquid crystal lens technology with a high-definition gradient-index (GRIN) lens for a 15-inch 4K LCD panel. The GRIN lens system is engineered to avoid image brightness degradation in 3D mode and does not deteriorate image quality in 2D mode. It reduces the abnormal alignment of liquid crystal molecules near the boundaries of liquid crystal lens, reducing crosstalk to 2 percent, against 5 percent in conventional 3D displays, according to Toshiba." via Twice

What the hell are quantum dots, and why do you want them in your next TV? "The funny thing about LED lights is that they don’t glow white naturally. The “white” LEDs in your TV are actually blue LEDs coated with a yellow phosphor, which produces a “sort of” white light. But this quasi-white light falls short of the ideal. If you fed it into a prism (remember those from science class?) it wouldn’t produce a rainbow of light equally bright in every shade. For instance, it is woefully short on intensity in the red wavelengths, so red would appear dimmer than green and blue after filtering, thus impacting every other color the TV tries to make. Engineers are able to compensate for this uneven color intensity by balancing it with workarounds (you could dial down green and blue to match, for instance), but the intensity of the final image suffers as a result. What TV manufacturers need is a “cleaner” source of white light that’s more evenly balanced across the red, green and blue color spectrum. That’s where the quantum dots come in." via Digital Trends

Photonic computers promise energy-efficient supercomputers "As Big Data gets even bigger, there are concerns that trying to process it with conventional computing methods is becoming unsustainable in terms of power consumption alone. ...UK start-up Optalysys is among the pioneers of this new direction in information processing. The company has built a system using low-power lasers and tiny liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), using weather forecasting as an application in its R&D work with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). ...Early demonstrator systems contained traditional optical components but the latest design replaces most of these with the micro-LCDs. Two-dimensional matrices of numbers are programmed into the input micro-LCD's grid such that the intensity level of each pixel represents a number. When a laser is shone through or is reflected off this input data pattern, the pattern is effectively 'stamped onto the beam', turning the data matrix into a waveform. After processing, the results are converted back into digital form with a camera." via E&T Magazine

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Mass production of innovative OLED displays "The YIELDjet FLEX tool was developed to enable Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE), which is the process that gives thinness and flexibility to the OLED device. It is the first product to emerge from Kateeva's YIELDjet platform, a breakthrough precision deposition technology platform that uses innovative inkjet printing to cost- effectively deposit coatings on complex applications in volume-manufacturing environments. ...TFE is an exceptionally complex process. At the center is a multi-layer stack of thin-film materials that are highly sensitive to oxygen and water. Particles on any layer cause defects throughout the device, and even the slightest uniformity aberration will distort the display image. The current production approach is vacuum evaporation. It's a well-established technology that uses shadow masks to deposit the layers in a stencil-like process. However, it is slow, inefficient, difficult to scale, and prone to yield-killing particles." via Printed Electronics World

How does this 4K display turn digital art into an analog experience? "The 50-inch display has a native resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, which is the standard for 4K Ultra HD. However, it isn’t a television, so don’t expect to tune into your favorite show. Think of it like a tabletop digital photo frame, but the extremely high resolution makes digital paintings and photography resemble more like those in museums rather than a digital signage (perfect for cameras that can shoot 4K photos). The large physical size also gives the artwork more impact. Because it supports animated GIFs, you can display moving art too. But the Depict Frame doesn’t want viewers to know that it’s a digital screen. Its industrial designers intentionally made it to resemble a regular framed art – digital meets analog." via Digital Trends

Jaguar Makes Blind Spots Transparent Using External Cameras, Internal Display Screens "The so-called 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen embed a layer of OLED screen on the car’s “pillars” – the chunky visibility-blocking body panels supporting a vehicle’s roof – that are connected to external cameras and motion sensors. When the car is stopped at an intersection and detects pedestrians, the pillar screens are activated, making them appear transparent. They deactivate after the car starts moving again. When drivers turn their heads to check rear blind spots, cameras linked to side pillar screen are activated to offer greater visibility while making lane changes. The vehicle’s entire windshield also acts as a head’s up display highlighting stoplights and even places of interest (landmarks, parking garages). (Video)" via International Business Times

Display industry standoff between Beijing and Seoul threatens tech trade pact "South Korea, home to the world’s biggest manufacturers of liquid crystal display screens for televisions, is pressing for the inclusion of flat-panel displays in the current round of talks for a broader Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a plurilateral tariff-cutting pact launched in 1997 under the World Trade Organisation. "It seems this issue is the most serious obstacle to an agreement on expanding the product scope of the ITA,” a source familiar with the negotiations said. “China remains adamant that flat-panel displays cannot be added to the ITA list for zero tariffs because that would effectively increase the cost of the agreement to the country."" via South China Morning Post

This Giant Rainbow Was Made With Display Tech That's Used To Study Exoplanets "It's not very often that the fields of advanced photonics and installation art meet. But in Amsterdam this week, visitors to the city's Central Station are getting a look at what happens when liquid crystal optic technology is used to something completely unscientific: Make public art. ...The installation uses something called a spectral filter—a filter that takes white light and then disperses it into the full range of colors in the rainbow without losing any hues or light to leakage, based on a technology called geometric phase holograms. In this case, Escuti created a filter with a film of liquid crystal that dispersed light from a four kilowatt spotlight into a perfect rainbow on the glass facade of the train shed." via Gizmodo

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How could display technology learn from spider webs? "Structures as commonplace as spider webs and leaf venation show they can lead to near optimal performance when copied to create flexible and durable networks that can be used in optoelectronic applications such as photovoltaic devices and display screens, the researcher team reported in a recent edition of the journal Nature Communications. ...A second network, drawing on the same designs that make spider webs effective traps for insects and bugs, serves as an efficient way to draw light through an optoelectronic device. The network could find potential application in next generation touch screens and display panels because of its extreme flexibility, significant mechanical strength, "stealth" transparency and high degree of uniformity, the researchers said." via PD&D

How Touchscreens May Lose Their Touch "The 3-D motion sensing of SpaceTouch is made possible by the addition of invisible electrodes to an everyday touchscreen. These electrodes generate an electric field in front of the touchscreen. When a hand moves through the electric field, information about the movement can be acquired by a specialized computer chip. The possible applications for this technology are many, said Verma. For instance, a surgeon in an operating room could use SpaceTouch to scroll through a patient's X-rays. A cook could browse recipes on a surface embedded in an oven or refrigerator door. And three-dimensional sensing could create new possibilities for video games and educational tools. " via Princeton University

ESPN’s Octoviz display immerses viewers in a graphical experience "ESPN’s new Digital Center-2 (DC-2), which opened last June on its Bristol campus, houses the 10,000 square-foot “SportsCenter” studio, a visually rich eye candy showcase where imagery splashes across wall, floor and banner displays. At the epicenter of this live moving image experience is Octoviz, a one-of-a-kind innovation—imagined by ESPN and co-developed with Vizrt—that controls the displays of real-time graphics across any combination of on-set monitors in their native resolutions and aspect ratios." via TVTechnology

Touchscreens Clean Up Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck "Five years ago in an office with limited access to just a handful of Gulfstream employees, project pilots Scott Evans and Scott Martin began outlining the design of an advanced flight deck for their company’s new G500 and G600. The resulting design–the Symmetry flight deck–not only expands the envelope of avionics interface and infrastructure design but also shows how manufacturers are taking advantage of new engineering options to make flying safer and more efficient. In this new Gulfstream flight deck it is clear that there is no effort to edge pilots out of the cockpit and replace them with technology. “We do not want to replace the pilot,” said Evans. “We have a philosophy of supporting the pilot.” What the new design does is simplify the pilot interfaces, including replacing many knobs and switches with touchscreen controls and eliminating the massive control yoke in favor of a new type of sidestick control that makes the cockpit look much less cluttered, improves the view of the instrument panel displays and helps keep pilots in the control loop." via AINonline

Multitouch Gestures for All Automotive Segments "With ‘infrared curtains’, Continental developers are opting for an economical alternative to touch-sensitive or so-called capacitive displays. "Back in 2011, we showed that an infrared curtain can turn any surface in the car interior into a user interface," says Fook Wai Lee, display developer at Continental in Singapore. "We have now developed this technology to the point where it also recognizes typical multi-touch gestures as input, like swiping, zooming, and pinching." ...Continental's infrared curtain is built from an array of infrared light sources on the sides of the display. While a single row of LEDs was sufficient for one-finger operation, multi-touch gestures require two rows of infrared lights connected together. If a multi-touch gesture is performed in front of the display, the electronics of the human machine interface (HMI) recognize the finger's positions from the blocked light." via Autocar Professional

Touchscreen TFT displays for gloved hands "Itron has applied its vacuum fluorescent display (VPD) process to the production of projective capacitive touch sensors which it claims has performance and set-up benefits compared with indium tin oxide (ITO)-based projective capacitive touch panels. This low impedance touch technology, which the firm calls MPC Touch, works with 4mm of plastic or 8mm of glass overlay and is able to support applications where users are wearing a range of gloves from nitrile, nylon, cotton and leather. "Rain drops do not false-trigger the touch screen when the front panel is inclined to allow water to run off," said Itron UK managing director, Andy Stubbings." via Electronics Weekly

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How laser-illuminated cinema projectors promise brighter and more realistic images "By definition, stereoscopic 3D films show a different image to viewers’ left and right eyes, thus cutting a projector’s apparent brightness in half. Polarising filters, used in most 3D cinemas, halve that again. The glasses worn by the audience take a fifth of what’s left. Pity the unlucky patron who watches a 3D film at the end of a projector’s lamp life: he might see just a tenth of the intended brightness. Little wonder, then, that 3D films have earned a reputation for dimness and causing eyestrain. Nearly three quarters of people opted for the 3D version of a film in 2008. Less than 40% do today. One possible solution involves that cinematic staple: laser beams. Rather than being attached to a shark’s head, used to intimidate an immobilised secret agent or vaporise a rebel planet, these lasers are kept safely in the projection booth. Laser-illuminated projectors cannot only deliver brilliantly bright images, in either 2D or 3D, but also promise better contrast, more natural colours, ultra-realistic high frame rates and resolutions that might finally approach those of film." via The Economist

Sony's new wearable display transforms any glasses into smartglasses "The device is much closer in design to Glass than Sony’s previous head-mounted wearable, SmartEyeglasses, which are glasses that can project basic green text and graphics across the lenses. The new 40-gram display consists of a band that goes around the back of a user’s head, with electronics on either arm. The control board on the right side contains a processor, sensor hub and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules. The unit has an electronic compass, accelerometer and a touch sensor for manipulating and selecting display contents. The 0.23-inch color OLED microdisplay, which Sony says is one of the smallest in the world, has a resolution of 640-by-400 pixels, which is slightly better than Glass at 640-by-360. It extends from the board and an optical unit reflecting the display contents is positioned near the right eye so vision isn’t blocked." via PCWorld

Chemical-Sensing Displays and Other Surprising Uses of Glass "Displays, in one way or another, account for about half of Corning’s revenue, with roughly a third of that coming from Gorilla Glass. To expand this market and withstand challenges from other materials, Corning is trying to add capabilities to Gorilla Glass, such as the sensor application. And it’s looking for new markets for Gorilla Glass beyond displays. The ability to turn your phone into a biological and chemical sensor is one of the earliest-stage projects in the lab. Researchers at Corning and Polytechnique Montreal discovered that they could make very high quality waveguides, which confine and direct light, in Gorilla Glass. The researchers were able to make these waveguides very near to the surface, which is essential for sensors. Doing so in ordinary glass would break it. Making the waveguide involves focusing a beam of intense laser light near the surface of the glass, then tracing it along the glass, which locally changes its optical properties." via MIT Technology Review

Entry-level and high-end converging to propel the digital signage market into 2015 "Integrators are seeing increased price competition for large-scale kiosk rollouts in big-box retail, among other settings. Until now, the only low-cost option was to try to work with a consumer device that wasn't built for digital signage and didn't deliver the reliability and functionality of commercial-grade, purpose-built player. Now that professional-quality, reliable, low-cost, networked signage players are available, we are seeing more and more new customers jumping at the chance to replace printed signage with digital displays in applications where cost was previously a barrier. If 2014 was all about 4K, I believe that 2015 will be a year of healthy and sustainable growth in the digital signage industry — growth driven by the proliferation of 4K and the emergence of reliable low-cost digital signage solutions." via Digital Signage Today

3D virtual reality display technology for medical schools "ZSpace and EchoPixel aim to improve medical education with their virtual reality kit by enabling students and doctors to more accurately replicate work on organs than with other available technology, improving their knowledge and experience so they make fewer errors. ...Accurate replications are one of the main problems facing virtual 3-D technologies. If objects can't be manipulated in virtual space just as in real life, one can imagine it will be hard for anyone to buy into the technology, much less a doctor who needs the most accurate data to determine a patient diagnosis like colon cancer. There are several reasons why objects may not appear accurate in virtual spaces. Visual and position tracking speeds, poor 3-D display resolution and even a limited field of view can all lead to inaccuracies, according to research at several universities. Together, they can even lead users to experience motion sickness. The zSpace 3-D display aims to minimize these problems." via Silicon Valley Business Journal

Do Displays Matter? "In our era, hardware – including displays - quickly becomes commoditized. That is not to say that you can’t obtain a temporary competitive advantage with a dazzling display: the thin Samsung edge-lit “LED” TV, the Apple Retina and the Asus Zenbook NX500′s 4k, quantum-dot-enhanced display. And you can hurt yourself by falling behind the curve. When Apple saddled its iPhones with a ridiculously small 4″ display for a couple of years longer than it should have, Samsung picked up significant market share. (Apple still plays in a somewhat different universe from the rest of us, so it reaped record breaking sales with the iPhone 6 simply by catching up with the competition.) But the business model by which handset companies could maintain large margins by upgrading the hardware a couple of times a year is rapidly losing its effectiveness. " via Display Central

OLEDS and Why Your Old CRT TV Still Works "In a CRT, glass provided an absolute hermetic environment. The CRT was made in a clean environment, the inside of the tube, where the phosphors were, was maintained in high vacuum. Further a sacrificial barium "getter" was deposited on the inside of the tube to bind any stray oxygen that was left over from manufacture. So, the phosphors did their thing in an absolutely pristine environment that was maintained as long as the tube continued to hold its vacuum, which is tantamount to forever for a consumer product. ...The high voltage architecture may have some relevance to OLED design as well. But certainly, cleanliness and hermaticity are the key to making OLED technology work." via Norm Hairston's Flat Panel Display Blog

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Display Industry Technology News Roundup 12.1.2014

Image via Cobia Boats / Florida Sportsman

Why Touchscreens Are a Good Option for Marine Boat Manufacturers "The collaboration between Garmin, Scout and Mastervolt was the first of its kind for the boat industry. “The future for Scout Boats is that all of the models will someday have digital switching.” Stands to reason that as more boat companies add digital switching to their models, the cost of components will come down. Programmable control over systems allows a boat builder to consolidate several items that an owner may wish to activate simultaneously. These “modes,” as they are called, may include choices like night fishing and entertainment, to name a few. Touch the screen for “night mode,” for example, and you could illuminate nav and courtesy lights while simultaneously dimming the MFD screens. In fishing mode, the MFD might bring up the GPS, fishfinder and radar while turning on the baitwell and raw water washdown. At the sandbar, entertainment mode could power up the stereo to a preset channel. The possibilities for customization are wide." via Florida Sportsman

How can users touch a touchscreen that isn't there? "An LCD screen lies face-up on the bottom of the setup, displaying the interface video – this could be a numeric keypad, a menu board of icons, or anything else. Sitting at a 45-degree angle above that screen is an aerial imaging plate (AIP), which is a sort of two-way mirror. When the user views that plate from the front, they see the LCD screen reflected through it. The illusion, however, is that the screen is hovering parallel to them at the front of the HaptoMime, instead of lying flat on its back at the bottom. It looks like they could reach in and touch the projected display, even though their finger would actually just pass right through to the AIP." via Gizmag

How Does LG Make OLED TVs Affordable? "LG believes that its M2 facility will deliver yield rates of around 70% from December. Also giving LG an OLED production advantage is its maskless WRGB patterning system, which does away with the expensive (and difficult to keep uniform at high resolutions) Fine Metal Mask system other brands have been using. LG’s final OLED production efficiency comes from its Solid Phase Encapsulation system. This replaces the previous Edge Seal approach, and enables LG to use an easier-to-handle metal rather than glass foundation for the OLED cell structure." via Forbes

Why Is OLED Different and What Makes It So Great? "OLED technology, first successfully implemented in 1987 by Kodak researchers Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke, takes this same idea as LED, but flattens it. Rather than an array of individual LED bulbs, OLED uses a series of thin, light emitting films. This allows the OLED array to produce brighter light while using less energy than existing LCD/LED technologies. And since these light-emitting films are composed of hydrocarbon chains, rather than semiconductors laden with heavy metals like gallium arsenide phosphide, they get that "O" for "organic" in their name." via Gizmodo

Sharp's LCD-challenging MEMS display coming in 2015 "LCD screens are built on a bright, white backlight that sits at the rear of the screen. Each pixel is divided into red, green and blue subpixels with color filters. Current applied to the liquid crystal in front of each of those filters allows or blocks transmission of light of that color. In a MEMS screen, there are no red, green or blue subpixels. Instead, a tiny electro-mechanical shutter allows or blocks light transmission through each pixel. Color is provided by the backlight, which cycles rapidly through red, green and blue. The shutters are synchronized to the backlight, moving open and shut in as little as 100 microseconds to let through light of the appropriate color." via CIO

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How does MIT spinout’s quantum-dot technology make LCD TVs more colorful, energy-efficient "Color IQ is a thin glass tube, filled with quantum dots tuned to red and green, that’s implemented during the synthesis process. Manufacturers use a blue LED in the backlight, but without the need for conversion phosphors. As blue light passes through the Color IQ tube, some light shines through as pure blue light, while some is absorbed and re-emitted by the dots as pure red and pure green. With more light shining through the pixels, LCD TVs equipped with Color IQ produce 100 percent of the color gamut, with greater power efficiency than any other technology. " via MIT News

Scientists train robots to pull apart LCD screens – without breaking them "The group, comprising researchers from UNSW's School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and School of Computer Science and Engineering, started with LCD screens. The idea is to program self-learning routines into the robots, so that they can learn from their errors. ..."The idea is to remove the display and printed circuit board without damaging them because the rest can be recycled." The university hopes to attract participation in industry trials, which – given the amount of e-waste out there – Vulture South hopes isn't too hard to find." via The Register

How the Blue LED Changed the World, and Won a Nobel Prize "Akasaki and Amano, working as a team at Nagoya University in Japan, and Nakamura, working separately at Nichia Chemicals, a small company in Tokushima, and now at the University of California, Santa Barbara, built their own equipment and did thousands of experiments in the late 1980s, succeeding in obtaining the bright blue light from semiconductors. In the 1990s, the three scientists were able to make the blue LEDs more efficient. The prize, the assembly says, is meant to reward inventions that provide the most “benefit to mankind,” as per the wishes of Alfred Nobel. This invention has already changed the way we light buildings as well as the screens in our living rooms, on our desks, and in our pockets, and has the potential to provide light where electricity is hard to come by and clean polluted water, according to the assembly." via Newsweek

Why Samsung is betting on B2B market as next growth engine "The world's top smartphone and memory chip maker is pushing for a deal with premium carmakers in North America and Europe to supply digital signage platforms. Digital signage refers to large-sized commercial displays including outdoor advertising and hologram panels that use technologies such as liquid crystal displays (LCD) and light-emitting diodes (LED). Samsung has set this year's target for overseas digital signage about 50 percent higher than a year earlier, company officials said. In 2013, it won 2,000 orders from European car manufacturers. The tech giant's move came as a desperate effort to find a stable source of profit since the ailing smartphone business is taking its toll with a fall in global market share, sandwiched between Apple Inc.'s high-end strategy and cheaper products by Chinese rivals." via Yonhap News Agency

