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Tuesday
Dec012015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.1.2015

Image via Oak Labs / Polo Ralph Lauren / Thomas Iannaccone

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), 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.

How are touchscreen mirrors and RFID detection updating Polo Ralph Lauren's fitting room? "Now, thanks to Oak Labs, fitting room mirrors are wising up enough to help you shop. You can find other sizes and colors of that suit that’s almost right, or by keeping the hovering salespeople at bay, summoning them, or sending them for items with a tap of its touchscreen. ...The room knows which items you brought with you to try on and the touchscreen mirror displays them. On the mirror you can run through item details, and if you try a piece on and see it’s not quite right, you can pick out a different size or color with a simple tap. When you’ve found what you want, you can check out with another tap. It’s like Oak Labs combined the privacy and ease of shopping online at home with the classic and classy retail experience, including the chance to try things on. (Video)" via Digital Trends

What Is Virtual Reality? Everything You Need to Know About VR "However, the definition of VR is a sticky one. While many digital products bill themselves as VR, technically, they aren’t. “VR is a totally occluded experience,” says Fouché. In other words, he says, it’s “completely closed off from your natural world.” So, it should be a different reality that you can see, hear, and interact with. But most VR experiences being shown through these smartphone setups aren’t at all interactive. Instead, they are actually just immersive video. For instance, the New York Times recently released an immersive documentary called The Displaced, which let viewers explore the environments of three children living in war-torn worlds. True VR would have let the user interact with the environment or the films’ subjects. Likewise, last month’s Democratic debate was broadcast in VR. The real world event took place in Las Vegas, but Samsung VR owners could watch the immersive feed — though not interact with the participants (thank goodness) — from their living rooms. “The graphics were so poor they looked more like faceless avatars than human beings,” wrote TIME’s Alex Fitzpatrick. In fairness to the programmers behind this effort, come election season, most politicians look like faceless avatars." via Time

Volvo and Microsoft demonstrate HoloLens tech for showrooms "According to Volvo, the HoloLens system may also free some dealership staff from the showroom floor, with the technology allowing them to setup pop-up stores and interactive displays in shopping centres or main streets. Volvo has also postulated that, one day, the augmented reality technology may also find its way onto the production line, providing workers there with always visible builds sheets. (Video)" via CarAdvice

New medical display technology uses Virtual Reality inside MRI "Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation have developed a technology for displaying expansive virtual reality images inside the bore of MRI systems. High reality images are projected onto a dome-shaped screen (dome screen) in the bore to take the patient's attention away from the actual examination space. ...A semi-transparent dome screen that is moved in synchronization with the patient table is installed inside the bore, and images are projected onto the dome screen and bore cover from a projector, which is installed behind the MRI system, and whose location is unaffected by the magnetic field. The images are reflected by a mirror installed on the patient table and can then be viewed by the patient, providing a visual space that helps take the patient's attention away from the actual examination space." via MedicalXpress

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What is PCOLED? Will It Replace OLED? "RGB OLED may form the basis of a number of high end TV and smartphone displays, including new flexible designs, but the technology could one day be replaced by an improved Plasmon-Coupled Organic Light Emitting Diode (PCOLED) architecture. Taiwan-based ITRI has announced development of its PCOLED design, which could boost the lifetime of displays by up to 27 times. PCOLED replaces the traditional red, green and blue phosphorescent color layers used to produce white light with a red, green and green plasmon-coupling phosphorescent design, complete with a double metal structure." via Android Authority

Chicago Projection Mapping Display at New UChicago Research Center "The display was positioned inside of a conference room, and featured objects that looked three-dimensional and showed off the event's theme and branding. An associate could approach the wall and press on an area that would start the next segment of the feature. ...Using 3D displays to impress guests, administrators, and donors is becoming more common along with the demand for displays that reflect a national emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. (Video)" via AVNetwork

Head-Up Display Adopted by Jaguar Land Rover "The technology – which was conceptualised in the University's Department of Engineering more than a decade ago – is now available on all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. According to the researchers behind the technology, it is another step towards cars which provide a fully immersive experience, or could even improve safety by monitoring driver behaviour. ...The HUD technology developed at Cambridge is the first to use laser holographic techniques, which provide better colour, brightness and contrast than other systems, but in a smaller, lighter package. It provides key information to the driver without them having to take their eyes away from the road. But according to Chu, the technology's potential has yet to be fully realised, and its real advantage is what it could be used for in future models. "What we really want to see is a fully 3D display which can provide much more information to the driver in a non-intrusive way – this is still a first generation piece of technology," he said." via Phys.org

