Display Technology News Roundup 5.31.2014
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Display Alliance in Apple, Automotive, Avionic, Capacitive touch, Head-mounted display, Holograph, ITO, Military, News Roundup, Samsung, Tactile, Touchscreen, Transparent

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 www.displayweek.org 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 visteon.com. (Video)" via YouTube

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