New LCD Technology Draws No Power with Static Images "One of the big benefits of e-Ink technology is that it draws no power when a simple static image is being displayed or when you are reading a page in an eBook. The only time power is being drawn is when a full page refresh occurs or if you are interacting with the screen. A new LCD initiative is underway at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. They have developed a new type of LCD screen that works in a similar fashion to e-Ink. It can hold a static image for years, with no power. The University has developed Optical Rewritable liquid crystal technology that carries no electrodes and uses polarizer’s as a substitute. It will show images in full color, but not draw any power as the image is shown. This would be tremendously beneficial to luggage tags, grocery price-tags or even in the next generation of color e-reader." via Good E-Reader

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Tech firm proposes using OLED screens to make aircraft cabins appear see-through "A conceptual video from the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), which works with clients to prototype projects and ideas, shows a plane interior with seemingly invisible walls, panels and ceiling. These would be covered with screens made from flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology – ultra-thin, lightweight and malleable displays – streaming high-quality footage broadcast live by cameras outside of the plane. ...As well as frightening aviophobes, removing windows entirely would significantly reduce the weight of a craft – potentially reducing its fuel consumption and carbon footprint. (Video)" via Dezeen

Samsung and the curious case of the red OLED "The colors displayed on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S, according to Dieter Bohn, an editor for the tech-lifestyle website The Verge, “still tend to look over-saturated to my eyes,” though he added that “Samsung has toned things down considerably from years past.” In an otherwise positive review of a newer Galaxy S5 smartphone model, Anandtech, a computer hardware site, made note of “minor issues with excessive green in the color balance.” In essence, people seem to agree that the colors of AMOLED displays are more vivid. Whether or not those colors are natural or accurate based on what the eye would see in real life is another matter entirely. ...Colors are important on mobile devices for one overarching reason: managed expectations. Knowing that Twitter uses a sky blue color for its logo, it can be jarring for users and marketers alike to see a version with a tinge of green." via Fortune

How LG Display created world’s narrowest 0.7mm bezel LCD display "LG managed to accomplish this through a combination of two new manufacturing techniques. Its Neo Edge module processing technology uses an adhesive to seal the edges of the circuit board, rather than double-sided tape. This helps cut down on bezel width by removing the need for a plastic guide to attach the panel to the LCD backlight. The tight seal also helps to reduce light leakage, as well as making the panel water and dustproof." via Android Authority

China TFT-LCD panel, module makers target car infotainment "Automotive electronics represent the third key application for small and midsize TFT-LCD panels, and as such will continue to attract the attention of display component makers worldwide. In China, major panel players are at the forefront of initiatives to penetrate this market. Compared with popular devices smartphones and tablet PCs, the category has steeper requirements on reliability and durability. Products are designed to operate in a wider temperature range, typically between -40 and 85 C. They should withstand vibration and shock, in addition to being dust- and water-resistant. Releases must meet automotive-specific standards, including JIS, ANSI and SAE." via Global Sources

'Largest interactive advertising display in the world' set to light up Times Square "Second Story, part of agency SapientNitro, today announced that it has been engaged by Vornado Realty Trust to help unveil the largest LED advertising display in the world. Installed in the heart of Times Square on the Marriott Marquis, the interactive digital display stretches eight stories high and wraps the entire city block. The unveiling will transform the media landscape with its interplay of art, commerce and technology that pushes the boundaries of scale and interactivity, the company said. Second Story, in collaboration with digital artists Universal Everything, produced an experience that includes an abstract graphic narrative broadcast for the screen, through more than 23 million pixels, 10,000 times standard high-definition." via Digital Signage Today

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Q&A With LG Display Engineers About Flexible Displays "WSJD: How clear can these see-through displays be? Lee: Currently ours come with a 30% clarity. To the normal eye, this level would seem close to those of car windows that have a slight tan on them. The target is to bring up the clarity to 40% by 2017, which should be significantly clearer. In comparison, traditional glass has clarity levels of approximately 92% but getting to this level with the current technology is unlikely without some breakthrough. The trick is to create a bigger, clearer transparent space in each pixel that is not obstructed by the minute transistors, which is extremely difficult both in terms of design and manufacturing." via The Wall Street Journal

Foldable OLED Display From Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) "The display is made by forming a release layer, sealing layer and color filter layer in this order on a glass substrate. The color filter layer and OLED layer are attached to each other, and the glass substrates are peeled off and replaced with flexible substrates. SEL informed us that the book type OLED and three fold Display can be bent more than 100.000 times and the displays can be bent up to curvature radius of 2mm and 4mm." via

Heads-Up Display Allows Drivers to Race Themselves ""Our passion is driver education,” said Hayes in a phone interview. "[GhostDash] allows you to see what you’re doing to go fast what you’re doing to not go fast." The GhostDash device is made of a thinplastic called Lexan that won’t degrade from exposure to sunlight and can be mounted as easy as plexiglass. This allows GhostDash to be positioned at eye level, providing drivers the ability to keep an eye on the road while noting race time. (Video)" via

Carbon nano buds boast better conductivity than ITO "Canatu Oy, a Finnish startup, has developed the carbon NanoBuds (CNBs), which it describes as a hybrid nanomaterial that combines the conductive properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and the chemical reactivity of fullerenes (hollow carbon molecules). ...Canatu is in business to manufacture coated PET and glass sheets in volume, for touchscreen manufacturers to process (patterning the electrodes through laser removal). The electrodes are then connected to off-the-shelve capacitive-touch driver ICs the same way they would with ITO. ...Because the deposited NanoBuds form a random network on the surface of the substrate, they can easily be stretched in any direction, explained Vuohelainen." via EET Asia

Will 3D LED Printer Create Heads-Up Display Contact Lenses? "The team, led by Michael McAlpine at Princeton University's McAlpine Research Group, has successfully used its printer to 3D-print quantum dot LEDs -- LEDs that are considered the next step up from OLED. QLEDs shine brighter and with purer colour, at a lower power consumption rate, using cadmium selenide nanocrystals. They're also ultrathin, flexible and transparent -- like, for instance, contact lenses. "The conventional microelectronics industry is really good at making 2D-electronic gadgets," McAlpine said. "With TVs and phones, the screen is flat. But what 3D printing gives you is a third dimension, and that could be used for things that people haven't imagined yet, like 3D structures that could be used in the body."" via CNET

Researchers create 3-D stereoscopic color prints with nanopixels "By designing nanopixels that encode two sets of information—or colors of light—within the same pixel, researchers have developed a new method for making 3D color prints. Each pixel can exhibit one of two colors depending on the polarization of the light used to illuminate it. So by viewing the pixels under light of both polarizations, two separate images can be seen. If the two images are chosen to be slightly displaced views of the same scene, viewing both simultaneously results in depth perception and the impression of a 3D stereoscopic image. ..."We have created possibly the smallest-ever stereoscopic images using pixels formed from plasmonic nanostructures," Yang told "Such stereoscopic images do not require the viewer to don special glasses, but instead, the depth perception and 3D effect is created simply by viewing the print through an optical microscope coupled with polarizers."" via

Where Does Latin America Fit Into the Display Industry? "I’m currently in Brazil for the annual Latin Display conference – an SID event that is run to help to educate display users in Brazil, and give an opportunity for others in Latin America to meet and act as a focal point for the discussions about the Brazilian place in the display world. ...The city of Sao Paulo alone has 18 million people. That means that there is a huge consumption of displays in the country in TVs, mobile devices and in cars. However, the country’s involvement in the display side is somewhat limited. ...On the other hand, it’s not obvious, if you wanted to develop a display industry, how you would do it. Europe has many advantages over Brazil, but it still has only a limited display industry, these days. One of the strategies discussed was to pick a technology for the future based on some fundamental science and develop there. However, this has big risks, too. In Europe, Cambridge Display Technology and Novaled were successful companies in the growing OLED market, but both have been acquired in recent years by Sumitomo and Samsung, respectively." via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 9.30.2014

Image via Flickr / That Hartford Guy

This 1980s General Motors Touchscreen Was Decades Ahead Of Its Time "For most drivers, the idea of a touchscreen that controls all of a car's functions is sci-fi that only recently became reality. However, in 1989 General Motors equipped its Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo with a touchscreen system that was decades ahead of its time. Called the Visual Information Center (VIC), the touchscreen gave the driver access to everything from the radio to engine management data. (Video)" via Business Insider

How to build a real-time holographic display using doped liquid crystals "There are two common types of 3D display based on the principles of stereopsis (perception of depth). One exploits binocular parallax (the displacement in the apparent position of an object viewed along two lines of site), and the other makes use of light-field reconstruction. However, the ultimate goal is holographic display, which provides the most realistic 3D images of objects or scenes. This is because it can reconstruct both intensity and phase information, enabling the perception of light as it would actually be scattered by a real object, without the observer needing special eyewear. ...However, to show real-time, dynamic 3D images, there is a limited choice of suitable photorefractive materials with the necessary fast response and high modulation index to achieve a reasonable diffraction efficiency. This presents challenges in the choice of materials, devices, and system structures. Here we present a real-time holographic display featuring a liquid crystal (LC) doped with an azo (synthetic) dye. This material enables a video-rate display, since we can refresh each hologram on the order of several milliseconds." via SPIE

How are color-changing displays inspired by squids advancing LCD tech? "Scientists have long marveled at the squid's ability to sense the color of its surroundings, and then instantaneously change its own skin coloring in order to blend in. To that end, a number of projects have attempted to create man-made materials that are similarly able to change color on demand. One of the latest studies, being led by associate professor Stephan Link at Rice University, may ultimately result in improved LCD displays. The technology developed by the team currently consists of a prototype full-color display, which incorporates five-micron-square pixels made up of arrays of tiny aluminum nanorods to produce vivid red, green and blue-based colors. By electronically tuning both the length of the nanorods and the spacing between them, it's possible to alter the manner in which they reflect light – this in turn changes each pixel's perceived color." via Gizmag

Is the iPhone 6 Plus Display the Best Ever? "In its latest series of lab tests and measurements, DisplayMate called the iPhone 6 Plus the "best performing smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested." Specifically, the new 5.5-inch iPhone reached or broke records in a variety of areas, including highest peak brightness, lowest screen reflectance, highest contrast ratio, highest contrast rating in ambient light, most accurate intensity scale and gamma and most accurate image contrast. ...President Raymond Soneira wrote of the iPhone 6 Plus. "The iPhone 6 Plus is only the second Smartphone display (LCD or OLED) to ever get all Green (Very Good to Excellent) Ratings in all test and measurement categories (except for Brightness variation with Viewing Angle, which is the case for all LCDs) since we started the Display Technology Shoot-Out article series in 2006, an impressive achievement for a display. The iPhone 6 Plus has raised the bar for top LCD display performance up by a notch."" via CNET

Everything you ever wanted to know about display screen technology "On a glossier screen, less diffusion takes place, so the image appears sharper. Glossy displays may also be coated with an anti-glare finish to reduce distracting reflections; this means dark areas aren’t illuminated by ambient light as much as they would be with a matte screen, so the contrast of the screen appears to be greater. Choosing a screen type is a matter of personal choice as much as it is influenced by your environment and/or lighting conditions. As a rule of thumb, a matte screen makes sense for regular office work, or for a laptop that you intend to use while out and about; for games and movies, the vibrant colour and punchy contrast of a glossy screen may be more important – especially if the room lights will be darker." via PC & Tech Authority

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Blue phosporescent OLED lifetime increased by 10X "In a step that could lead to longer battery life in smartphones and lower power consumption for large-screen televisions, researchers at the University of Michigan have extended the lifetime of blue organic light emitting diodes by a factor of 10. Blue OLEDs are one of a trio of colors used in OLED displays such as smartphone screens and high-end TVs. The improvement means that the efficiencies of blue OLEDs in these devices could jump from about 5 percent to 20 percent or better in the near future. ...In collaboration with researchers at Universal Display Corp. in 2008, Forrest's group proposed an explanation for why blue PHOLEDs' lives are short. The team showed that the high energies required to produce blue light are more damaging when the brightness is increased to levels needed for displays or lighting. This is because a concentration of energy on one molecule can combine with that on a neighbor, and the total energy is enough to break up one of the molecules. It's less of a problem in green- and red-emitting PHOLEDs because it takes lower energies to make these colors of light." via University of Michigan

Is the display industry headed for a boom? "Foreign institutional investment analysts yesterday expressed an upbeat outlook on the global display panel sector, expecting the arrival of a rare boom unseen in recent years in the latter half of this year. According to James Kim, an analyst at Nomura Securities, expected windfall for the sector in the latter half of this year is attributed to expected constraints in production capacity that may persist for the next few years, and anticipated surge in demand for larger-sized LCD TV sets. Kim noted that it is difficult for larger-sized LCD display panel makers to initiate production capacity expansion currently amid an ongoing transition towards producing OLED panels. In addition, numerous panel makers have sustained tremendous losses since 2010, following a period of oversupply in the global markets, leaving them with little room to increase capital expenditure." via The China Post

Sharp aims to mass-produce new generation of display panels by 2017 "Qualcomm and Sharp said the new type of panel, called MEMS-IGZO after their respective display technologies, uses less energy and can withstand harsher temperatures than the liquid crystal displays (LCD) used in most smartphones and tablets. "LCD is really hitting its limits in a lot of things. We can go brighter and this is the first generation of this technology," said Greg Heinzinger, senior vice president of Qualcomm's technology licensing division and president of Pixtronix, at a briefing at Sharp's Tokyo office on Friday. ...Sharp said it will market the new technology to automakers, and makers of industrial devices, smartphones and tablets, and aims to start mass-production in 2017." via The Star

Are touchscreens going to be obsolete? "Although it’s too early to predict the end of an era for touch screens, it was interesting to hear Tetsuya Hayashi, one of the keynote speakers at Touch Taiwan, talking about development activities around post-touch screen technology in Japan. Hayashi, deputy director of Nikkei BP ICT Innovation Research Institute, illustrated the future of display technology as “ambient,” “free-form,” and “wearable.” Images, he foresaw, will be projected on any surface or in the air, instead of being constrained to a rigid, bulky box." via EE Times

Intel demonstrates a laptop with a second E Ink screen on the lid "The Asus Taichi line of notebooks feature screens on both sides of the lid — so when the lid is closed you find yourself holding a tablet. When it’s open, you have a laptop with a screen facing you and a second screen facing away. Now Intel is showing off a prototype of a laptop with a similar layout. There’s a screen on either side of the lid. The difference is the one that’s on top of the lid is a small, low power E Ink display. (Video)" via Liliputing

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Could Display Technologies Provide Camoflouge and Other Military Technologies? "Digital electronic display technologies, such as light emitting diode (LED), liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma, and digital projection, have advanced and proliferated rapidly in recent years. This has caused unit cost to decrease and quality and capability to increase. These technologies are no longer just for watching television or working on a computer. Massive LED screens are common on digital billboards, while nearly half of all Americans carry high resolution displays in their pockets in the form of smartphones. Displays are even beginning to break out of their traditional rectangular shape. LEDs can now be manufactured so that panels can be flexibly conformed to curved or irregular surfaces. Projection mapping techniques enable projectors to display images on three dimensional surfaces. All of these technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way the Navy operates for pennies on the dollar." via CIMSEC

How does an optical engine remove sharp pixels in displays? "Lemoptix has designed what it calls the world's smallest optical engine—25mm x 25mm x 12mm—and has worked to "despeckle" displays using proprietary technology. Without despeckling, a laser-driven display looks pixelised, with overly sharp pixels surrounded by obvious circles of black. Lemoptix has not revealed all the details of its despeckling algorithm, but it did reveal enough to win the Photonics West best paper award. In addition, Lemoptix has been to solve application problems to make its Hamamatsu modules easier for designers to use. For instance, it has built demonstration applications for heads-up displays on automobile windshields that work even in the brightest ambient light. It has also built 3D scanning solutions using structured light, embedded projectors for smartphones, and wearable displays for augmented-reality smart glasses." via EET India

TinyScreen thumb-sized display supports full color "Often the size of the screen controls how large your project is overall, and if you want small, TinyScreen is the ticket. TinyScreen is the size of your thumb and still supports full color. There are a myriad of uses for TinyScreen from homemade wearables to smart glasses to just about anything that can benefit from a small display. The screen uses OLED technology with 96 x 96 resolution, 16-bit color, and is designed to show data from the TinyDuino platform." via SlashGear

A 3D Display You Can Manipulate and Remotely Control "inForm is essentially a field of embedded pins that rise and fall independently to form shapes using information relayed by a computer. The creators of inForm describe it as a Dynamic Shape Display that can display real-time 3D information as well as receive input from users. Developed by MIT Media Lab‘s Tangible Media Group, it is able to display 3D information in real-time and in a more accurate and interactive manner compared to the flat rendering often created by computer user interface." via psfk

What's the difference between digital signage and touchscreen kiosks? "The most important difference between digital signage and touchscreen kiosks can be summed up in a single word: interaction. Enticing a visitor to interact with your message is a universal business goal. A touchscreen kiosk will provide you with all that digital signage can offer, but with an added layer of engagement. … Touchscreen devices are typically more expensive than equivalent-size digital signage monitors. In addition, the deployment of an interactive touchscreen kiosk requires a more in-depth design and development phase, so the software pricing can also be higher." via Digital Signage Today

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How Could Virtual Reality Displays Transform Education? Oculus VR Interview "We showed the folks from the Smithsonian, we showed folks from a number of different industries—the automobile industry, the architecture industry—we’ve shown people the latest prototype, and they’ve gotten incredibly excited about the visualization aspect. Imagine, you could scan in everything in the Smithsonian—they have 130 million objects. Let’s get 10 percent of them or 20 percent of them. You could put on a pair of … sunglasses, and with those sunglasses you could see those objects and you could look around and you could see it so well and so clearly, and it would track so perfectly that your brain would believe it was really right in front of you. The next step past that is when you have shared space, and not only do you believe that this object is right there in front of me, but I look around and I see other people just like we see each other now, and I really, truly believe that you’re right in front of me. We can look at each others’ eyes. If you look down at something, I can look down at the same time. And it’s every bit as good as this. And if we can make virtual reality every bit as good as real reality in terms of communications and the sense of shared presence with others, you can now educate people in virtual classrooms, you can now educate people with virtual objects, and we can all be in a classroom together [virtually], we can all be present, we can have relationships and communication that are just as good as the real classroom." via The Chronicle of Higher Education

The first functional graphene-based flexible display has been produced "Graphene has been called a “magical” material that may hold the key to better electronic gadgets, both when it comes to device durability but also electrical abilities, as various research teams are figuring new ways to put the astonishing material to good use. … Researchers from the Cambridge Graphene Center and Plastic Logic managed to build the first such product, a flexible display that could equip a variety of gadgets in the future. “The new prototype is an active matrix electrophoretic display, similar to the screens used in today’s e-readers, except it is made of flexible plastic instead of glass. In contrast to conventional displays, the pixel electronics, or backplane, of this display includes a solution-processed graphene electrode, which replaces the sputtered metal electrode layer within Plastic Logic’s conventional devices, bringing product and process benefits,” a University of Cambridge report says." (Video)” via BGR

How Does New Augmented Reality Industrial Display Hardhat Protect Workers? "The DAQRI Smart Helmet has a hands-free wearable HD display with fully transparent optics that provide always-on functionality readable in both low light and bright conditions. It is described as “an elegant fusion of the most sophisticated display and sensor hardware with next-generation computer vision.” ...The Smart Helmet’s ‘True 4D’ display will enable organizations to provide intuitive instructions to their workforce. This should ensure that workers understand processes more quickly, spend less time on each step, and make fewer errors. (Video)" via psfk