Could new touchscreen material end daily smartphone charging? "Developed by Bodie Technologies, a University of Oxford spin-off company, the new display is reportedly made from a type of phase-change material called germanium-antimony-tellurium, or GST. The researchers are being understandably cagey about exactly how it’s made as they shop the technology around, but it’s based on a paper they published last year describing how a rigid or flexible display can be formed from microscopic 'stacks' of GST and electrode layers. ...They say their ultra-thin display material can produce vivid colour displays at very high resolution - even when hit with bright, direct sunlight - because of the way it manipulates incoming light. "This makes them potentially useful for 'smart' glasses, foldable screens, windshield displays, and even synthetic retinas that mimic the abilities of photoreceptor cells in the human eye," says the team. With very little electricity required to illuminate a display made from this special 'GST sandwich' configuration, the team says they could dramatically cut the overall amount of power consumed by a smartphone." via Science Alert

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Do Your Diagnostic LCD Monitors Meet the Guidelines? "The guidelines that were originally introduced by the AAPM Task Group 18 (also known as TG-18) in 2005 were widely accepted and adopted at radiology departments across the country. The updated Technical Standard was produced in 2012. There are several changes in this update that apply to more than just displays, and every practice should thoroughly study all of the details in the document. As it applies to displays, though, some of the most notable changes include: 1. LCD panel technology: An LCD technology with wide viewing angles is recommended. TN (twisted nematic)-type LCD panels should not be used. 2. Connectivity: Digital connectivity, such as DisplayPort, HDMI, or DVI-D is recommended instead of VGA. 3. Brightness: In the new standard, monitors used for diagnosis must meet a minimum brightness of 350 cd/m2 (candelas per meter squared), while monitors used for interpreting mammograms must be at least 420 cd/m2. For other types of displays (typically referred to as clinical or review displays), the minimum calibrated brightness starts at 250 cd/m2. When the updated guidelines were introduced in 2012, there were no requirements for when they needed to be implemented. As a result, the new guidelines didn't have any teeth. Today, three years after they were introduced, only a few organizations have upgraded their procedures and equipment to meet the new standards." via DiagnosticImaging

Are you using Apple's 3D Touch at all? "When Apple unveiled 3D Touch, the company’s new input method for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (and, inevitably, other Apple-branded products), they made no effort to hide the fact they believe this is as important a feature as multitouch was all those years ago when it was first unveiled. They might be right, because obviously 3D Touch is only going to get better, more advanced as the years click forward. ...Right now I look at 3D Touch saving me a second, sometimes, and that’s not a second that needed saving. I’m not using 3D Touch right now because muscle memory is winning out over incorporating a new way to interact with my smartphone, but I don’t think that will always be the case. I think it would be pretty great if 3D Touch could give me interactive elements outside of the app." via PhoneDog

ShiftWear uses e-ink display to spruce up your sneakers "Once limited only to e-book readers, we've seen some rather innovative experiments that put e-paper displays or EPDs on more flexible material, like, say, a bracelet. Now David Coelho is presenting what could probably be the most creative application of that idea: putting EPD on shoes. ...For example, the batteries powering the EPD is charged either wirelessly or through every step you take. If you choose a static image, you won't even have to charge it at all since it won't be consuming power. But static images can become boring after a while and colorful animated images are definitely more eye catching. (Video)" via SlashGear

Atheer’s 3D smart glasses target doctors, engineers "The Atheer AiR Glasses looks like a virtual reality heads up display unit, but the wearer is able to see what is happening in the real world. As expected for smart glasses, information is overlaid in the wearer’s field-of-view, which the user can also interact with using familiar gestures, voice commands or even motion tracking. The device features dual ultra-bright displays with resolutions of 720p (1280 x 720) 60fps, and offers a large 50 field-of-view. ...AiR Glasses uses natural interactions such as tap, swipe, pinch, zoom to name a few, and supports a shorthand gesture library, voice commands and transcription, and head motion-based interaction. Visually, users are offered multiple panes around and mid-air, powerful 2D & 3D mixed content support, as well as personalized image optimization. (Video)" via SiliconANGLE

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Does virtual reality technology spell the end for display homes? "The software, which works with the Oculus Rift headset, allows prospective home buyers to take a virtual tour of a new home and consider different designs and fittings in 3D real time. ...“To create a physical display home we need to plan them 18 months in advance. “So the design ideas, the materials, the technology we’re building into these homes is 18 months old before we’ve delivered the thing to the market. Using the technology, said Kanellos, “we’re able to showcase of-the-minute design ideas, and … we can build 20 virtual display homes at a fraction of the cost of the [physical] display homes”." via InDaily

