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Sep012015

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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