The Story of Pixel Density and Touch Interface "It’s clear that the reason Apple chose precise scaling factor has been driven by the intention to produce crisp design with no compromise on antialiased UI elements rendering. It is often seen when you have a lot of 1pt stroke line in your design. Apple thinks for the developers and for the consumers too. From its original iPhone inception, Apple has been adamantly guarding how its User Interface will be rendered on user devices. The original iPhone to its iPhone 4S had exactly the same effective resolution of 320pt by 480pt. We praised Apple’s UI workmanship and its call on attention to detail. There is an interesting case of iPhone 6+ where Apple choose not to continue with the pixel-perfect scaling tradition. Read it here: The Curious Case of iPhone 6+ 1080p Display" via Medium

Should Touchscreens Be Built Into Every Desktop Design? "Like tablets before them, the ergonomics of these hybrid gizmos demand UI conventions that depart from desktop layouts of similar screen size. The hybrids not only need big touch targets to accommodate clumsy fingers, but they also need controls and navigation conveniently placed where hands naturally come to rest. Designing for touch introduces elements of industrial design: physical comfort and ease are critical considerations. Unfortunately, the top-of-screen navigation and menus of traditional desktop layouts are outright hostile to hybrid ergonomics. Tried-and-true desktop conventions have to change to make room for fingers and thumbs. For now at least, the solution is not just a matter of designing separate interfaces for touch and non-touch gadgets. That won’t fly, because as designers (and especially web designers) we often don’t have enough information about the device. After poking at this problem for a few weeks, my conclusion is: every desktop UI should be designed for touch now. When any desktop machine could have a touch interface, we have to proceed as if they all do. Walk with me." via Global Moxie

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Display Technology News Roundup 9.3.2014

Image via Fast Company

Could displays correct your vision? "New technology under development at the University of California-Berkeley and MIT automatically corrects people's vision defects without glasses. Plug a glasses prescription into the new software, and the system calculates how to display the image so it won't look blurry. Basically, by adjusting the light from each pixel on a device and then passing it through a tiny mesh attached to a monitor or phone screen, the system personalizes the image so it's crystal clear." via Fast Company

How will liquid crystal displays help reach exaFLOP speeds? "The Optalysys Optical Solver Supercomputer will initially offer 9 petaflops of compute power, increasing to 17.1 exaflops by 2020. 40 gigaFlops demonstration uses 500x500 pixels working 20 times per second. Each pixel does the work of about 8000 floating point operations in each of the cycles. Speeding up 427 million times to 17.1 exaFLOPS can be done with 500,000 X 500,000 pixels and 8550 cycles per second. They can use multiple LCD displays. ...There was no need to drive the refresh rate up for human displays but there will be a need for optical computing. 4K monitors usually have 8.3 million pixels (3180X2160). Thirty six thousand 4K monitors would get to 500K X 500 K." via Next Big Future

Is quantum dot the next step in LCD TV evolution? "Some brands have adopted quantum dots in their products, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX tablet PC and Sony’s Triluminos TV in 2013. However, quantum dots must surmount some hurdles to achieve wide usage. The first is the issue of Cadimium, which most quantum dots contain, and which is a regulated substance due to enviromental concerns. The second is the high price of quantum dot materials. Quantum dot makers are working on solving these issues. For example, Nanoco has produced Cadmium-free quantum dot materials, and other makers have secured a temporary exemption for Cadmium in products with quantum dot-based displays imported into Europe. Regarding price, many materials and films makers are entering the market, especially from Korea such as Samsung, LG, Sangbo, LMS, Hanwha and SKC-Haas. Increased competition will likely help to lower prices in the near future." via ECN Mag

Will superconducting quantum dots make LCD displays more vibrant? "Eric Nelson, who is also behind the development of the technology, says that it is called quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF), which enhances the colors of LCD screens. Nelson explains that current technology consumes a lot of energy to display bright colors on the LCD screen. However, QD efficiently provides high-color display and consumes far less energy when compared to other technologies. ..."They sandwiched the QDs between two polymer films, with the QDs embedded in an epoxy glue. Coatings on the film provide further protection and enhance the viewing experience," per ACS." via Tech Times

Who made the world's first touch-sensitive LCD basketball court? "Nike has created this huge touch-sensitive LCD basketball court for a training session with Kobe Bryant. The court has built-in motion sensors that track every player's movements individually. It can also display training exercises for them to follow and show statistics on performance. (Video)" via Gizmodo

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Could this new type of heads-up display redefine the augmented reality experience? "Andrew Maimone’s device is called a Pinlight Display and he has been working on this device in collaboration with three researchers from the University of North Carolina and two from Nvidia Research. The Pinlight Display does not rely on standard optical components. Instead, it utilizes an array of “pinlights”, which are essentially bright dots. Maimone explains that “A transparent display panel is placed between the pinlights and the eye to modulate the light and form the perceived image.” He added that "Since the light rays that hit each display pixel come from the same direction, they appear in focus without the use of lenses." (Video)" via Mobile Commerce Press

Will Quantum Dots Dominate Displays? "The QD Vision approach adds quantum dots to strips of blue LED edge lights around an LCD panel. Some of this light is converted to red and green, which is mixed by a light guide to create a high-quality white backlight for the LCD panel’s color subpixels. The Nanosys/3M approach places the QDEF film over the back of the panel, and then a blue LED backlight is applied (typically through edge lighting and a light guide). Some of the blue light is converted in the film layer to red and green light before reaching a subpixel. A new, third, approach is being developed by a number of researchers. This involves putting the quantum dots directly on the blue LED chip. This can simplify the optical and light-management requirements, but it subjects the quantum-dot material to higher operating temperatures that can decrease performance." via IEEE Spectrum

LEDs Made From ‘Wonder Material’ Perovskite "A hybrid form of perovskite – the same type of material which has recently been found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace silicon – has been used to make low-cost, easily manufactured LEDs, potentially opening up a wide range of commercial applications in future, such as flexible color displays. This particular class of semiconducting perovskites have generated excitement in the solar cell field over the past several years, after Professor Henry Snaith’s group at Oxford University found them to be remarkably efficient at converting light to electricity. In just two short years, perovskite-based solar cells have reached efficiencies of nearly 20%, a level which took conventional silicon-based solar cells 20 years to reach." via redOrbit

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TouchPico projector creates touchscreens anywhere. "The secret to the touch interaction is in the TouchPico stylus. The built-in infrared camera determines the touchscreen coordinates and relays that information to the projector at up to 40 frames per second. That’s fast enough to play some Fruit Ninja and score. This definitely takes interaction above and beyond the combination of laptop, projector and some gyroscopic mouse. The TouchPico can definitely up your professional game, too" via TechnologyTell

Can new automotive heads-up display be alternative to smartphone while driving? "Navdy wants to change the way we interact with our connected devices while driving altogether. It’s a device that can be mounted on any car’s dashboard and it provides a high-resolution heads-up display that helps you see the road behind it. Simpson says the technology is the same used by pilots when they land an airplane. By seeing what’s behind the display and still receiving information from it, the driver doesn’t take his or her eyes off the road, which should decrease the chances of an accident according to the NHTSA, which released guidelines last year to minimize in-driving distractions such as manual text entry on navigation systems." via TechCrunch

Spheree lets you watch animated images in full 3D "Spheree is the work of a team of researchers working together from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, and it's mesmerising to behold. Like its name suggests, it's in the shape of a translucent sphere; inside, the viewer can see animations and images that appear to float in the centre; as the viewer moves around, they can see other sides of the object as their perspective changes. And it's all based on optical illusion. Packed inside the Spheree are multiple mini-projectors, which shine the images onto the interior surface of the sphere. Special software designed by the team blends the projector images together for a single, seamless image." via CNET

5 Things CIOs Should Know About Digital Signage "4. Networks will be put to the test. An increasing percentage of digital signage content will be in ultra-high-definition (UHD), which could swamp an organization’s network bandwidth, particularly if the content is pulled from the cloud instead of being stored and played locally, says IHS analyst Sanju Khatri. Digital signage using UHD displays first appeared at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in 2013, and IHS predicts huge growth in UHD displays in the next few years." via CIO

Creating Next-Generation Holograms "Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a new method for making multi-colored holograms from a thin film of silver nanoparticles, which could greatly increase the storage capabilities of typical optical storage devices. ...Using a single thin layer of silver, Montelongo and his colleagues patterned colorful holograms containing 16 million nanoparticles per square millimeter. Each nanoparticle, approximately 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, scatters light into different colors depending on its particular size and shape. The scattered light from each of the nanoparticles interacts and combines with all of the others to produce an image. The device can display different images when illuminated with a different color light, a property not seen before in a device of this type. Furthermore, when multiple light sources are shone simultaneously, a multi-color image is projected." via Controlled Environments

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What does automotive HMI technology have in store for the near future? "There is much potential for in-car HMI, but we have yet to see a similar revolution in the UX and UI of the automotive industry. ...However, in the haste to get on-trend, car manufacturers have simply used screens to replicate what has been before, rather than taking an empathetic, intelligent approach. Skeuomorphism abounds, where physical buttons are replaced with look-alikes on a screen — familiarity is retained, but at the expense of tactile feedback. Current touchscreen HMIs are often simply ill-considered re-appropriated solutions developed for completely different contexts (which we will discuss later in the series)." via ITProPortal

Is 4K the next flat panel display revolution, or another gimmick? "While 3D may not have stuck around, now every film is projected in 4K. However, there are circumstances when the benefit of 4K can’t be fully utilized, and it has to do with viewing distance. To perceive the full benefit of a 4K resolution, the human eye needs to be at a certain distance from the screen, depending on the size of the screen. This is also true for 1080p over 720p. "In general, from an integrators perspective, we try to look at what the viewing distance or the vieiwing angle of the folks involved might be," says Mike Hancock, Vice President at MechDyne Corporation. "Flat panels, except for some of the really extreme large-sized ones, really only work good for rooms that are less than 20 feet."" via CorporateTechDecisions

Foldable, Bendable And Bright: The Future Of Displays "Micro transfer printing (µTP) is a method of, essentially, using a type of rubber stamp to pick up very thin strips of semiconductor material (as the “ink”) and place it somewhere else by “stamping” it. The advantage of this technique is that it allows you to put high performance semiconductor elements (such as gallium nitride (GaN)) onto substrates where they wouldn’t normally be compatible (like plastic). And you can place the stamp over and over thereby creating large areas of arbitrary shapes out of otherwise small, high performance components—in ways that are impossible or infeasible with traditional semiconductor manufacturing processes. Prof. John Rogers describes in the Science paper making displays out of micro-LEDs using transfer printing. The micro-LED displays had great battery life, were very bright and, due to the nature of µTP, could be made at low cost. The trifecta of low cost, good battery life and a scalable manufacturing platform while maintaining excellent performance comprises the display industry equivalent of winning eight gold medals in the same Olympic games. It’s a big deal, and Rogers may have delivered it." via Forbes

New automotive head-up display could help drivers avoid collisions in fog "The head-up display (HUD) is the work of Professor Vassilis Charissis and his team, based in the Virtual Reality and Simulation Laboratory (VRS Lab) within the School of Engineering and Built Environment. The display has been developed and evaluated in a 3D driving simulator, which allows drivers to navigate a perfectly recreated stretch of the M8, M74 and M80 in a choice of conditions. One of the options lets the driver tackle the motorways in dense fog, before giving them the chance to drive the same stretch again using the head-up display. When initiated, the windscreen of the car highlights where other vehicles are on the motorway within a 400-metre range and even lets the driver know when it’s safe to change lanes." via FleetNews

A Vision of Future Displays "According to Brown Elliott, Samsung has not used even half the IP they have developed and will need some time to roll out what is already possible for the next few years. But Samsung’s loss could be someone’s gain. As I said in the beginning, Brown Elliott has a vision of the display industry in 10-15 years. The way she sees it, light field displays and light field imaging devices will merge in this time period. That means a clear sheet of glass (or plastic) will be both camera and display. With a light field display, a lens is placed above a number of pixels that can provide “views” from many directions. Current light field displays and imagers are always pixel limited so the resulting images are typically 50-200x lower resolution than the underlying display resolution." via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 7.26.2014

Image via LG Display

Could New Vision-Correcting Display Free Users From Their Glasses? "The technology uses algorithms to alter an image based on a person’s glasses prescription together with a light filter set in front of the display. The algorithm alters the light from each individual pixel so that, when fed through a tiny hole in the plastic filter, rays of light reach the retina in a way that re-creates a sharp image. Researchers say the idea is to anticipate how your eyes will naturally distort whatever’s onscreen — something glasses or contacts typically correct — and adjust it beforehand so that what you see appears clear. Brian A. Barsky, a University of California, Berkeley, computer science professor and affiliate professor of optometry and vision science who coauthored the paper, says it’s like undoing what the optics in your eyes are about to do. The technology is being developed in collaboration with researchers at MIT and Microsoft." via Mashable

Will AMOLED display panels be cheaper than LCD within 2 years? "According to the NPD DisplaySearch OLED Technology Report, manufacturing costs for AMOLED panels are currently 10 to 20 percent higher than for TFT-LCD displays; however, considering the rapid improvement in AMOLED panel production yields, the manufacturing costs for AMOLED mobile phone panels are expected fall below costs for LCD mobile phone panels within the next two years. ...Early on, AMOLED panels were expected to cost less than LCD panels, because they do not require backlighting. Instead, production challenges kept AMOLED yields low, and thus costs remained higher than for equivalent LCDs. AMOLED became a high-end product, due to its high color gamut, good contrast, and slimness. Recent production yield improvements are expected to help AMOLED penetrate more broadly into smartphone panels." via LEDs Magazine

How Strong Is Your Industrial LCD/LED User-Interface IQ? "Both LEDs and LCDs provide significant benefits to industrial control applications. In addition to well-documented benefits – such as a 70 to 80 percent reduction in energy requirements, enhanced durability/shock/vibration resistance and extended lifetime – recent technological advances have generated additional, particularly beneficial features. New extended temperature ranges for both LCD and LED displays, nonbulky heaters and cost-effective custom solutions have revolutionized user-interface displays for industrial control applications. Identifying a supplier with expertise in both LED and LCD technologies, as well as in integrated solutions, is key. Combining this with value-added services allows design engineers to develop user interfaces that provide cost savings, reliability and enhanced visual performance in even the most challenging of industrial environments." via Industrial Photonics

Watch LG’s large bendable and transparent displays in action "The video above shows LG Display’s 18-inch polyamide-based rollable display with a curvature radius of 30R. In practice, that means you can bend the panel back and forth without damaging it, but we’re still a few years away from panels you can roll up like a sheet of paper and carry in a tube. Also, the current model is just 1200 x 810, a resolution that is in no way suitable for commercialization. But LG Display is confident it can iron out the technical kinks and bring a 60-inch panel of 4K resolution that can be rolled up in a 3 centimeters tube by 2017. (Video)" via Android Authority

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Japan Display Begins to Mass Produce IPS-NEO Displays "Liquid crystal panel manufacturing requires an orientation process that aligns liquid crystal molecules in a uniform direction. Generally, the rubbing method, as portrayed in the diagram below, is employed. In this process, an orientation membrane is rubbed in a fixed direction with a rubbing roller with cloth wound on it. With this method, unevenness of the circuit pattern formed on the glass substrate could impede proper orientation and the involvement of foreign particles in the rubbing process may affect the production yield. Adopting JDI’s photo alignment method, IPS-NEO is free from these issues and achieves a higher contrast, superior viewing angle characteristics and an improved production yield." via Xbit Laboratories

MediaTek Unveils First Mobile 120Hz Display Technology "Key to this breakthrough is MediaTek's Response Time Enhancement Technology, which significantly decreases the display's response time and reduces motion blur experienced on 60Hz display by up to 50%, bringing everything on the screen to life with crisp and smooth motion. In addition to the Response Time Enhancement Technology, MediaTek ClearMotion(TM) featured in the SoCs ensures full utilization of the 120Hz display with automatic frame rate conversion for content that is standard 24fps and 30fps videos and displays them in 120fps, putting the best and smoothest viewing experience in the hands of consumers around the world. These advancements are a demonstration of MediaTek's commitment to developing high-quality solutions that foster limitless creativity and innovation." via IndiaTimes

What kind of display does wearable tech need? "There are also challenges with smartwatch displays. "On one hand you have Pebble. On the other side you have awesome looking high-resolution color displays that are completely not readable in daylight and that use more power. This is your choice today. There is no magic pill. You have to pick one. For the next two years, wearables will suffer from this problem," Joire said. Joire said Pebble chose a monochrome E-paper screen so that it would be visible in daylight and preserve battery life. "Most of the time for a smartwatch at least, you're not using it when you're indoors because you have your phone. You generally use it when you're walking somewhere outdoors. So we picked that side of the fence. But nothing stops us from making two watches," Joire said." via TechRepublic

InkCase Plus Adds A Second, Standalone E-ink Screen To Your Android Phone "Meet InkCase Plus: a second companion screen for your Android smartphone that’s designed to slot into a case so you can stack one pane atop the other, sandwich style. Currently it’s just a Kickstarter prototype, with its makers looking for $100,000 in crowdfunding to get the device to market. ...Now it’s worth saying we’ve seen this idea before. In fact Russian startup YotaPhone makes a dual-screen smartphone that incorporates an e-ink screen onto the rear of the phone — which is especially neat (not least because it’s not so chunky). However G-Jay Yong, CEO of Oaxis, the company behind the InkCase Plus, reckons the standalone Yota-concept-clone has advantages over a single combined device — since you can view your two mobile screens side by side if you like. In other words, it doesn’t have to be one or the other." via TechCrunch

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Are flexible organic TFTs closer with new breakthrough? "In Japan, the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (or MANA for short) has announced another step forward for display technology, in the form on a new Nano Ink that can be used in the printing of flexible organic thin film transistors (OTFT) at room temperature. TFTs are an essential technology used in display backplanes, and are responsible for controlling the light parts, be that LCD or OLED, of the visible display. Although printed circuitry has been in development in various forms for a little while, MANA claims to have developed a new technique which overcomes the high temperature annealing processes typically associated with printed electronics. This means that its technique can be used to print more complex components onto plastic substrates, which is perfect for flexible electronics and display products." via Android Authority

Does Google Glass have potential as a medical display? "Karandeep Singh believes Glass can successfully improve clinical efficiency and physician-patient interaction if introduced in the right way. “In a medical setting, it will be perceived differently than in a public setting,” he said. “When you’re with a patient, that’s a different social contract. And if you’re viewing private patient information, what better way to display it to you than in a way that only you can see it?” One of the functionalities Singh has engineered is for Glass to connect to patients’ electronic health records. Though designed to improve efficiency, clicking and scrolling on a computer leads a physician to spend a significant amount of time turned away from a patient. And some physicians find it hard to synthesize disparate pieces of data as they click through. “The big mistake many people make is that they assume that the Glass is replacing static desktop displays,” said Paul Lukowicz, a professor in computer science at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany who consults for the companyWearable Technologies. He sees great value in “precise cross referencing” that goes beyond the normal desktop interface." via Nextgov

Samsung’s Head-Up display Will Switch Between Virtual And Real Reality "Samsung‘s VR efforts are one leaky ship lately, with a report today echoing earlier rumors that the company would be partnering with Oculus VR for its own headset. Now, a leaked pre-release version of the Samsung VR software has made its way into the hands of SamMobile, apparently revealing some of the early functionality the head-mounted display will have, and detailing some of its workings. Based on the leaked app screens, the Samsung Gear VR device will indeed mount a Galaxy smartphone in front of your face, likely similar to the way that Google Cardboard works with Android devices. But Samsung’s device will predictably be limited to its own smartphones, at lest according to rumors. It’ll also plug into VR via USB 3.0, which is only supported on current Galaxy devices including the S5 and Note 3, likely because of the increased bandwidth for data made available through use of that connector." via TechCrunch