New Technology Breakthrough for Transparent LED Displays "An emerging class of atomically thin materials known as monolayer semiconductors has generated a great deal of buzz in the world of materials science. Monolayers hold promise in the development of transparent LED displays, ultra-high efficiency solar cells, photo detectors and nanoscale transistors. Their downside? The films are notoriously riddled with defects, killing their performance. But now a research team, led by engineers at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has found a simple way to fix these defects through the use of an organic superacid. ...MoS2, specifically, is characterized by molecular layers held together by van der Waals forces, a type of atomic bonding between each layer that is atomically sharp. An added benefit of having a material that is so thin is that it is highly electrically tunable. For applications such as LED displays, this feature may allow devices to be made where a single pixel could emit a wide range of colors rather than just one by varying the amount of voltage applied." via R&D Magazine

Why do touchscreens sorely need a new transparent conducting material? "ITO is only transparent when coated very thinly on a device. While this is convenient in terms of saving weight and space on small gadgets, it requires high energy to deposit such a film using a technique known as physical vapour deposition. Despite its drawbacks, the desirable properties of ITO, such as optical transparency, conductivity and stability, are difficult to match. Other metal oxide conductors such as fluorine-doped tin oxide and aluminium-doped zinc oxide can provide reasonable substitutes that almost match the properties of ITO. While using these oxides would reduce the cost of the raw materials, there is no enhancement of the technology with new properties. Like ITO, these metal oxide films are brittle and require significant energy input to coat on substrates. These issues have prompted researchers to look elsewhere for potential replacements which are not only much cheaper, but are more sustainable, display better performance and can be deposited on flexible substrates." via Phys.org

Do Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) Need Wide-Screen Displays? "Wide-screen, high-resolution displays are finding their way into many new HMI models. Wide screens have the advantages of allowing more control objects to be placed on the screen and of reducing the number of screen changes, where in a particular process or operation, changing screens would be cumbersome. However, there can also be the opposite problem when too many control objects are placed on one screen without much forethought. Some may argue that high-resolution displays are not needed in a manufacturing environment. However, for machine builders in a competitive market, a high-resolution HMI control panel can impart higher value to a machine. Either way, with the consumer market driving the volume of displays in the direction of high-resolution, wide screens, these may someday become the most economical and perhaps the only option." via Plant Engineering

Noise-immune Capacitive Touch Microcontroller (MCU) "MSP430FR2633 MCUs with CapTIvate technology offer developers a great deal of design flexibility without compromises. In an access control system, a proximity sensor may be needed to illuminate the screen and a large matrix of buttons to support user input. Self-capacitance provides higher sensitivity for proximity sensing, while mutual-capacitance allows for a large number of tightly packed buttons with lower crosstalk. CapTIvate technology provides flexibility to simultaneously support self-capacitance and mutual capacitance for an enhanced system solution. The MSP430FR2633 MCU can support 16 button self-capacitance and 64 button mutual-capacitance modes. TI's new CapTIvate technology, offered for the first time on the MSP430FR2633 MCU, provides advanced hardware features like a dedicated voltage regulator, frequency hopping, zero crossing synchronization and signal processing algorithms that prevent false detects in noisy environments. Furthermore, spread spectrum clocking lowers electromagnetic radiation, reducing emissions to system circuitry." via Automation World

Does Lightguide optics make smartglasses less socially awkward? "Scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a display technology that may soon spell the end of awkward-looking smartglasses. The resulting displays are thin, lightweight, and much more discrete than those of current-generation hi-tech spectacles. ...A technique known as lightguide optics could now bring that future closer to reality by allowing the creation of next-generation smartglass displays. According to the scientists involved, the new displays are highly transparent, lightweight, only 1 mm (0.04 in) thick and, most importantly, can be manufactured in any shape to integrate with existing lenses. ...n a proof-of-concept, VTT spin-off company Dispelix Oy created a display that formed images within the user's field of view that were reportedly as large as a 60-inch TV seen from a distance of three meters (10 ft) away. For reference, this is approximately double the stated field of view for the Google Glass display." via GizMag

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Thursday
Nov192015

Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), 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

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

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 Optics.org

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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Friday
Oct162015

Display Technology News Roundup 10.16.2015

Image via GelTouch

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), 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

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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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Tuesday
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

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Sunday
May032015

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 Phys.org

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

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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Tuesday
Mar172015

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

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

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 Animagraffs.com 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 Phys.org

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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

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Saturday
Feb282015

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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Sunday
Jan042015

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

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

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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Monday
Dec012014

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 OLED-Display.net

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 Boston.com

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 Phys.org. "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 Phys.org

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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Tuesday
Sep302014

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

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

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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Wednesday
Sep032014

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

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

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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Monday
Jun232014

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

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

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 Reviewed.com

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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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Monday
May192014

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

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

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 GameDev.net

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

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Wednesday
Apr092014

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

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

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

Do you have content to share with Display Alliance? Anyone can post press releases, white papers, commentary, videos, and more in the open section.