Advances in capacitive touch and passive capacitive pens "Whatever the technical issues may be, we've now reached a point where customers pretty much expect capacitive multi-touch even for industrial and vertical market tablets. The tap / pan / pinch / zoom functionality of consumer tablets has just become too pervasive to ignore. So we've been seeing more and more rugged and semi-rugged tablets (as well as handhelds) using capacitive touch. That's no problem with Android-based tablets since Android was designed for capacitive touch but, unlike in the consumer market where iOS and Android dominate, but enterprise customers continue to demand Windows on their tablets. Which means a precise pen or stylus is pretty much mandatory. Now what about capacitive pens? They have been around since the early days of the iPad, using a broad rubber tip on a stylus to provide operation a bit more precise than is possible with a finger. How much more precise? That depends. Even slender index finger tips measure more than 10 mm whereas those capacitive styli have tips in the 7-8 mm range. That seems improvement enough for several manufacturers of rugged tablets to include capacitive styli with their products. The tips of those styli are narrower than those of earlier versions, but still in the 5 mm range, and they still have soft, yielding tips. They work a bit better than older ones, but in no way as well as a mouse or an active pen. Not much that can be done, or can it?" via RuggedPCReview

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What Advantage Do Curved LCD TVs Have? "One of the main weaknesses of many LED-lit LCD TVs is a relatively limited optimal viewing angle, as compared to plasma and OLED. TVs that use VA (vertically aligned) LCD panels often have deep blacks when viewed head-on, but they quickly lose contrast when viewed from an angle. Even when you sit centered facing a flat screen, you view the edges of that screen at an angle. Depending on how close you sit, that can lead to a loss of picture quality toward the edges of the screen. Now, consider UHD/4K resolution: It requires the viewer to get close to the screen to see all the detail. When viewing a curved screen close up and centered, the viewing angle at a screen's edges stays closer to perpendicular than it does with a flat screen. For one solitary viewer who sits in the right position, a curved LCD screen provides the very tangible benefit of keeping the entire panel aimed at the viewer, which can result in higher contrast and greater uniformity across the entire screen." via AVS Forum

What are Touchscreens of the Future? "Carnegie Mellon's Chris Harrison demonstrates TouchTools and TapSense, tablet apps he built to explore new ways of that people might interact with screens in the future. (Video)" via IEEE Spectrum

How does a transparent display reimagine the ruler? "Glassified is a modified ruler with a transparent display to supplement physical strokes made on paper with virtual graphics. Because the display is transparent, both the physical strokes and the virtual graphics are visible in the same plane. A digitizer captures the pen strokes in order to update the graphical overlay, fusing the traditional function of a ruler with the added advantages of a digital, display-based system. We describe use-cases of Glassified in the areas of math and physics and discuss its advantages over traditional systems. (Video)" via Vimeo

Why are OLED TVs being shunned by the world, but LG is embracing them? "Currently, Samsung and LG use different approaches to OLED panel engineering. As Soneira explains, "Samsung uses an expensive Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS backplane for their R,G,B OLED TVs, while LG uses an IGZO backplane with all white OLEDs with R,G,B,W color filters, so their costs are lower." All that tech-speak means is that there is more than one way to skin an OLED cat, and Samsung’s is more involved and costly. Having spoken to Samsung extensively about its OLED methods, we know that the company very much prefers its approach, and is not willing to sacrifice what it feels is superior quality for the sake of cranking out a product that not a lot of people are in a position to purchase anyway." via Digital Trends

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Display Technology News Roundup 7.16.2014

Image via LG Display

LG Unveils Flexible Display That Can Be Rolled Up Like A Piece Of Paper "LG’s display division yesterday announced two new types of panels, a rollable 18-inch OLED panel and an 18-inch transparent OLED panel. ...Instead of using plastic to achieve this level of flexibility, LG said the panel is made out of a "high molecular substance-based polyime film". The transparent panel, as LG explained, has 30% transmittance, which is significantly higher than the 10% transmittance in existing transparent LCD panels. LG says that it achieved this by adopting the company’s transparent pixel design technology and incorporating it into the new display." via Forbes

How Epson Keeps Innovating With R&D "Projector technology too has developed step by step. The 3LCD technology that powers projectors used for offices, education and homes had its origins in 1977 when Epson started to develop the active-matrix LCD chips. In 1982 it introduced the TV watch and later shifted to polysilicon TFT systems, that ironed out picture quality and size issues. In 1984, the company commercialised the world’s first pocket-sized colour TV, the ET-10. In 1989 Epson used 3 LCD technology for its first brand projector and since then High Temperature Polysilicon (HTPS) has been the key component of 3LCD projectors. Ask employees at Epson and they will tell you that R&D is the heart of their organisation. Consumers, for instance have been experiencing Epson products with diverse uses." via The Hindu Business Line

Where Does LG Display Manufacture Its Innovative Technology? "I am at the largest screen factory in the world - LG Display's Paju Complex, in South Korea, on an extensive tour. ...In a bright white space-age showroom, Epic Kim shows us possibilities that OLED opens up. Some of these products have already made it to the market - just. LG sells a inwardly curving OLED TV, which is much more impressive than it sounds, and even a semi-flexible smartphone, named the G Flex. Other innovations have not found a product yet - take the insanely high-resolution smartphone screen that is twice as sharp as an iPhone, the 3D TV that does not require glasses, or the fully transparent touchscreen, which I found the most exciting. Why hide the innards of your new smartphone? Why buy a TV when your whole window can show a movie? Why buy curtains when your window can become a black screen?" via The Age

‘Sensor Salon’ brings LCD screens, 3D-printed objects and sensors to fingernails "That’s the vision of students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., who presented their “Sensor Salon” project at Microsoft today — explaining how they created a prototype salon that brought together experts in design and development to create made-to-order technology for a client’s nails. Technologies embedded in the nails included small programmable LCD screens, and 3D printed objects and charms. ...Other possibilities would include haptic feedback — sensors that would trigger small vibrations that could help people with bad habits such as smoking." via GeekWire

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What Happened At SID Display Week? IDTechEx Summarizes the Show "The impact of the emergence of Chinese manufacturing was not overlooked this year during SID last month, with the opening keynote talk delivered by Wang Dongsheng, president and co-founder of BOE, the largest Chinese display manufacturer. With over 20,000 usable patents and 4,200 patent applications, BOE is in growth mode on a massive scale, with 35% of its products globally launched in 2013. The company is obviously looking to make significant profits from the juggernaut that is the display industry, with an accumulated investment of $260 billion since 1990. Wang Dongsheng though used the term during his keynote "The display industry is suffering from success", referring to its low profitability." via Printed Electronics World

How flexible, micro-thin displays could revolutionize liquid crystal technology "A new research study published in this week's journal of Nature has shown the proof of concept for using what are known as 'phase change materials' – materials that can rapidly switch between amorphous and crystalline states when heat or electrical charge is applied – as building blocks for a whole new generation of ultra-high resolution displays. ..."The main advantage of these displays is not only that they have ultra-high resolution, but also are solid state that can be put on highly flexible films," said team leader Harish Bhaskaran, a materials scientists at Oxford University in an interview with Yahoo Canada News. "Also, power consumption is low and in many respects it can retain the image until you go and change it, so no power is required when the image is static, unlike conventional screens that require refreshing," added Bhaskaran." via Yahoo! News

Why is Samsung the only one buying AMOLED displays? " ZDNet Korea did an interview with Samsung Display CEO Park Dong-Geun specifically on this topic, and he had a little more to say on it, specifically what Samsung Display is going to do about it. Park talked about Samsung’s current expansion into China and other markets where its devices are at saturation point, and would like to see expansion of its display division into these territories as well. Right now LCD is the most popular form of display on devices, particularly mobile ones, and Samsung wants to try to convince device manufacturers that AMOLED is the way to go, as they say it provides a richer user experience by giving the user better visuals. Right now they have to fight the fact that they are the largest consumer electronics company in the world, and as such many are likely choosing to support the underdog rather than the big dog." via AndroidHeadlines

How is Jaguar Land Rover enhancing the automotive display experience? "The car maker unveiled its 'Jaguar Virtual Windscreen' concept that uses the windscreen as a display to project information like racing line and braking guidance, ghost car racing and virtual cones. Jaguar Land Rover Research and Technology director Dr Wolfgang Epple said, "By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once. "Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for every-day driving on the road, or the track." (Video)" via Automotive Business Review

How does new transparent touchscreen display work on both sides? "Their TransWall is not only transparent, but it can also receive input and display content on either side of its screen, plus it's capable of haptic feedback. The system is housed within a T-shaped frame that also incorporates two overhead-mounted projectors, which project visuals onto either side of the screen. That screen is made up of two sheets of plexiglass, with a clear holographic film sandwiched between them. Bordering those sheets are two rectangular infra-red touch sensor frames, one on either side. A surface transducer is also mounted in the plexiglass above the frames, plus microphones are integrated into each of them." via Gizmag

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Waterproof, glare-free phone screens invented "The team at The Institute for Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, in conjunction with Corning Incorporated (the makers of the tough Gorilla Glass adorning many of today's premium smartphones) developed a novel technique of "roughing" the glass surface without sacrificing transparency. ...This discovery has strong implications for the mobile industry, where similar effects can only be produced by polarising filters placed over the screen. But these filters can interfere with the capacitive touch interface of many smart screens, a problem Pruneri's team believes may not be the case with their "roughening" method." via Wired

takee Holographic Handset Disrupts Traditional Technology "After 10 years of research and development, takee holographic handsets are taking the lead in handset screen display technology, making a disruptive breakthrough in the field. ...Something of note is that the takee holographic handset is fundamentally different from Fire Phone handset recently released by Amazon. Fire Phone's display technology is not a naked-eye 3D display technology, but rather employs Dynamic Perspective 3D technology, in actuality a form of 2D display technology. In other words, what one is observing is a dynamic expression of a traditional 2D handset instead of a visual display of holographic technology. In this regard, the takee holographic handset outdoes competitors by jumping ahead one generation." via Consumer Electronics Net

How is the digital signage industry being threatened? ""The industry faces tough competition from ordinary consumer television products that are being used by commercial establishments instead of specially outfitted digital signage displays, and the result is a loss for the signage industry as sales go instead to consumer-type replacements." Digital signage panel manufacturers and set makers can capitalise on existing advantages offered by the technology. These include high-brightness displays of 1,000 to 1,500 nits without compromising display lifetimes; ultra-narrow bezel displays for data visualisation; ultra-high-definition displays in high-end applications such as architecture firms and medical operating theatres; and touch, gesture or embedded vision for segments like education, for use in interactive whiteboards." via InAVate

Is the iPhone 6 Sapphire Crystal Display Really Unbreakable? Watch the Test "In an effort to test just how durable the suppose 4.7-inch iPhone 6 panel is, Marques puts it through a serious of gruesome tests, first by stabbing it with a knife, and then with a set of keys. He goes at it pretty hard, too—harder than your average phone would see on a daily basis—and the panel is essentially left unscathed. Even the sharp knife is no match for the sapphire crystal, inflicting zero damage. It’s incredibly impressive. Say good-bye to screen protectors once and for all. (Video)" via TechnoBuffalo

Does display form factor matter? "The way I see it, Google Glass is an early shot at making the computer disappear, at making it hide in the furniture. The true ideal form factor is one that isn’t there at all. It’s just a pure human interface. No friction. ...But even screen size can be handled as a relative matter. Apparent screen size is a function of distance between the viewer’s eyes and the screen and its actual dimensions. A 13cm (5.1”) screen held 60cm (~2’) away takes up the same field of vision as a 130cm (51.2”) screen at 600cm (~20’). You can watch a movie on a phone at two feet or on a big TV at 20 feet." via Forbes

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Is the world finally ready for Virtual and Augmented Reality? "The year is 1979 and Richard Bolt, a student at MIT, demonstrates a program that enables the control of a graphic interface by combining both speech and gesture recognition. ...To this day, Richard’s research speaks to the core of what natural gesture technology aims to achieve, that “natural user modality”. While advances in HMI have continued to iterate and improve over time, the medium for our visual interaction has remained relatively intact: the screen. Navigation of our modern UI has been forced to work within the limits of the 2D screen. With the emergence of AR and VR, our traditional forms of HMI do not provide the same accessible input as the mouse and touch interfaces of the past. Our HMI must evolve to allow users the ability to interact to the scene and not the screen." via Games Alfresco

What's the Secret to Tackling Three Touchscreen Design Challenges? "The secret to achieving the low energy, high performance capacitive sensing is a hardware-based capacitive-to-digital converter (CDC). The CDC consists of two current digital-to-analog converters or DACs. The first is a variable DAC that delivers the current to the external sensor capacitor, and the second is a constant current source for an internal reference capacitor. Capacitance is measured using successive approximation registers (SAR) which is an efficient process immune to DC offset and requires no external components. The CDC improves accuracy and noise immunity by performing a two-stage discharge of the external capacitor to remove ambient noise energy captured during the discharge process. The CDC offers a wide dynamic range by adjusting gain and reducing source current to change the charge timing and more directly reflect the voltage at the capacitive sensor when the source current and series impedance are both high (i.e., such as when using a touch panel or ESD protected capacitive pads)." via Silicon Labs

How healthy is the medical imaging display market? "The worldwide market demand for medical imaging displays used in clinical review, medical diagnostics and surgical procedures, is showing strong growth, according to the new NPD DisplaySearch Specialty Displays Report. Between 2013 and 2017, global revenues for the displays used in surgical procedures and clinical review are each expected to grow at a compound average rate of 9%. Growth in diagnostic displays is forecast to increase 5% per year. ...The number of radiology investigations continues to increase annually, spurring growth in the diagnostic display market. The 21.3in display, now comprising 67% of the market, will continue to dominate this category. However, due to specialised panel and backlight requirements, few manufacturers participate in this niche market. Those that do participate have limited capabilities and some run on older, less-efficient production lines. Therefore, the costs to produce these panels are higher than the more commoditised displays, which results in relatively stable ASPs." via Installation

Pilot's Eye View of the F-35 Head-Up Display "The Rockwell Collins ESA Vision Systems F-35 Gen III helmet mounted display provides unprecedented situational awareness for pilots. AINtv spoke with F-35 Lightning II Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman about what makes this head-up display special. (Video)" via AINtv

Display Industry Trends – Survey Results "The two questions on laser phosphor projectors seemed consistent with what was discussed at Display Summit a couple of weeks ago. But nearly 1/3 don’t see the technology becoming a mainstream product, a bit higher than I would have expected. This probably means that lamp-based projectors will become value products - and there will continue to be a market for them. On the question of lumen output in 5 years, some are very bullish (17%) seeing the technology enabling projectors with over 35K lumens of light output. Many were unsure about this question." via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 7.1.2014

Image via Worry Dream

A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design "In 1968 — three years before the invention of the microprocessor — Alan Kay stumbled across Don Bitzer's early flat-panel display. Its resolution was 16 pixels by 16 pixels — an impressive improvement over their earlier 4 pixel by 4 pixel display. Alan saw those 256 glowing orange squares, and he went home, and he picked up a pen, and he drew a picture of a goddamn iPad. And then he chased that carrot through decades of groundbreaking research, much of which is responsible for the hardware and software that you're currently reading this with. That's the kind of ambitious, long-range vision I'm talking about. Pictures Under Glass is old news. Let's start using our hands." via Worry Dream

Researchers make full-colour InGaN LEDs using LCD-type process "InGaN-based LEDs are now widely accepted as highly efficient light sources that can replace incandescent bulbs. But so far they been limited to small devices. Now a team from the University of Tokyo has shown that InGaN LEDs could form large area displays on amorphous substrates using a manufacturing technique frequently used for making liquid-crystal displays (LCD). ...By demonstrating that full-color LEDs can be fabricated on amorphous substrates, the researchers think that since sputtering is frequently used in the LCD industry, it could be adapted to fabricate large-area inorganic LED displays on glass substrates including flexible glass foils." via Compound Semiconductor

Chemists develop magnetically responsive liquid crystals "Chemists at the University of California, Riverside have constructed liquid crystals with optical properties that can be instantly and reversibly controlled by an external magnetic field. The research opens the door to display applications relying on the instantaneous and contactless nature of magnetic manipulation—such as signage, posters, writing tablets, and billboards. Commercially available liquid crystals, used in modern electronic displays, are composed of rod-like or plate-like molecules. When an electric field is applied, the molecules rotate and align themselves along the field direction, resulting in a rapid tuning of transmitted light." via Nanowerk

Does Sharp's LCD plant revelation cast doubt on Apple's use of IGZO displays? "Osaka, Japan-based Sharp dedicates the entire production output of its Kameyama No. 1 LCD plant to Apple, Sharp senior executive Norikazu Hoshi told the Nikkei Asian Review last weekend. ...Apple has been rumored to be using IGZO technology — which broadly speaking allows LCD displays to let more light pass through, reducing power usage — for years, and was at one point said to have financed Sharp's retooling of Kameyama No. 2 with component prepayments. Instead, it is likely that the money went into retooling the No. 1 facility to produce LTPS panels, which are nearly as efficient as IGZO displays but easier to manufacture." via Apple Insider

Are 3D Displays Still Marching Forward? "Here in the United States many have become jaded about the future of 3D, but around the world it is booming. Last January, NechNavio, a technology research and advisory company, released a report predicting “the Global 3D Flat Panel TV market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.4 percent over the period 2013– 2018. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increase in 3D content broadcasts.” ...However, many potential 3D fans are still holding their breath until we can dump the glasses. Autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D flat panel displays, or AS3DTV sets, have been around for a considerable time and until now many, like me, have been skeptical about them. But during the 2008 3D BizExpo held at the Universal Sheraton in Hollywood, Philips Electronics took a major leap forward by introducing their WOWvx 3D system on a 56-inch Quad Full HD set." via TVTechnology

What Is Assertive Display Technology? Why Samsung Is Licensing It for Next-Gen Exynos Processors "Apical has been a leader in what they call ‘Assertive Display Technology,’ and Samsung has just licensed this technology to use with their next generation Exynos Processor, although we must point out the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is also licensed for Assertive Display, so hopefully Samsung will use that technology on all of their smartphones. Assertive Display is an advanced display management core that will give the viewer a high-quality display even in bright sunlight and at the same time will lower the power consumption. This technology actually adjusts each individual pixel in real-time by using models of how the human eye responds to different viewing environments. " via Android Headlines

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What Is the Best Tablet Display? Not the iPad "Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements, the Galaxy Tab S is the best performing tablet display that we have ever tested, not surprisingly with performance that is almost identical to the OLED Galaxy S5 Smartphone that we recently tested and found to be the Best Performing Smartphone Display. The Galaxy Tab S establishes new records for best Tablet display performance in: Highest Color Accuracy, Infinite Contrast Ratio, Lowest Screen Reflectance, and smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle. Both Galaxy Tab S models offer Quad HD 2560x1600 pixel displays (with 287 to 361 pixels per inch), currently the highest for tablets, with 4.1 megapixels, double the number on your HDTV. Where the Galaxy Tab S does very well but does not break performance records is in maximum display Brightness—the current record holder for tablets is the Nokia Lumia 2520 with 684 nits, while the Tab S has 546 nits with Automatic Brightness On and 415 nits under manual Brightness (10 percent lower for mixed content with 50 percent Average Picture Level APL and 25 percent lower for an all white screen). " via Gizmodo

How Are Augmented Reality Displays Getting Physical With Haptics? "From the lab to startup companies, the race is on adding physically perceptible volumes and textures to whatever is displayed on screen, ranging from a simple keyboard with a "click" feel to the complex rendering of 3D shapes and textures, either in volume or on a seemingly flat surface. The EuroHaptics 2014 conference, which took place in Versailles from June 24 to 26, was buzzing with actuators and haptic devices of all sorts. Well over a hundred papers, posters, and dozens of demos were presented, covering experimental research setups about human touch perception on one end, and various tangible haptic interfaces on the other end of the spectrum, with plenty of force and feedback encoding schemes in between." via EE Times

Why Will the Touchscreen Generation Forever Alter Tech Design? "Generation Moth will be fluent and fearless in a digitally mediated existence, where most of their analog needs are met with the help of digital services. They will use their bodies and all their senses as instruments for interaction, in a way that’s infinitely more varied and sophisticated than the touch screen paradigm we’re living in right now. As Generation Moth becomes influential across commerce and society, we will need to completely reimagine and reinvent the relationships that brands have with people. People-centered design will be a baseline, and the design of services that consider personalization, fluidity, predictiveness, and expressiveness will be key to success. This screen-addicted generation is going to massively change the way people live and attitudes towards the world, for generations to come." via Wired

How Are Touchscreens Adapting Game Designs? "The advent of touchscreen gaming left developers with a conundrum. Good platforming games depend on precise mechanical controls, like buttons, directional pads, and joysticks. Working around that limitation was a big challenge. ...Platform games evolved over 30 years from simple 2D affairs that took place on a single screen into full-blown 3D adventures in which you traverse graphically rich worlds. In the era of touchscreen devices like the iPhone and iPad, game designers have had to start from scratch, rethinking every convention of the genre. Leo’s Fortune sets a new bar for touchscreen platforming games, and like Badland before it, draws a blueprint for what may become the conventions of this new sub-genre. I’ll be interested to see if other game developers follow in Leo’s rolling footsteps or come up with entirely different approaches to working within the constraints of relatively small touchscreens." via TidBITS

Can a Safe Automotive Touchscreen Be Developed? "Google design manager Henry Newton-Dunn says the problem now is that cars are “fundamentally disconnected vehicles.” This leads many drivers to juggle their phones while driving—a bad idea, since the screens are too small and the interface and menus too complicated to navigate. “We had to take an experience that was designed for a smartphone and break it down to its bare essentials,” Brady says in the video, which shows drivers tapping on the screen to use Google maps and using voice controls to set reminders on their phones. Interest in smartphone design is hot, and as an extension, designing a smart screen for the car is getting hotter, too. Already, 28 carmakers in the Open Automotive Alliance are working with Android Auto. The problem is that while adding smartphone functionality to a car lets you do more while driving, safe driving generally requires you to do less. In other words, this problematic, dangerous behavior may not be something that can be designed around via a bigger, better device. Rather, the problem is that humans are not particularly good at multitasking. (Video)" via Bloomberg Businessweek

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Are Virtual Reality displays a ‘game changer’ for the real estate industry? "Real estate technology expert, James Dearsley, of the Digital Marketing Bureau, tells OPP Connect, ..."Obviously putting people ‘inside’ apartments that don’t even exist yet is an amazing concept; giving them the ability to understand scale and depth whilst letting them navigate around an apartment is incredibly exciting. However, Virtual Reality is much more than that." ...Oculus has a huge outlet for its devices in Facebook and many other companies are lining up. Sony has Project Morpheus already in development as does Samsung with its VR HMD, says Mr Dearsley. “Then there are other, far smaller companies working on. A particular favourite of mine is Altergaze which recently went to Kickstarter for its first round of funding for its 3D Printed HMDs – these allow you to place your mobile phone into the device. Suddenly, the panoramas that you are producing through your phone can be displayed very differently." via OPP Connect

Pyramid-Like Arrangement Makes LEDs Brighter "According to the scientists at the University of Michigan, triangular phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) arranged into a pyramid-like structure shine three times brighter than a flat configuration of LEDs at the same current. “Achieving extra brightness from the conventional, flat design is inefficient and shortens the device lifetime,” said Jaesang Lee, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author of the study (see footnote). “However if we integrate our PHOLEDs into a pyramidal shape, we are able to achieve the equivalent, concentrated brightness at a much lower electrical current.”" via The Daily Fusion

Redefining Intelligent Display Implementation "Increasingly industrial control systems, domestic appliances, vending machines, point-of-sales units, security alarms and thermostats will start to rely on touch interaction. ...An example of a conventional intelligent display system is shown here. It has a high performance microcontroller – which is used to create and manipulate the graphic images pixel-by-pixel, a high capacity NAND Flash memory – for storing the graphics library, a large frame buffer – for driving the display, along with separate touch controller and an audio DAC. Wide parallel bus lines must be included to connect all of these devices together. This set up can prove to be totally impractical in many cases – presenting a sizeable bill of materials cost and a hefty power budget, as well as taking up a considerable amount of valuable board real estate. In addition, the system’s high complexity means that a considerable amount of technical know-how is called for. In response, FTDI has pioneered an innovative new solution that enables incorporation of intelligent displays into electronic systems in a far more streamlined manner, through employment of its highly-integrated proprietary semiconductor technology. The company’s award-winning FT800 Embedded Video Engine (EVE) is optimised for implementing high quality user interfaces on to QVGA and WQVGA displays." via FTDI Chip

Interactive Displays: Natural Human-Interface Technologies (Wiley Series in Display Technology) "The book will cover the technologies, applications and trends in the field of interactive displays, namely interfaces based on touch, gesture and voice and those using a combination of these technologies. The book will be split into 4 main parts with each being dedicated to a specific user interface. Part 1 'Touch Interfaces' will provide a review of the currently deployed touch-screen technologies and applications. It will also cover the recent developments towards achieving thinner, lightweight and cost-reduced touch screen panels in the future via integration of touch functionalities. Part 2 'Gesture Interfaces' will examine techniques and applications in stereoscopic 3D computer vision, structured-light 3D computer vision and time-of-flight 3D computer vision in gesture interfaces. Part 3 'Voice Interfaces' will review developments in voice input, processing and recognition techniques enabling voice based interfaces and interactions. Part 4 'Multi-Modal Interactions' will detail the emergence of natural human-computer interactions schemes which intuitively combine touch, gesture and voice for life-like interactions." via Amazon

What does the death of the CRT display technology mean for classic arcade machines? ""It’s just not gonna feel as nostalgic," Ware tells GamesBeat when we asked him about the problems with the modern display technology. "The pixels will be sharper on an LCD, but they may not be 100 percent accurate. Colors won’t be quite as vibrant.” Additionally, Ware explained that the refresh rate on an LCD may not play well with an old game’s code that is expecting a much more responsive CRT monitor. It could cause unsightly screen tearing that looks like one half of the screen is occasionally redrawing before the other. When the last major manufacturer stopped making CRTs, they sold the manufacturing equipment to a Chinese company that couldn’t properly reproduce the winding procedure. “Turns out that’s a semi-manual process,” says Ware. “You have to wind the CRT bulbs by hand, so they stopped making them. I have an engineer on staff that couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. It’s almost an art form."" via VentureBeat

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Shenzhen Immigration – Another good reason to talk to us about your LED display screen FAT inspection "Ever arrived in Shenzhen late in the week to inspect your order only to be wined and dined, and then to learn you have to extend your stay for an unplanned weekend ‘holiday’ in Shenzhen because your product will not be ready on time? It happens and unfortunately more often that you might expect, but the high cost and inconvenience of international travel arrangements and manufacturing delays are not the only reasons to speak with us about your LED display screen FAT inspection. With 17 years experience in the manufacture of LED display screens, and over 10,000m2 of product shipped we have inspected literally hundreds of screens. We know what to look for and can often help to analyze and suggest solutions when issues are found." via Bateman Consulting

How to Design Capacitive Touch Sensors using MBR in 5 Easy Steps "Traditional user interfaces are designed with mechanical buttons which can be unreliable, bulky, and unattractive. Capacitive buttons have begun to replace mechanical buttons, which blend into the product design and never wear out. Capacitive touch sensing solutions are the trend in user interfaces design. However user interface design with capacitive buttons is not easy. It's often a laborious task for system engineers to implement a robust solution. This paper will focus on how to easily design capacitive touch sensors with MBR devices." via EE Times

Why capacitive touchscreen panel suppliers are boosting production capacity "By year-end, the capacitive segment’s share of total touch panel deliveries from China is projected to surge to 73 percent from 54 percent in 2013, according to IHS Displaybank. Of this, smartphones will account for as much as 84 percent. In terms of output, the country’s aggregate volume reached 780 million panels last year based on TPTech’s statistics, and 540 million units went to the handset sector. Local makers are also eyeing spreading adopt ion of touch technology in notebook computers. Enabled units stood for 11 percent of total worldwide shipments in 2013 and may have a ratio surpassing 40 percent by 2017, presenting more opportunities for the line." via Global Sources

Empirical Development of Heuristics for Touch Interfaces "While touch interfaces were previously in common use only for entertainment and social networking apps, many large software firms are now designing touch interfaces for mobile apps that provide extensions to enterprise software, giving customers access to functionality that had previously required them to be on a Web site or application. Because the functionality of these apps tends to be complex, having a practical, reliable usability evaluation method for touch mobile interfaces is vital. ...In this article, we have described our empirical approach to verifying existing design heuristics and developing new heuristics for touchscreen devices. The marked differences between our findings and those of previous studies of desktop design heuristics suggests that we need to re-evaluate traditional heuristics when approaching the evaluation of touch interfaces." via UX Matters

Insane Tablet and Phone Touchscreen Repair Tips You Should Avoid "The author correctly notes that using Turtle Wax will remove the oleophobic coating on modern touchscreen devices. Oleophobic coating is an oil-repellent coating that repels the oils on your fingers and helps reduce unsightly smudges. Removing the coating means your phone will pick up more oil and smudges. So, how do Turtle Wax and other “scratch repair kits” designed for cars work? Most of these scratch repair kits are intended for metal and paint problems, not even the glass windshields or windows on a car! Turtle Wax does offer an “intensive cream glass polish” product that “uses ultra-fine particles to remove ingrained dirt, light scratches, and wiper haze from windscreens.” In other words, Turtle Wax and similar products work by removing the top layer of your phone’s touchscreen display. This is basically just like using sandpaper." via MakeUseOf

Where Is The Display Industry Headed? Take the Survey "Now that we have completed SID Display Week, InfoComm and Display Summit, it is clear that there are a lot of technologies and trends in process that will likely play out over the next few years. We don’t know how these will play out – no one does – but it would be interesting to get your feedback on the outcome of these trends, so in this Display Daily, let’s do a survey. ...You, our Display Daily readers, are some of the brightest and most forward looking thinkers in the display industry, so your input should be an interesting barometer of the future of the display industry in 5 years. I hope you will participate. To take the survey, go to: (Link)." via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 6.23.2014

Image via Sharp

How will Sharp's free-form display affect design? "The electronics maker has announced a prototype Free-form Display that can be made in whatever two-dimensional shape is required. Potential applications include dashboard displays incorporating multiple circular contours, wearable computers with elliptical screens, tablets and smartphones without frames, and complex digital signage. Instead of incorporating the gate driver on the perimeter of the display, the Sharp prototype disperses its function throughout the screen’s pixels. The bezel, or area that surrounds the screen, can thus be shrunk. While it’s not the first non-rectangular LCD screen, Sharp’s prototype is the first thin-bezel LCD that allows for various screen shapes, the company said." via PC World

Samsung's $1 billion LCD plant in Vietnam "In 2009 Samsung inaugurated its mobile phone production plant Samsung Electronics VN in the northern province of Bac Ninh. The plant had an initial investment of $670 million, which eventually increased to $2.5 billion. Four years later, the $2 billion Samsung Electronics VN Thai Nguyen complex broke ground in Thai Nguyen, another northern province. Around 43,000 employees are working at the Bac Ninh facility, and the Thai Nguyen complex is expected to attract up to 50,000 workers. It is estimated that Samsung’s two plants in Vietnam will produce $35 billion worth of mobile phones this year." via Tuoi Tre News

Are Samsung’s New AMOLED Tablets Better Than Their LCD Tablets? "Samsung will certainly be preaching about the advantages of its AMOLED display – take a look through some of the photos in the gallery and you will see that when it comes to Color Reproduction, using the Adobe RGB Gamut that the AMOLED display captures 94-percent and the LCD only 74-percent. When it comes to Contrast Ratio, you can get 100,000:1 versus 1,000:1 on the LCD display. This higher Contrast Ratio offers more vivid – jump out at you – colors and deeper blacks than the LCD technology can provide. Many users have complained that the AMOLED display does not faithfully reproduce the colors of the original image, while AMOLED supporters say they enjoy getting a more attractive display experience." via AndroidHeadlines

What is AU Optronics' place in the display industry? "It wasn’t until the mid- to late- 2000s that LCD displays swamped the consumer electronics market. Suffice it to say, they’ve had an incredible impact in a short time. As such, AU Optronics has similarly high impact in the industry...although few seem to know it. The company makes both LCD and AMOLED displays with its thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. Each display works differently, and with consumer demand for both, AU Optronics is satisfying that demand. Its Hyper-LCD displays offer even greater viewership through “Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle” (AHVA) technology, which gives flawless picture quality, even at various angles. But its AMOLED technology is really raising the bar." via Trefis

How does Amazon's Fire Phone create a 3D multi-perspective display? "Amazon's finally unveiled its first smartphone: the Fire Phone. And, as expected, there are 3D-like features on board, with something the company's calling Dynamic Perspective. ...Bezos said during the presentation that getting Dynamic Perspective ready for everyday users wasn't easy. "The key is knowing where the user's head is at all times," he stated, citing the need to have multiple cameras (remember those?) on the Fire Phone to make the feature work properly. In total, the device has six cameras -- four of which have a 120-degree field of view and are used specifically for Dynamic Perspective, plus your usual front and rear shooters." via engadget

How is Corning's anti-reflective display coating revolutionary? "The anti-reflective coating needs to be applied to both sides of the display and will drop the reflectivity of the screen from standard 8% to mind-boggling 1%. The coating which is applied using Zero Air Gap technology reduces reflection as you can see from the video below. ...The coating improves contrast and outdoor readability from 40% to a staggering 123%. There is a 90% reduction in reflectance, while the display will deliver 3X more colour in outdoor situations. (Video)" via Techtree

Could virtual reality displays be made consumer-ready with eye tracking? "Kreylos explains that the distance between your pupils is not always constant, and human eyes will occasionally swivel inward to make the light from a perceived object precisely hit the high-resolution fovea on the eye's retina, depending on how virtually “far away” an object is. Kreylos explains that your eyes can “swivel in” if the screens are displaying something particularly close to you in the virtual space (like when you would bring a finger to your nose to go cross-eyed as a kid), and that can cause nausea without eye-tracking because the image projected by the Oculus will appear distorted as well." via Ars Technica

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Bosch introduces “combiner” head-up displays for BMW "The combiner system merges the images that are generated by the car’s instrument panel with the scenery outside and makes the combined picture look as if it is two meters in front of the vehicle. The information isn’t projected on the windshield but is displayed on a small plastic screen placed just before it. The technology can be fitted to various types of car models without any major technical modifications. Bosch said the new type of head-up display provides easier visual access to the information because a driver doesn’t have to refocus as much as with conventional systems." via automotiveIT

LG Loses Exclusive Supplier Contract for Apple's In-Cell Displays "To save face, LG is now saying that they had been experiencing numerous limitations bound by an agreement for exclusive supply right with Apple, which holds a number of patents. LG Display can now broaden the scope of its movements as the exclusive supply agreement has expired recently and it has secured "Advanced In-cell Touch (AIT)" technology to avoid limitations imposed by Apple's patents. The report further noted that LG Display developed AIT to circumvent Apple's patents. The biggest difference between AIT with In-cell touch display for Apple is that it is applied with self-capacitance technology, which evolved from the conventional touch type to an individual recognition of the fingers touching the display. Apple has adopted mutual-capacitance technology to concurrently recognize a multiple number of fingers." via Patently Apple

When a brand name outlives its founding technology: PureView and CBD "One of the most frustrating things about marketing and branding, from my engineer's standpoint, is that technologies get brand names assigned to them (which is fine) and then the brand name gets used elsewhere, for something totally different. ...Now, Nokia owns the 'brand' here. If it (or, in this case, now Microsoft, I guess) wants to use 'ClearBlack Display' to refer to a simple lamination then that's absolutely its perogative. Heck, Nokia could use CBD branding on a toaster if it liked - it can do what it likes with its own marketing brand. But it's the changing definition that leaves technologically-minded users confused. Even more so because the new 'definition', an ambiguous 'aim', has been applied in a device with definitively worse outdoors performance. The PureView change was at least a totally different direction that was intended to be folded into the original tech in the future. This 'ClearBlack Display' definition change just muddies the waters, in my opinion." via All About Symbian

Is OLED Dead? "UltraHD sets were once again everywhere at CES 2014, while OLED had a lower-profile presence. Most of the OLED TVs were curvy this year. Some could even transform from flat to curved. They all looked good, but the novelty of seeing UltraHD sets and OLED sets had largely worn off. It was the third straight year they were on display at CES. Instead, the most interesting developments at the show involved dramatic improvements in LCD picture quality. Advancements in LCD panels are closing the picture-quality gap between OLED and LCD—and the latter are much more affordable and cheaper to produce." via Wired

Why is AUO no longer merging with Innolux? "Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs has given up plans to have domestic flat panel makers AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux merge due to a disagreement on the leadership after the merger, our sister paper Commercial Times reported on June 17. ...Officials said that the ministry's research predicted potential for 15% growth for the country's flat panel sector after the merger. Yet now that the two companies have worked out debt repayment plans with banks, the merger plan became less important for both, as they have received more orders over the past few months." via WantChinaTimes

Will Taiwan's flat panel display industry be overtaken by rivals? "Taiwan's flat panel display exports to China have lagged behind South Korea for the fifth consecutive year. The island fears it will lose more market share to its rivals, especially after Seoul and Beijing complete their free trade deal at the end of the year. Taiwan was once the world's biggest flat panel display supplier to the greater China market. Between 2003 and 2008, Taiwan held more than 35 per cent of the Hong Kong-China market. But while Taiwan sat on its laurels, China and South Korea started cranking out flat panels." via Channel NewsAsia

What new high-quality polymer could be used for LCD glass? "Asahi Kasei Chemicals has developed new transparent polymer for high performance optical applications, which is now ready for commercial production. The material called AZP offers zero birefringence by using novel molecular design. Asahi Kasei is building new manufacturing facilities for production of AZP at its Chiba Plant (Sodegaura, Chiba, Japan). This new material is expected to replace glass in LCD panels used in smartphones, and in-car navigation systems." via EE Herald

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SID Applauds Winners of Display Industry Awards "The Society for Information Display (SID) celebrated the winners of the Display Industry Awards, Display Week Best in Show and I-Zone during its annual Awards Luncheon yesterday. This year’s winners include: 2014 DISPLAY INDUSTRY AWARDS Display of the Year: Granted to a display with novel and outstanding features such as new physical or chemical effects, or a new addressing method." via Display Central

Could Touchscreens Be Reinvented By This Tiny Startup? "Qeexo is hoping to emulate Steve Jobs. Backed by $2.3 million, the San Jose, California-based startup has developed a new touchscreen technology that can detect the difference between a fingertip, a knuckle, a fingernail, and a stylus. By assigning different parts of the finger to different actions, this technology–known as FingerSense–could reduce tasks that currently require multiple steps to just one. “You can imagine it’d be like having different buttons in your hand,” explain’s Sang Won Lee, the company’s co-founder and CEO. The iPhone, and indeed the entire smartphone industry, have evolved dramatically since that day in 2007. And yet, for all the features that have been tweaked and perfected over the years, the language Jobs taught us has remained unchanged. We still use a single input–a fingertip–to operate the device. And that limits the way we use our phones. " via Wired

Will Touchscreens Soon Be Shatterproof? "That heartbreak may be a thing of the past due to research out of the University of Akron: a new transparent electrode material that makes the screen virtually shatterproof. There has been a huge push in nanomaterial research with the aim of finding a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO), which is the material from which transparent conductors that control screen pixels are made. One of the problems with ITO is that it’s a relatively scarce resource, and with the market for tablets and smart phones exploding, that scarcity has become more acute. This market shortage, combined with the brittleness of ITO-based screens, explains why a variety of nanomaterials have been given a “market pull” opportunity rather than merely a “technology push” prayer." via IEEE Spectrum

TFT displays can be cut to size "TFT displays of a custom size, and optically bonded displays for example, are becoming available with initial non-recurring engineering (NRE) charges a fraction of those associated with a full custom display and the minimum economic order is low. For example, designers everywhere are keen to eliminate drab LCD character modules from their systems and replace them with colour graphic displays, often including touch control. However, TFT displays are made in standard formats and until now, the cost of manufacturing a custom size has been uneconomic for most industrial applications. Manufacturers now have flexible processes which make it is possible to cut standard small format TFT displays to a specified height, opening up new application areas." via Electronics Weekly

How to implement haptics in touch-based user interfaces "Transitioning from mechanical buttons, knobs, and dials to a capacitive touch interface, however, poses a challenge to designers because there is no tactile feedback present with capacitive touch sensors as exists with mechanical buttons and switches. For example, consider the experience of typing on a keyboard. When a key is pressed and released, it bounces back due to spring action. A person can feel the force of the key bouncing back with his or her finger and thereby confirm the key press. With a capacitive touch interface, there is no inherent mechanical feedback, and users do not have the same experience as that of mechanical keys. The absence of tactile feedback poses a challenge to designers in that their primary goal is to improve user experience. Through haptics technology, developers can provide tactile feedback, improve the user experience, and add value to products." via EDN

Is thermal touch a new interface option? "We’ve been conditioned as technology users to look for touch -- it’s really the default user interface for most technology now. Wearable device makers have proposed multiple interface solutions: voice navigation, depth tracking for finger detection, companion devices, and even things as novel as shoulder-mounted projectors. Though these options are a great start, we’ve found many of them lacking, or even, frustrating for the average user. But what if we could turn any surface into a touchscreen? This was the idea we tasked ourselves with after discovering the potential gain in marrying thermal imaging with traditional computer vision algorithms. Our mobile prototype runs on a Lenovo ThinkPad tablet PC, to which we attached a combined thermal and visible light camera module. The fixture is simply a joist hanger I purchased at a local hardware store. (Video)" via EE Times

7 Futuristic Display Interfaces from MIT's Media Lab "Any design nerd, futurist, or techie worth his weight in salt has heard of the MIT Media Lab. Few, however, have heard of the Fluid Interfaces Group. No, it’s not a smooth jazz outfit—it’s a division of the famous Media Lab, and home to some of the niftiest display prototypes and interface designs this side of the Mississippi. ...Fluid has been around for at least seven years, but recent advances in mobile, sensor, and display technology seem to have inspired a wealth of breathtaking new projects. Here are seven recent ideas that offer a glimpse at the future of interface technology." via

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Where are cockpit displays headed? Q&A with cockpit manufacturer Continental "By just looking at a 10 year old cockpit, we would immediately see what is expected nowadays for a mid-range segment: it has to look high tech with a full colour TFT [thin film transistor] display in the cluster as well as in the centre stack. For the secondary display, touch functionality is becoming the norm. It has to be connected to your smart phone - USB, BT, mirror link - and include a lot of sensors mainly related to safety such as rearview camera, rain detection and park assist. With the increasing number of functions in the car, ease of use is becoming more and more important. So, a well structured HMI [human machine interface] concept is required." via just auto

Google Glass Enters the Operating Room As Medical Display "The Glass projector is slightly above the user’s right eye, allowing doctors to see medical information without turning away from patients. But the display can also be used to see email and surf the web, potentially allowing doctors to take multitasking to dangerous new levels, said Dr. Peter J. Papadakos at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who has published articles on electronic distractions in medicine. “Being able to see your laparoscopic images when you’re operating face to face instead of looking across the room at a projection screen is just mind-bogglingly fantastic,” he said. “But the downside is you don’t want that same surgeon interacting with social media while he’s operating.”" via The New York Times

Will next-gen smartphones have sensors built into display glass? "Corning International, which makes the material commonly used in mobile device screens, has teamed up with researchers at Polytechnique Montreal to create a new type of glass that incorporates transparent sensors. Soon, the glass in your smartphone screen could be used to take your temperature, among many other possibilities. The team used lasers to carve photonic waveguides into regular Gorilla Glass, at varying levels within the thickness of the glass. Each one of these acts as a tunnel, which photons can travel through in the same way that electrical currents flow through copper wires." via gizmag

Are 3D holographic displays on their way? "Carlsbad, Calif.-based Ostendo Technologies is readying a potentially game-changing technology that may make its way into upcoming generations of connected gadgets. In such a scenario, visuals can be rendered three-dimensionally, as holograms. This means that tedious tasks, such as shopping for a couch on your smartwatch, would be made easier with the option of beaming up life-sized replications. ...An industry veteran and the former chief executive of mobile chipmaker CommQuest, Hussein S. El-Ghoroury has spent the last eight years homing in on a way to shrink the entire process down to a circuit the size of a piece of chewing gum. He made his first breakthrough using a technique that allowed silicon to effectively bond with light-emitting diodes, which he compares to mixing oil with water." via The Washington Post

Miyamoto Interested in Virtual Reality, But Sees a Conflict With Wii U ""We've been doing our own experiments with virtual reality dating back to the Virtual Boy," he said, referencing Nintendo's failed VR system released in 1995. "And even to some degree, the 3DS was designed with a little bit of this in mind with its stereoscopic 3D. So we're always looking at hardware and assessing what's possible." He pointed out that, while the price of VR has begun to drop, "It's still not at a cost basis that makes it easy for everyone to purchase as a mass-market product." "As game designers, we at Nintendo are interested in VR technology and what it can do, but at the same time what we're trying to do with Wii U is to create games for everyone in the living room," he continued. "We want the Wii U to be a game system that brings video gamers into the living room."" via Gamespot

Manufacturing: The forgotten industrial digital signage application "Imagine an industrial plant where management wants to communicate vital information to hundreds of workers. Perhaps it's production quotas vs. actual performance; perhaps it's mean time between accidental employee injuries; perhaps it's delivery information regarding vital components that are en route. In all of these instances — and others too numerous to recount here — digital signage has the ability to convey to a workforce important information that is vital to employees maintaining a safe, efficient environment. Digital signage for manufacturing is an excellent reminder that ROI can occur in so many ways; let’s not forget it when we figure ROI for any industry." via Digital Signage Today

Sony Delivers Immersive Keynote at SID Display Week 2014 "At SID Display Week 2014 in San Diego, CA, USA on June 3, Sony executive Dr. Kazumasa Nomoto delivered an opening keynote address that laid out the firm’s view of the future for their display products. Dr. Nomoto chose to frame his presentation around the immersive nature of the display viewing experience using the term “Immersiveness.” The presenter identified the factors influencing display immersiveness as Resolution (4K/8K), Size, Wide Color Gamut (WCG), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and High Frame Rate (HFR). For example, he cited the effect of high display resolution on Immersiveness contrasting a 2K (1920×1080) HD display viewed at a distance of 3 screen heights resulting in a 30 degree display field of view with the more immersive viewing experience resulting from viewing a 4K (3840×2160) 4K (UHD) display viewed at a distance of 1.5 screen heights yielding a 60 degree field of view. Both distances correspond the the minimum distance to not see pixels." via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 5.31.2014

Image via Wired

How Did Oculus Rift Make Virtual Reality Real? The Inside Story "But even these couldn’t give Luckey the immersion he craved. When he put them on, he felt like he was looking at a play space, not living inside of it. “It wasn’t garbage,” Luckey says, “but it wasn’t virtual reality.” The image quality was poor, because the transmissive LCDs weren’t high-contrast. The head-tracking latency was off the charts, causing a nauseating lag every time he turned his head. But most of all, the field of vision was too narrow. He could always see the edge of the screen, which meant his brain could never be truly tricked into thinking it was inside the game. Luckey figured that he had as good a chance as anyone to solve those problems. So he tinkered, and tinkered some more, and one night in November 2010 he announced to the world—or at least to the message-board denizens of a 3-D-gaming news site called Meant to Be Seen—the existence of PR1 (for Proto­type 1), his first stab at a virtual-reality device. It was a cumbersome beast, built on the shell of a headset from his collection. It displayed only in 2-D and was so heavy that it needed a 2-pound counterweight in the back. But thanks to a massive chassis that could fit a nearly 6-inch display, it boasted a 90-degree field of vision, an angle nearly twice as large as anything else on the market." via Wired

How Can New Transistors Bring Flexible Screens Closer to Reality? "The electronics world has been dreaming for half a century of the day you can roll a TV up in a tube. Last year, Samsung even unveiled a smartphone with a curved screen, but it was solid, not flexible; the technology just hasn’t caught up yet. But scientists got one step closer last month when researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory reported the creation of the world’s thinnest flexible, see-through 2D thin film transistors. These transistors are just 10 atomic layers thick--that’s about how much your fingernails grow per second." via PCB Design 007

Tribute for liquid crystal display pioneer "Mathematician Frank Leslie, who died in 2000 aged 65, developed a theory of liquid crystals while working at the University of Strathclyde. ..."Engineers use the Ericksen-Leslie equations to optimise their flat-screen displays, making them thinner, faster and higher resolution. "Chemists use the Leslie viscosities to help make new improved liquid crystal materials, which can be used for both displays and for other applications, such as in biology. Professor Leslie's research is so influential that if you look around, you will probably spot at least one screen - maybe the computer screen you have on your desk or the mobile phone in your pocket - that has been developed with the aid of his equations."" via BBC News

Industry's first non-ITO film-based 42" display "The module was built by Amdolla Group, a leader in advanced touch module manufacturing, using Cima NanoTech's highly conductive, silver nanoparticle-based, SANTE® FS200 touch films. ...With a scan rate of 150hz for 10-point multi-touch, rivaling the response time of smartphones and tablets, this jointly developed product dramatically increases the speed of large format touch displays. Unlike optical and infrared touch solutions, this module does not have a raised bezel for a smooth cover glass. In addition, the random conductive mesh pattern formed by SANTE® nanoparticle technology eliminates moiré, a challenge for traditional metal mesh technologies, thus enabling touch screens with better display quality." via Printed Electronics World

Medical Imaging Display Market Shows Robust Growth "In the surgical display market, larger screens with higher resolutions are becoming more common and affordable and many are already being installed in surgical rooms, as collaboration among medical professionals, both on-site and virtual, becomes more popular. ...In addition, several key trends in the flat panel display market, including the shift to LED backlights, large, high-resolution 4 MP and 6 MP displays that can be split, color displays that can accurately show both color and grayscale images, and the wide availability of 4K displays, is expected to have different impacts on the various segments of the medical imaging market." via eWeek

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How does oleophobic/hydrophobic coating enhance display glass durability? "Abrisa Technologies introduces CleanVue PRO™, a severe abrasion resistant oleo/hydrophobic coating that repels dirt, dust, water, grease and oil, enhancing display glass performance and longevity. This protective coating is well-suited for high performance anti-reflective (AR) coated cover glass for displays used in high contrast, heavy use and/or harsh environments. The resulting coated surface is easy-to-clean and maintain, does not stain, allows repeated removal of fingerprints, all while maintaining its anti-reflective properties. CleanVue PRO™ is ideal for protective vehicular instrument control panels and devices, field use touch and display panels, projected capacitive (PCAP) and capacitive touch screens, portable handheld devices, teleprompters, virtual reality applications, in-flight and vehicular entertainment screens and a host of other display devices." via ThomasNet

Will the Demand For Higher Generation Glass Substrates Drive Corning’s Display Volumes? "Glass substrates are manufactured in different sizes which are indicated by the “Generation”. Higher Generations have a larger area. Display panel manufacturers prefer higher Generation glass,specifically Generation 8, since it is much more economical. In the third quarter of 2010, 41% of LCD TV panels were produced using Generation 8 LCD glass. By third quarter of 2013, the number increased to 87%. Additionally, with improvements in glass manufacturing process, higher Generation glasses are becoming thinner and lighter and can be used to produce display panels for a variety of other devices, such as smartphones and tablets. In the third quarter of 2010, the use of Generation 8 glass substrates was limited to LCD TVs and monitors. However, by the third quarter of 2013, Generation 8 glass substrates received acceptance in display panels for notebooks, tablets and smartphones, albeit accounting for a small proportion. The over demand for Generation 8 glass substrates is expected to increase 3% by the third quarter of 2014." via Trefis

Display industry prepares for SID 2014 "The 51st SID International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, or Display Week 2014, will take place June 1-6, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. Display Week is the premier international gathering of scientists, engineers, manufacturers and users in the field of electronic information displays. For more information on Display Week 2014, visit or follow us on Twitter at @DisplayWeek. Display Week-related tweets can be created, viewed and shared using the hash tag #SID2014." via IT Business Net

Will Sony and Panasonic form OLED Display Panel Collaboration With Japan Display? "Cracking the cost formula for big OLED TVs is still a challenge for the industry as a whole, but Japanese manufacturers hope they may still have chance to compete against South Korean rivals in smaller-size panels through a three-way tie-up, one of the people said. Japan Display, owned around 35% by a government-backed fund, is the world's biggest maker of smartphone and tablet displays and has a pilot line at its plant to develop OLED screens. Having listed its shares in March, the company itself was formed two years ago through a merger of the LCD units of Sony, Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp." via The Wall Street Journal

Why Did Samsung Blow Large Screen Smartphones? "A recent Canalys report noted a trend showing demand for larger displays shifting to premium smartphones. But, despite the company's dominance in the large-screen smartphone category, Samsung may be missing the boat. In Samsung's most recent quarter, the company reported slowing demand for its premium smartphones. And despite increases in total smartphone shipments, profits for the company's mobile business actually declined. What Samsung failed to realize: When larger displays are reserved for premium devices, the high value of the feature can be used to support a company's premium pricing tier and help buyers quickly identify a company's flagship products." via The Motley Fool

Can augmented reality be made more comfortable? ""Minimizing visual discomfort involved in wearing AR displays remains an unresolved challenge," says first author Hong Hua of the University of Arizona. "This work is making a significant step forward in addressing this important issue." A lightweight, compact and high-performance Google Glass-like device-called an optical see-through head-mounted display (OST-HMD)-could potentially be "a transformative technology to redefine the way we perceive and interact with digital information," Hua says. For example, it could one day allow a doctor to see computed tomography (CT) images overlaid on a patient's abdomen during surgery or provide a new way to train soldiers by incorporating 3-D virtual objects into real-life environments." via Space Daily

'Thermal Touch' Tech Turns Any Surface Into a Touch Screen "Sure, wearable headsets are practical and fun, but are they reaching their full potential? Not according to augmented reality firm Metaio, which this week unveiled a thermal imaging system for use in AR headsets. The company's initial Thermal Touch prototype attaches infrared and standard cameras to a tablet, which then tracks the heat signature left behind when you touch a surface. Still about five or 10 years away from hitting the market, the technology will eventually focus on heads-up displays (HUDs) or interactive spectacles. (Video)" via PC Magazine

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Taking touchscreens into the third dimension "While some end users will continue to prefer designs with buttons and knobs, touchscreens have become sufficiently robust and low cost to make them a viable alternative. ...Microchip has taken it to a new dimension. Literally. Using its GestIC technology, user interfaces can be taken into the third dimension, allowing gesture recognition at distances of up to 15cm from the sensor. The chip containing the GestIC technology is the MGC3130, which features a low noise analogue front end, integrated digital signal processing unit, frequency hopping against noise and recognition of XYZ positional data – most specifically hand gestures. "There is also preprocessed gesture recognition [on the chip]," said Duvenhage. "You could do normal waves in specific direction, or you can do more complicated gestures, like a circle or the equivalent of what we call an 'air wheel' where you can adjust something by rotating your hands clockwise or counterclockwise."" via New Electronics

How can military augmented reality displays be commercialized? "ARC4 isn’t a pair of sci-fi glasses; in fact, it’s not a hardware system at all. Rather, it’s is a software system that accepts inputs from a sensor module made of cameras, satellite information, and head tracking technology, and fuses it all into a display that can be overlaid onto someone’s field of vision. Functionally, the end product makes walking around look a lot like playing a first-person shooter game like Halo. In the military, it provides real-time information to soldiers about their environments, even if their vision is obstructed. ...In a military setting, ARA has used hardware like BAE System’s Q-Warrior display—a large, expensive device that fits in on the battlefield but never takes off in a store. But the ARC4 systems don’t have to be installed on huge devices, says Allan York, ARA’s senior vice president. “Essentially, in a package the size of a sugar cube, you can have the sensing components necessary.”" via The Daily Beast

Is hologram-guided heart surgery a heartbeat away? "This proprietary digital technology from RealView Imaging in Yokneam projects hyper-realistic, dynamic 3D holographic images of body structures “floating in the air” without the need for special glasses or a conventional screen. The physician can literally touch and interact precisely with the projected three-dimensional volumes, providing an unprecedented tool for planning, performing and evaluating minimally invasive surgical procedures. Cofounder Shaul Gelman explains that the breakthrough technology can be summarized as very rapid printing of light in free space. The system is fed with data from standard medical imaging sources, such as ultrasound." via Israel21c

WORM display lets you write with light "Scientists at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) have developed displays that can be written on and erased with light. The WORM (Write Once Read Many) display is an optical storage device whose molecular geometry can be altered by shining light on it, allowing information in the form of words or pictures to be impressed on it in as little as 20 seconds. The environmentally-friendly display is also easy to dispose of, the researchers report, as users only have to scratch its surface to remove its protective coating and dip it in water to dissolve it. The displays are created using highly photosensitive compounds and can be written on using ultraviolet (UV) light. To fabricate the display, the researchers mix the compounds with liquid crystals and create two substrates. Transferring information involves placing a photo mask containing the data on top of the second substrate and exposing it to UV light with a wavelength of 365 nm." via Gizmag

A Crazy Levitating Display, Made With Particles and Projectors "Pixie Dust, as the team is calling it, builds on their previous system, which used a four-speaker array to summon objects into the air and move them around in three-dimensional space. ...Projection-mapped particulate ghosts are likely still a ways off. Still, the demos here are a fine holdover–and a reminder that our the possibilities of next-gen displays extend to far more than pixels trapped in a frame. (Video)" via Wired

Tactile touch technology "A conventional tactile touch system (e.g., smartphones) presents the same sensation over the entire surface so that all fingers coming into contact with the surface experience the same sensation. In contrast, the new NLT tactile touch technology provides regional stimulation, which is provided by electrostatic force. The electrostatic force is generated by the beat phenomenon in a region where excited X electrodes cross excited Y electrodes, which presents tactile sensation to the users. The tactile touch technology applied to the panel provides multi-finger interaction." via SPIE

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Display panel makers steaming ahead at full capacity "Industry research institute WitsView recently stated that a momentous boom is poised to carry the panel-making sector through the third quarter, straining production at near capacity. According to the institute, the display panel industry is in the early stages of a transition toward newer product specifications, resulting in strained production output as companies work toward improving manufacturing yield rates and materials consumption efficiency. In addition, the rise of new panel specification is expected to divert limited production capacity from more conventional display panel formats and constrain supply." via The China Post

Could Apple use solar-charging touchscreens on future iPhones, iPads, or iWatches? "The new patent describes a “solar cell stack-up configurations” that includes one or more touch sensor layers and one or more solar cell layers. ...“Using solar cells on portable devices, particularly handheld portable devices with small form factors, however, poses certain technical and/or design problems. For example, the small size of the portable device means there is a small surface area which can be used for placing solar cells. This surface area is typically further reduced by other components that appear on the surfaces of the devices such as input devices and display devices. Since the maximum solar energy that can be produced from a solar panel is roughly proportional to the surface area of the solar cells, this reduces the amount of solar energy that may be gained from the solar panel,” the patent read." via Digital Trends

Will ITO disappear as a display manufacturing material? "Similarly, we all know about indium tin oxide, the transparent conductor commonly known as ITO, and the crucial role it plays in LCD manufacturing and in touchscreens. Some estimates say that more than 80% of indium use is in these applications, and the stuff is used in other areas such as solar PV arrays, too. I’ve heard a few voices that say the price will just continue to rise and rise, and companies will be lucky to get enough to make their screens. They may want to pause to draw breath. Companies like Kodak and Cambrios have been working on the printing of very fine silver wires. By fine, think much thinner than one micron. Because of the conductivity of silver, this still works in carrying sufficient current to an LCD pixel or identifying location on the surface of a touchscreen. ...This doesn’t mean that ITO use will be eliminated. Indium is a by-product of zinc production, by and large, and so the price could likely drop a long way before hitting negative gross margins. That means the cost of ITO can also drop a long way. It seems likely that silver wires and ITO could share the display and touchscreen markets, maybe with silver wires dominating in areas where power consumption is critical. But the idea that indium price and demand will just continue to rise indefinitely is likely wrong." via InvestorIntel

How the US Navy Is Pushing the Touchscreen Envelope "The Navy will soon field its first 3-D Weapons Launch Console Tram Trainer at the Submarine Training Facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. ...The screens — some up to 55 inches — are not just touch-sensitive but pressure-sensitive. There’s no mouse-clicking to make things happen; sailors are expected to reach out and “grab” the objects they want to manipulate. ...In fact, this simulator is pushing the state-of-the-art in haptics, or tactile feedback, and is helping to move the simulation industry itself to a new level." via DefenseNews

Automotive Displays: Visteon OASIS Cockpit Concept "Optimized. Adaptable. Secure. Intelligent. Seamless. In collaboration with Cisco, this cockpit concept securely connects all aspects of the vehicle to the user profile and cloud services. It uses a secure data pipe that actively switches methods (modem, phone tethering, WiFi®), while maintaining a seamless connection to the cloud. This makes the cockpit adaptable through personalization, off board computing and intelligent vehicle module updates - giving the user and auto manufacturers intelligence about user interactions and preferences to improve the HMI experience. For more information about this and other exciting concepts, visit (Video)" via YouTube

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Display Technology News Roundup 5.19.2014

Image via HMI Project

Why mobile and touchscreen HMI are the future "Concurrent with the trend to consumerize HMI, we're seeing an increase in mobilized HMI. Not surprisingly, given all these new devices connecting to the plant, security is becoming an issue. Other HMI trends include TVized large flat screens, increased use of thin clients, a broader view of data on the screen, and everything HMI coming at a cheaper price. ...Another aspect of HMI attractive to young engineers is TV-like screens. "We have graphics on 19-inch monitors that can be used on the machine. It's not a touch panel, but most shop guys don't like touchscreens," Randy Pearson, international business development manager at Siemens, said. "Touch is still new to all of us. Newer and younger engineers will bring touch in, and then it will be prevalent."" via Design News

How Polaroid used LCD technology to avoid becoming irrelevant "Polarized technology, which was invented by Polaroid Founder Edwin H. Land was first used in goggles supplied to World War II pilots and has since been used in nearly every aspect of visualization, including the polarized sunglasses we wear today. ...With these three traits in mind: visualization, sharing and affordability, Polaroid went out on a venture to find new product categories that would embody the essence of the brand. ..."Every LCD flat-screen television has a polarizer on it. It’s a core component of the technology that allows you to view the picture on a flat-screen TV," says Hardy. Fulfilling the visualization component of the Polaroid brand as well as the concept of sharing and affordability (by making the televisions at a price point that would appeal to the masses), flat-screen televisions hit on all of the brand attributes Polaroid identified, making this product category a natural fit." via Fast Company

How do 3D displays work? Passive, active, glasses and glasses-free 3D "Active 3D works on plasma and LCD TVs and requires a set of powered glasses to make the 3D image. ...These active glasses work by having lenses that have a liquid crystal layer applied to them. When voltage is applied to the lens, it turns almost completely opaque; without, they are almost completely clear. There is some light loss when you're looking through the lens even without a current applied, and it's this that can make the TV image seem a bit darker when you're watching with them on. ...To produce a 3D picture, the TV displays the image for the left eye, then the image for the right eye. While it does this, the glasses shut out the light to the opposite eye. This happens 24, 25 or 30 times per second for each eye, so it is nearly impossible for you to tell it's happening, although some people do complain of flickering, and this might be why there are reports headaches with active 3D for a minority of users." via Expert Reviews

How MIT Is Building an Affordable Hologram-at-Home System "Over the past three years, researchers in the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab have steadily refined a design for a glasses-free, multiperspective, 3-D video screen, which they hope could provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to holographic video in the short term. Now they’ve designed a projector that exploits the same technology, which they’ll unveil at this year’s Siggraph, the major conference in computer graphics. The projector can also improve the resolution and contrast of conventional video, which could make it an attractive transitional technology as content producers gradually learn to harness the potential of multiperspective 3-D. (Video)" via MIT News

How to create your own privacy display "The necessary materials are an old LCD monitor, superglue, paint thinner (or another solvent), paper towels, a screwdriver or drill, a pair of old glasses, and an x-acto knife or box cutter. If you follow the steps below, posted on Instructables by Dimovi, an electrical engineer based out of Austin, you can easily create your own privacy monitor. You’ll be free to have covert TV-watching and web surfing experiences in no time." via psfk

Sony sidelines OLED TVs for 4K sets "South Korean rivals LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have moved ahead of the Japanese company in this field. Sony does not see real demand for OLED TVs taking off anytime soon, whereas its 4K LCD TVs are generating revenue now and could help its TV business return to the black for the first time in 11 years in the year to March 2015. 4K TVs are priced around 100,000 yen ($970) higher than regular flat-panel TVs." via Nikkei Asian Review

Will bigger displays bump Apple past Samsung? "In fact, smartphones with a five inch and larger screen increased 369 percent, a growth rate that is much higher than the market in general. Devices in this category made up 34 percent of shipments, including a high of 43 percent in Asia Pacific. ...This appears to be bad news for Apple Inc., right? Yes and no. For now, since its screens are on the small size, this is definitely holding the company back. Moving forward, when Cupertino decides to “go big,” it will be in position to make up a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. In other words, you can guarantee that Samsung is not looking forward to the day that Apple rolls out a larger screen." via The Bibey Post

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Are mobile resolutions really that important these days? "The QHD display from LG isn’t something to sneeze at, but I do think it’s a waste for mobile technology. Even on a 5.5-inch screen, a 2560x1440 resolution seems like it’s total overkill. On a bigger screen, like for a computer or especially a TV, then yeah, that kind of resolution would be really nice; but a smartphone? Even on my HTC One, which has a 1080p display, is damn near impossible to tell where one pixel ends and where another begins. The clarity of phones is fine. What we need now is better battery life, stronger phones, and really just about anything else on a phone. But the naked human eye, even with perfect vision, will only ever be able to see so far. I’m pretty sure we have already reached that point when it comes to mobile displays. I’m pretty sure we’ve already passed it, even before this point." via PhoneDog

How digital signage is revolutionizing automotive showrooms "The dealership's [Audi City in Mayfair, central London] star attractions are the four so-called powerwalls -- nearly floor-to-ceiling screens that display a customer's chosen car. The powerwalls, created from 36 backlit LED display screens almost seamlessly joined together, are linked to high-definition touch screens mounted on tables where cars can be configured. Consumers choose the model, color, engine and other specifications on the table, then swipe the screen to send the completed car to the wall. There they can spin it around, peer inside, open the doors and trunk and even watch it drive off, complete with authentic engine noises. As with the latest iPad interaction, commands are instantly and smoothly relayed. The effect is mesmerizing. ...According to Audi, digital technology has had a powerful effect. Sales at Audi City London are up 60 percent from the traditional Audi showroom that previously occupied the site, Hanschur says, without giving exact figures." via Automotive News

What is OLED? The next wave in display technology "When color television debuted in the 1960s, picture tubes made color by electronically combined light from red, green and blue pixels. Today's dominant big-screen TVs use liquid crystals to switch a source of light on or off behind pixels. In OLED displays, "blue is the weak link, from a life and energy-efficiency perspective," said Mahon. "It's a high priority to develop deep, long-lived blue OLEDs to complete our suite of colors." Red and green OLEDs are rated to last more than 20 years, but blue lasts only about four years. Blue OLEDs used in smartphones and other devices are fluorescent OLEDs, a different type that aren't as efficient, Mahon said, and are made by a half-dozen companies, such as Dupont and Idemitsu Kosan of Japan." via CED Magazine

How can avionic displays be safer? Engineers find way to lower risk of mid-air collisions for small aircraft "At issue are cockpit displays of traffic information (CDTIs). These are GPS displays used by private pilots to track other aircraft in their vicinity. However, pilots often focus on the closest aircraft on the display—a habit that can pose a significant hazard. ...Researchers modified the CDTI so that the plane that would cross a pilot’s path first either began blinking or was colored yellow. The researchers tested the modified CDTI in a flight simulator with a panel of licensed recreational pilots. The research team compared the pilots’ response times and decision-making accuracy when using the modified and unmodified displays." via R&D Magazine

How will new military displays help soldiers on the battlefield? "The Q-Warrior, the latest version of BAE Systems’ helmet-mounted display technology, looks like a fighter pilot’s head-up display but has been specially designed for the soldier who needs unique capabilities, such as identifying hostile and non-hostile forces, as well as coordinating small unit actions. Paul Wright, Soldier Systems’ business development lead, and Mark Wilkins, project technical lead for Q-Warrior, explain: “Q-Warrior increases the user’s situational awareness by providing the potential to display ‘eyes-out’ information to the user, including textual information, warnings and threats."" via IHS

How will the Apple touchscreen develop? New Patent Shows Hints "Just over a year ago, the first detail of a patent describing a potential wraparound display for an Apple device cropped up. In the diagrams, the device had a screen that went clear around the sides and looped over the back as well, covering most of the phone except for the top and bottom. Though that patent came out well before the iPhone 5S, it may have been too soon for Apple to put the design into practice, as flexible screens and tech has a ways to go yet — as can be seen by Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and LG’s “flexible” smartphones that bend just a few degrees. The design, though novel, also seemed a bit impractical, as very few people can reasonably need a phone with a screen they can only see half of at any given time. This latest patent blends a bit of the novelty of the earlier design with more practicality. Rather than suggesting a screen that wraps all the way around the device, it stops short, only going partway around one side or both [sidewall]." via Wall St. Cheat Sheet

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How is digital signage taking creativity to new levels? Interactive street display brings TV show to life "Live Vinyl is a display technology developed by Future Colossal, and it is employed in this case to create a living, breathing version of an intersection in Victorian London with carriages darting by, fog rolling in and birds flying about. The technology was inspired by the artwork of Jim Campbell, who is known for working with LED light installations, and incorporates techniques used in projection mapping. “We align the images of an ultra high-resolution print with an image rear-illuminated by low-resolution LED walls,” Lee-High explains. “The LED walls bring life to the printed image by changing dynamic lighting, creating effects and showing AI [artificially intelligent] characters.” “When viewing the display, one looks both at and through the image,” according to Lee-High. “It is an effect the people have not seen before, and it is fun to watch them try and figure out the magic that is making it visible." (Video)" via Fast Company

Intel creates floating display "Intel Corporation has come out with a 3D interface that allows users to make interact with devices by touching illusions created in the air. The technology creates an interactive 3D illusion with the help of a 3D camera and a special type of glass, says a report from BBC. ...In the near future, such technology could be located in public places like cash dispensers or photo booths; providing a more secure and hygienic experience, according to its developers." via ValueWalk

Innolux becomes world leader in displays for automotive market "Innolux at the end of last year managed to best its closest competitors, Japanese firm Japan Display Inc. and Sharp Co., and maintained its advantage over South Korea's LG Display, ranked fourth in the world in the sector. In fifth place in automobile screen sales at the end of last year was Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp., with 11 percent of the world market share, which - combined with Innolux's 23 percent - gives Taiwan more than 34 percent of global sales. ...The rapid expansion of the market for automobile accessories in China, in particular, has contributed to Innolux's increase in automobile screens." via MENAFN

Display bridge solution powers pico projector in mobile device ""One challenge of embedding pico projectors into smartphones is the lack of processor support for both a display and a pico projector," said Paul Karazuba, Quicklogic's senior product marketing and media manager. The QuickLogic ArcticLink III BX6 allows the single display interface signal from the device's applications processor to be duplicated and bridged so that it can drive both embedded display and the integrated pico projector." via NewElectronics

How can marine displays be improved? "Innovations in computer display technology would seem to have recently hit a plateau. With the advent of LCD panels, improvements in computer displays have recently been limited to larger screens, higher pixel resolution, greater energy efficiency, and lighter, more efficient use of base resources. Yet there remains two areas where computer display manufacturers can continue to offer improvements: the human-machine interface, and local display intelligence. To offer the most effective solutions, improvements should maximize their utility with improvements in performance for specific environmental conditions. There are several features a computing display can bring to embedded computing stations aboard ships, or ocean platforms; in particular, the two most glaring problems for users when out at sea are low-light environments, and the technical ignorance of the average user when faced with crashes or machine malfunctions. Advances in the display interface can lessen the effects of these problems and much improve the user experience. " via MarineLink

Pepsi Rivals Coke's Freestyle With Touchscreen 'Spire' Debut "Pepsi Spire lets users be their own mixologists to create up to 1,000 customized beverages. ...Pepsi Spire 1.1 is a countertop self-service unit that allows consumers to create up to 40 beverage combinations using a 10" touchscreen. The 2.0 model increases variety to 500 beverage combinations and features a 15" touchscreen, and is also available as a countertop crew-service unit for restaurant staff. Launching soon is Pepsi Spire 5.0, which will allow consumers to create more than 1,000 beverage combinations using a 32" touchscreen." via Vending Times

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What are the limits of touchscreens and how can they be fixed? "Accurate typing isn’t the only problem with touch screens and their fleeting electronic pages. Many studies suggest that people’s memory and comprehension are often better when they read long passages on paper than on screen, said Mariette DiChristina, editor in chief of Scientific American, which in August held a conference on learning in the digital age. ...Another problem with touch screens’ transitory images is that they don’t help students create a mental map of what they’ve read and what’s to come — an overview that is known to be useful in memory. “You might remember that something you read yesterday in the paper was in the middle of the page, or in the right corner,” Dr. Wästlund said. “Even though you haven’t tried to memorize position, you have built this internal model” — like the page layout of a newspaper. That kind of cognitive map or physical landscape into which readers fit new knowledge is much harder to build with fleeting e-pages." via The New York Times

Is coding games for touchscreens difficult? "Often games designed around touch will have gestures. Slice through this, slide across this path, drag through the middle of that. Games designed around a mouse will have clicks and drags, where the endpoints are the critical factor. In most respects, it is just like dealing with a pattern of points. A mouse is more about the position at the moment of click, or the moment of release: "down" and "up" positions are important, but the middle is not. With touch devices, the location of "down" and "up" are less important, usually more important are the points in between. Since it often involves slightly more processing, matching the gesture and deciding if a gesture was close enough to a range rather than just testing the coordinates at a down/up/click event, it is consequently slightly more complex." via

Automotive Q&A about head-up displays "Q: How do you see the US market for HUDs shaping up in terms of OEM adoption? And do you see the HUD becoming more important as a route to prevent distracting the driver too much? A: Both the US and global HUD market are in the midst of tremendous growth. Over the past several years, there haven over 20 new adoptions of HUD, as well as several car manufacturers launching their first model equipped with HUD and all market indicators suggest that growth trend will continue going forward. HUD systems enhance the overall driving experience by allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while still viewing critical vehicle data, minimising driver distraction. With the increased adoption of active safety features such as blind spot detection and lane departure warnings along with navigation and smart phone integration, car manufacturers seek to find a way to deliver all of this information to the driver without "overloading" them with information and causing a distraction. HUD systems are emerging as an optimal method to help combat driver distraction." via just-auto

New research examines avionic display design and regulation "Synthetic vision, and its ability to enhance situational awareness will also be a focus for NASA, according to Ellis. "One of the primary things that we're focused on particularly (is) looking at the safety enhancements. One of them is looking at synthetic vision displays and developing minimum requirements specifically in regard to how they better improve situational awareness and their potential for preventing spatial disorientation and Loss of Energy State Awareness [LESA], so that would be something that provided directly to OEMs in terms of how they make their avionics and what's required by the FAA when they're doing so," said Stephens." via Aviation Today

Ingram Micro: 'It's time to take digital signage technology seriously' "Q: Is this an untapped opportunity for resellers? What are the benefits of embracing pro AV/digital signage sales? A: Without a doubt. If you look at the traditional IT resale market, we’re seeing constantly that the print and PC markets are in decline, and now everybody is moving into managed print services (MPS). The AV market is the total opposite. If you look at the professional audio/visual market and you look at the data Futuresource and others provide, it’s all growing. Retail digital signage is growing and corporate digital signage is growing. Our message to our partners is it’s time to take that technology seriously, because it is going to be the future of how everybody communicates, regardless of the size of their business. " via PCR

Has LCD Innovation Reached the End of the Line? "LCD owns the future by default. Still, cultural evolution gives rise to a desire for new means of interpersonal communication and information consumption. And some new products will require display characteristics that have not existed in the past, at least not at reasonable cost. An example: my new Samsung Galaxy S5 has a display that is truly sunlight readable. That is a characteristic most users would want in a cell phone, but it has taken years for the industry to supply it at a consumer-friendly cost. The GS5′s display is, of course, an AMOLED. Can LCD do what the GS5′s AMOLED is already doing?" via Display Central

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Display Technology News Roundup 5.6.2014

Image via Cypress Semiconductor / Electronics Weekly

What are the design considerations for large-area touchscreens? "As screen sizes increase, the main challenge for capacitive touch is maintaining the same performance users have come to expect from a mobile phone but over a larger screen. This means scanning more intersections, over more surface area, in the same amount of time. ...It is challenging for large screens to maintain fast refresh rates because the touch controller needs to sweep greater surface area, gather data from all intersections, and process that data." via Electronics Weekly

Why Are Mobile Display Revenues Overtaking TV Displays? "With larger display area and comparatively higher unit prices, LCD TV panels have generated a majority of FPD revenues since 2006, but over the past three years, the market for mobile devices has expanded. The recent trend toward higher resolutions, slimmer and more lightweight specifications, wider viewing angle, lower power consumption, and the emergence of LTPS and OLED displays are causing mobile display revenues to soar." via PCB007

Why Did Apple Just Buy A Tiny Display Company And What Could It Mean? "Apple used to push display technology with its products, most notably when it brought the Retina Display to the iPhone. But that hasn’t been the case lately, which makes its recent acquisition of tiny LuxVue Technology all the more interesting. But LuxVue’s technology has fascinating implications around low power and high brightness and could eventually mean Apple will manufacture its own displays for the first time. It could also allow the company to gain technological leadership again, as it has with its own in-house chipmaking, which was also made possible by an acquisition that didn’t seem especially all that important at the time. In a scoop over at TechCrunch, Apple responded with its typical non-comment about what it intends to do with LuxVue and to say the company is little known would be a case in understatement." via Forbes

How Can Quantum Dots (QDs) Increase Display Color and Brightness with Less Power? "The optical and electrical properties of the manufactured crystals can vary markedly according to their size and shape: The bigger the dot, the larger its bandgap and the longer the wavelength it emits. The smaller the dot, the smaller its bandgap – which means a shorter wavelength due to the quantum confinement of electrons and holes in these nanomaterials. Quantum dots offer marked advantages over fixed-spectrum conventional phosphor technologies because QDs are tunable, so they can be induced to emit at a very narrow wavelength. Improvements to the technology in recent years are also making them more attractive." via Photonics

Why is smartphone component production causing LCD display shortages and hurting the display industry? "In recent months, there has been growing demand for a number of high-value components for smartphones and tablets, including fingerprint sensors, CPUs, cameras and touch controllers, along with 4K television timing controllers. According to NPD DisplaySearch large-area displays analyst Peter Su, semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan have increasingly been prioritising the manufacturing of these higher-value components over timing controllers [T-cons] for LCD displays. In a statement, Su warns the prioritising of higher margin components is leading to a shortage of T-cons." via Smart Company

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Sharp improves TN LCD panels with clever light scattering optical film "Adding a film to a TN panel isn’t a new concept, but Sharp’s film promises to do a much better job of improving angled viewing. Typically, existing films only improve viewing horizontally, not vertically. Sharp’s new optical film improves both by scattering light and being able to control which direction that light is scattered in." via Geek

How have avionic displays entered the future? "Analog gauges, often referred to as “steam gauges,” ruled the instrument panels of all aircraft for nearly 80 years. But with the advent of powerful and inexpensive semiconductors, and the clarity of liquid crystal diode displays, it became easier to combine many instruments onto space-efficient, yet easy to read, glass screens called multi-function displays (MFDs). Along with advancements of glass display screen came synthetic vision systems (SVS). Loosely defined as real-time, 3D color imagery, SVS makes paper navigation products nearly obsolete. Instead, it uses a preloaded, internal database to create a pilot’s-eye view of the terrain the aircraft is passing over at that time." via Aviation Today

What are the challenges of designing automotive heads-up displays? "HUDs work by projecting an image, usually from a liquid crystal display (LCD), onto the windshield or a piece of glass above the instrument cluster. ...Designing a good HUD presents many challenges. It needs to have a very wide contrast ratio. It must display an image bright enough to be clearly seen on a sunny day, but also dim the image so that it does not obscure the driver’s vision at night." via EDN

How did Apple and Samsung get into a smartphone war? "The first products known to have been the focus of one of Samsung’s major price-fixing conspiracies were cathode-ray tubes (C.R.T.’s), which were once the technological standard for televisions and computer monitors. According to investigators in the U.S. and Europe, the scheme was quite structured: competitors secretly got together in what they called “Glass Meetings” at hotels and resorts around the world—in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and at least eight other countries. Some of the meetings involved the most senior executives, while others were for lower-level operational managers. The executives sometimes held what they called “Green Meetings,” characterized by rounds of golf, during which the co-conspirators agreed to raise prices and cut production to receive higher profits than would have been possible had they actually competed with one another. The scheme was eventually exposed, and over the course of 2011 and 2012, Samsung was fined $32 million in the U.S., $21.5 million in South Korea, and $197 million by the European Commission." via Vanity Fair

How to Install a Heads-Up Display in a Fifth Gen Camaro "There’s just something about checking your speed, gas gauge, and tachometer without having to look down that makes driving a new Camaro quite enjoyable and, once you’ve experienced that luxury, it’s quite difficult to go back. Unfortunately, not every fifth-gen Camaro shipped from the factory with a HUD and if you’re in the market for a used 2010, or you’re an original owner who didn’t have the option available at the time of purchase, you might think you are out of luck. But fear not fans of the futuristic windshield gauge concept, Heads Up can be yours and it can even be installed in your own driveway with a couple of factory parts and a weekend worth of work, if you’re willing to put in the effort. That said, we should mention up front that this can be quite a daunting task if you’re easily intimidated by making a mess in your new Camaro and it certainly isn’t a modification for the faint of heart. You’re going to have to dig in deep and, at some point, wonder if you’ve made a major mistake." via GM High-Tech Performance

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Will virtual reality (VR) make flat panel displays obsolete? ""A traditional display, especially larger ones, they're very expensive to manufacture and ship... it's literally just a lot of plastic and a lot of glass in a big box that has to be shipped across the world," Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey continued. "Sometimes it breaks, then it has to sit on a giant store shelf until someone buys it. Once VR is commoditized, let's say 10 years from now, the tech from two years prior, you'll be able to buy a really good VR headset for $99, because there's not much material, once it's all commoditized..."" via Ars Technica

UK Developers Create Reach-Through Displays For Tabletops "Researchers from the University of Bristol have reportedly developed a new reach-through tabletop display with personal screens comprised of a curtain of mist, according to research scheduled to be presented later this month at an international conference on human-computer interaction. ...The device is known as MisTable and it is described as a tabletop system that combines a traditional interactive table with personal monitors built using fog between the user and the table’s surface." via redOrbit

New display brings the Internet to your wall "That's where Electric Objects, Jack Levine's new venture, comes in. He wants to take some of the more serene parts of the Internet out of that stress-inducing device sitting on your desk, and put them on your wall through a different kind of device. ...The product is still in the prototype phase. But the current unpriced model hacked together by Levine is bigger than an iPad and, at 23 inches, smaller than most TVs. A final, more polished version will include a screen designed to be on at all times, with sensors that detect if anyone is nearby, activating the screen. It will also have a tilt sensor to reorient itself in either landscape or portrait modes, and an ambient light sensor to keep the brightness low and subtle." via Fast Company

Why Some Doctors Like Google Glass So Much "At a recent event hosted by Google’s Cambridge branch, doctors from across the country came to show off how they’d thought of harnessing Glass for medicine. One presenter, Rafael Grossman, a surgeon based in Bangor, Maine, was the first person to use Glass during live surgery. He thinks the technique could help doctors teach new surgeons. But for the pilot at Beth Israel, video is off the table, at least for now. “We wanted to stay away from anything that could potentially be misconstrued as leaking patient information, so until we had a case study and a good foundation, we purposely stayed away from enabling the video feed,” says Horng." via MIT Technology Review

How tiny company Amorphyx is seeking to reshape the huge, mature business of manufacturing displays "Cowell and Amorphyx co-founder and chief executive John Brewer Jr. are preparing for a whirlwind, four-day trip to Taipei, Japan and South Korea, where they will meet with executives of major display manufacturing companies including Samsung and Sony. They hope to make progress toward an agreement to cooperate in testing and refining a process that would replace silicon-based transistors with amorphous metals-based resistors. Amorphyx has been doing this on a small scale in the lab, where it sprays two layers of metal compounds and an insulator onto wafers, then tests them for conductivity. Now it hopes to kick the process to a higher production volume. For the layperson, what this means is that displays built with Amorphyx's non-silicon process would consist of fewer layers than prevailing liquid-crystal manufacturing technologies, cost less and could be used on flexible surfaces." via Oregon Live

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Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons Head to Market "That technology was developed by startup Tactus Technology, which uses tiny fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make buttons rise up from a device’s screen and then disappear without trace when they’re no longer needed (see "Demo: A Shape-Shifting Smartphone Touch Screen"). Electronics manufacturing giant Wistron has now modified equipment at one of its factories in China to produce touch-screen panels with the shape-shifting technology inside. Wistron is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers; it’s made devices for brands including BlackBerry, Apple, and Acer. The company also recently became an investor in Tactus." via MIT Technology Review

A Joystick-Inspired Interface Could Solve Smartwatch Displays' Biggest Problem "Think of the way we used to use those small nubs located in the middle of an older laptop’s keyboard to move the cursor, and you’ll understand how this concept — created by Robert Xiao, Gierad Laput and Chris Harrison — works. Except that instead of a cursor, it’s navigating a mobile device’s UI that usually relies on taps and gestures. The problem is that your fingers are usually far too large to use all the same gestures you rely on with your smartphone on a watch’s tiny touchscreen. And you usually end up blocking the display in the process, making it even more difficult. So this concept reproduces most of that functionality with a watch display that can be subtly tilted side to side, up and down, rotated, and even pressed like a button." via Gizmodo

Should touchscreens be more intuitive? "Chris Harrison from CMU's Future Interfaces Group thinks modern, "flat" software doesn't profit from our dexterity with real-world tools like cameras, markers or erasers. To prove it, he created TouchTools, which lets you manipulate tools on the screen just as you would in real life. By touching the display with a grabbing motion, for example, a realistic-looking tape measure appears, and if you grab the "tape," you can unsheathe it like the real McCoy. " via engadget

Japan’s New Floating Touchscreen "The process is very fast paced, actually...allowing for highly responsive image manipulation. Hundreds of pictures are taken per second by stereo cameras. This allows the technology to precisely track a user’s hand and finger gestures as they relate to the floating images on the screen. These gestures are then translated into commands by computer software. Professor Ishikawa explains the advantage of gesture technology: “In hospitals and such during surgery, when one’s hands are dirty, it’s still possible to use this, or to use it in a variety of situations at a construction site.”" via Trefis

Atmel Announces Next-Gen Touchscreen Controllers "Atmel is well-known in the context of MCUs and FPGAs -- but it is also a major player with regard to touchscreen technology, especially in the large format screen space. ...The mXT1066T2 and mXT1068T2 controllers support both mutual-capacitance and self-capacitance sensing. By intelligently switching back and forth between the two and using a hybrid approach, designers can achieve optimal power consumption and noise immunity, even in high humidity and moisture environments, while supporting bare finger and gloved operation. Additionally, mXT1068T2 controllers supports hover operation in which the user's finger can be up to 20mm above the touch surface." via EE Times

Touchscreen Interface Based on Little Mobile Robots "Thumbles features tiny little omnidirectional robots that live on top of a projected screen. By grabbing them and dragging them around as they try to drive around, you can experience a completely new type of physical interactivity. What makes Thumbles unique is that the robots can move by themselves. They can provide force feedback, or dynamically form different kinds of physical controls, or act as virtual representations of things like molecules or mechanical structures. (Video)" via IEEE Spectrum

Could 'Star Wars' holographic displays become a reality? "HP Labs spinout Leia believes it is. Using a clever system of diffraction gratings, its small displays produce 64 different versions of each image, allowing a viewer to move around an object or person shown on the display as if it was right in the room with them. CEO David Fattal spoke to an eager crowd of imaging researchers at Stanford University about his company’s progress since it separated from HP. While the concepts behind Leia are the same as when the team’s work at HP was first published in Nature last year, the new company now has full color prototypes with improved resolution as it prepares for a product launch. Key to Leia’s technology is the use of fairly simple diffraction gratings at each pixel to redirect the backlight in different directions. " via ExtremeTech

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Display Technology News Roundup 4.9.2014

Image via Spike Aerospace

Will digital signage replace plane windows? "Spike Aerospace, a Boston engineering firm that’s developing a small supersonic jet, recently caused a stir when it announced its plane wouldn’t have any windows in the passenger cabin. Instead, thin screens installed on the walls of the aircraft would display live views captured by cameras mounted outside. ...The cockpit, of course, will still have a real-life view, but Kachoria predicted windowless cabins would be the norm within 20 years on small planes like the one his company is working on." via NBC News

How will flexible electronics revolutionize user interface displays and everything else? "With RFID, you have to embed electronics into your travel card or keyfob or whatever – with Touchcode, from T+Ink, you just use conductive ink, which is cheaper, thinner and more flexible, to transmit information to the reader. The best thing about this system is that the reader can be found in any modern mobile device: the screen. Capacitive touchscreens usually work because of the conductivity in your finger; here, they just read the conductive pattern of the ink on the smart card, smart packaging or what have you. In this example, holding the promotional “Cars 2″ card over the suitable app brings up an image of the relevant car. It’s a darn sight easier to use – and more pleasing to the eye – than a QR code that needs to be held in front of the phone’s camera." via Gigaom

Are OLED displays dimmer than LCD? "According to DisplayMate, Samsung’s Super AMOLED Galaxy S5 is the brightest display they’ve ever tested, defeating the traditional notion that OLED screens are dimmer than their LCD counterparts. ...Samsung kept using the diamond-shaped subpixel that leads to higher efficiency without the graininess that came from PenTile arrays. The larger blue and red subpixels are diamond-shaped, while the green subpixels are oval, making it easier to squeeze in between the others while maintaining the highest quality possible…" via IntoMobile

Calgary-developed tactile touchscreens: Stevie Wonder tested, CNIB approved "Doug Hagedorn is the founder and CEO of Tactalis (formerly known as Invici), a Calgary startup he launched in 2012 and now includes a half-dozen people on the team. Their technology uses an array of magnets embedded beneath an LCD screen that can be activated and deactivated, corresponding with images on the display. Using a metal stylus or a ring on the tip of the finger, users can then “feel” the images in a dynamic way." via Metro News

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Is Facebook's purchase of heads-up display company Oculus a good or bad thing? "No one seems to have seen the acquisition coming, least of all Oculus itself, which apparently thrashed it out in a matter of days after Zuckerberg decided to take it on. ...But the Rift needed this kind of cash injection to get to the point where its technology would be commercially viable. ...One of the biggest problems is latency between the movement of the headset, and the updated image. 50ms is the maximum, beyond which motion sickness can set in – and advocates suggest that sub-20ms is optimal. Another problem is motion tracking. Unless motion is tracked perfectly, the user's experience of where they are can differ slightly from the image displayed, leading to nausea." via E&T Magazine

Why is Samsung’s breakthrough in graphene research so promising for display technology? "Samsung calls the new method “wafer-scale growth of single-crystal monolayer graphene on reusable hydrogen-terminated germanium.” Traditionally, graphene has proven difficult, and therefore expensive, to produce. This has been due almost exclusively to the fact that producing graphene, especially in larger contiguous sheets, required a destructive process to transfer the material from its production environment over to the components it is being used to help build. ...Previous methods required a liquid based transfer of the graphene, but now, the germanium substrate layer that graphene is produced on top of can be re-used for continual growth of graphene, instead of being destroyed in the transfer process." via Android Authority

Why is Apple in talks to buy Japan display chip-maker Renesas "Renesas SP Driver, the largest maker of chips used to control mobile device screens, supplies all three of the companies that make displays for the iPhone, industry sources say: Sharp, Japan Display Inc and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd. "There's no doubt that, for Apple, the question of who buys Renesas SP is a matter of grave significance," said one Japanese display industry source, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Control over the supply chain has become increasingly crucial among smartphone makers. While up to now Apple has relied on outside suppliers for many key parts, Samsung makes vital parts for its Galaxy smartphones, from screens to chips to capacitors, in-house. That gives it greater control over costs, production schedules and specifications, as well as product information." via Reuters

How to stretch a display and maintain pixel resolution "We dream of a single device with a size-variable screen display that can function as a phone, a pad, and a tablet as required. We want a small screen device for voice communications but a large screen when reading text or watching movies on the same device. Several engineering prototypes of so-called rollable or foldable, sometimes multi-axis foldable, screen displays have been demonstrated. The size of the viewing area—thus the device planar area as well—is small when the displays are stored in a rolled or folded form, but can be enlarged when unrolled or unfolded. However, such devices are generally bulky due to the form factor of the rolled or folded screen displays. We considered how to change the size of the screen display and its form factor." via SPIE

Disney Research Pixelbots Tell the Story of the Universe "Three years ago at ICRA in Shanghai, Disney Research presented a prototype for an artistic robot swarm. The swarm was made up of lots of little wheeled robots with LEDs, each of which acted as an individual mobile pixel in a dynamic image made entirely of robots. Disney and ETH Zurich have been refining this idea, developing both software and hardware and adding more robots to the mix. At the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction earlier this month, the latest version of this Display Swarm, now called Pixelbots, reenacted the story of the Universe (video)." via IEEE Spectrum

How Can Stereoscopic Displays Address the Accommodation-Convergence Problem? "The technology discussed by Dr. Bos was a means to use active liquid crystal based eyeglass lenses to address the well-known accommodation-convergence problem found in many stereoscopic display systems. The proposed means to fix the focus problem is, in principle, quite simple: use a camera to determine the “toe-in” of the user’s pupils. Based on this information, determine the distance from the viewer to the virtual object. Add to this the measured distance between the viewer and the display screen and it is possible to determine the power of a lens that can focus the user’s eyes at the proper object distance." via Display Central

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New Apple tech could revolutionize touchscreens "FTIR [frustrated total internal reflection] uses infrared lights to bounce light off the back of a touchscreen. If there is no interference, or frustration, then the infrared light will completely reflect off the surface of the touchscreen, similar to how the surface of a pool can act as a mirror when viewed at high enough angles. If there is interference from a finger on the touchscreen, then sensors will pick it up in order to determine where the touch input hit the display." via BGR

Atmel, Corning Work On Super Thin Capacitive Touchscreens "This particular collaboration would merge Atmel XSense flexible touch sensors with 0.4mm damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, where the two of them work hand-in-hand to deliver outstanding capacitive touch performance despite having a thinner flat or curved cover glass. It is because of the unique circuit design of XSense that paves the way for design engineers to draw up ever narrower device borders, so that the user would be able to enjoy a more optimal viewing area. " via Ubergizmo

How touchscreens could recognize user 'signatures' "Cybersecurity researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have gone a step further. They’ve developed a new security system that continuously monitors how a user taps and swipes a mobile device. If the movements don’t match the owner’s tendencies, the system recognizes the differences and can be programmed to lock the device. The new system is called LatentGesture and was used during a Georgia Tech lab study using Android devices. The system was nearly 98 percent accurate on a smartphone and 97 percent correct on tablets." via Laboratory Equipment

How can open source touchscreens be useful to engineers? "I bought an Arduino Mega and started putting together the custom electronics in the form of a daughter board (Arduino calls them "shields"). However, it needed to be a standalone unit, so what could I do for user interfacing to the Mega that was flexible? Touch screens. Adafruit, a hobbyist site like Sparkfun, offered a 2.8" TFT Touch Shield for Arduino for $59—a second-generation version is now available for $39.95. The libraries are quite easy to use and it gave me the flexibility I needed to make an early prototype of the full system and then refine the safeties once we had some actual test experience with the final hardware." via EDN

What Are Augmented Reality Displays: Their Past and Potential "Computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland established the basic concepts of AR as known today in his seminal 1968 paper “A Head-Mounted Three Dimensional Display”. Sutherland wrote, “The fundamental idea is to present the user with a perspective image which changes as he moves. The displayed material can be made either to hang disembodied in space or to coincide with maps, desktops, walls, or the keys of a typewriter.” Sutherland’s visionary impact is clear when you realize that his work occurred at a time when computer graphics was in its infancy and displays could only render very low-resolution lines. ...On Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Santa Clara, California, the Embedded Vision Alliance will hold its fourth Embedded Vision Summit. Embedded Vision Summits are technical educational forums for engineers interested in incorporating visual intelligence into electronic systems and software." via Electronic Engineering Journal

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What is haptic capability for tablets? "The news comes from the recent Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona where Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. (Kanagawa, Japan) demonstrated a prototype tablet with haptic capabilities. ...The introduction of an ultrasonic vibration on the tablet surface creates a high pressure layer of air between the tablet’s surface and the user’s fingertip. This has the effect of reducing friction and creating a floating effect. Utilization of this phenomenon makes it possible to create a slippery sensation on the tablet surface. Up till now, this particular sensation has been difficult to achieve using other techniques." via Display Central

How does a touchscreen display provide blood testing? "But soon, thanks to startup Qloudlab, based in the microengineering lab in Switzerland's EPFL tech university, these patients may be able to use the touch screens on their phones or other devices to test their blood coagulation, all in the comfort of their own homes -- or wherever. ...Using the sensors that can determine where it is being touched (i.e. where the screen's electric field is being disrupted), the screen can detect with incredible precision when and where the blood is moving through those tiny channels across the small surface area where the sticker touches the screen." via CNET

How will digital signage change the dining experience: Pizza Hut introduces digital signage touchscreen menu table "As shown off in its promotional video, the Pizza Hut touch-screen-enabled table concept would allow anyone with an iPhone to sit down and have their identity recognized. That would potentially mean that payment methods, favorite items from the menu and other details could be instantly relayed to the restaurant, as well as any allergies that would mean certain foods wouldn’t be suitable. ...Without a doubt this concept bears a resemblance to Microsoft’s own Surface table, something which never really took off properly, until Microsoft shrunk it down a few feet and turned it into a tablet. (video)" via Redmond Pie

What is digital signage and how can you implement it? "Digital signage is the use of screens in stores to deliver marketing messages and improved shopping experiences to customers. ...Most businesses have small or limited budgets, so it’s advisable to test out options before you invest. A phased approach is a good way to begin experimenting with digital signage. Digital signage and augmented reality can be defined in simple terms as the enhancement of reality. This is often through the digital presentation of information and it can be used on kiosks. It effectively defines the link between 3D and real images and it uses advanced digital imaging techniques." via Internet Marketing Advice

What is Kinoma Create? "Kinoma Create is the JavaScript-powered construction kit for makers, professional product designers, and web developers with no prior hardware experience. With Kinoma Create, you can create personal projects, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things prototypes more quickly and easily than ever before. ...Inside Kinoma Create is a power efficient ARM CPU, Wi‑Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a capacitive color touch screen, and tons of I/O for sensors — all nicely integrated, all ready to go right out of the box." via indiegogo

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