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

Are you an engineer or have display expertise? Email jason@displayalliance.com to be featured in the interviews section.

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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Sunday
Oct272013

Display Technology News Roundup 10.27.2013

Image via Alenia Aeronautica Press Office / The Aviationist

F-35 Program Stops Alternate Helmet Display Development "In a review of the F-35’s flight-test progress in 2011, the Department of Defense identified the HMDS as one of several program risks. It found that the helmet system was deficient in the areas of night-vision acuity, display jitter during aircraft buffeting and image latency from the F-35’s electro-optical distributed aperture system, which combined detracted from mission tasks and the use of the display as a primary flight reference. The Gen 3 helmet “will include an improved night vision camera, new liquid crystal displays, automated alignment and software improvements,” according to the JPO" via AIN Online

Samsung Display begins LCD production in China "Samsung Display, a unit of Samsung Electronics Co, and domestic competitor LG Display are both building multi-billion dollar flat-screen plants in China, to help them compete more effectively against little-known Chinese rivals. Chinese companies such as BOE Technology Group and TCL Corp's LCD unit CSOT are undercutting the world's two biggest LCD makers and winning market share with robust sales to local TV manufacturers." via Reuters

Apple's War on Pixels "Commodification is an inherently boring process, particularly when it comes to technology: over time, products that were once unique and expensive become less so. That process has pushed HDTVs, wireless routers, and Bluetooth speakers into living rooms en masse as the technologies behind them have become more and more generic. One technology most visibly marked by commodification is displays—in particular, high-resolution displays so packed with pixels that human eyeballs cannot perceive the individual dots that make up the image" via The New Yorker

The new manufacturing tech that will bring high-resolution displays to every device "Applied Materials’ three new manufacturing machines should help cut costs by improving quality control and flexibility at multiple points in the production process. The new AKT 55KS PECVD is a Plasma Enhanced Physical Vapor Deposition system that’s designed to better control the amount of hydrogen gas inside the manufacturing chamber, allow for a more uniform distribution of deposited material, and eliminate defects. The other two machines — the AKT PiVot 25K DT and PiVot 55K DT are essentially the same system, but built at two different sizes." via ExtremeTech

Augmented reality system makes cars see-through "Michel Ferreira and his colleagues at the University of Porto in Portugal developed the See-Through System, which uses a lightweight heads-up display to look "through" a truck up ahead. The system works by looking through a camera that records the trailing driver's perspective. Software recognises the back of the lead vehicle, and replaces it with a video feed from a webcam mounted on that lead vehicle." via New Scientist

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Mitsubishi Shuts Down Consumer Video Division "Mitsubishi was always a big player in the RPTV category...,and near the end of its run it created some truly gargantuan rear-projection displays. But the market moved on, wanting flat panels instead of floor standers, and unfortunately Mitsubishi couldn’t refocus fast enough to keep its head above water. So if you liked Mitsubishi’s gear, I’d watch big resellers and liquidators for some serious discounts between now and the holiday buying season." via Technology Tell

Technology to Humanize the Brand "In today’s virtual mannequins, high-resolution optics project a video onto a screen, usually made of cut glass or acrylic shaped in the silhouette of the mannequin speaker and coated with a semi-transparent film. Viewed from the side, the mannequin is only about one cm thick; viewed from the front, the cut-out resembles a person. Improvements on current technology are bringing these mannequins to life. Light efficient projection technology is increasing brightness from today’s average 3000 to 4500 lumens to well beyond 6000 lumens so that the image is crisp and distinctive, even in a brightly lit room." via Wired

Disney tech lets users feel 3D objects on flat screens "Ordinarily, when we feel a bump as we're sliding our finger across a smooth surface, we do so because the increase in friction created by the bump causes the skin in our fingertip to stretch ever so slightly. In order to simulate that friction, the Disney team uses a conductive display in which the electrostatic forces between the finger and the glass can be modulated by applying more or less voltage to the screen." via Gizmag

Semiconductor Will Help Develop Hi-Def Flat Panels "Researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science have developed a pixel switching semiconductor, which will be the key to driving next-generation displays by using an oxide film with a new elemental composition. ...The research results are expected to be effective not only for reducing the power consumption of displays which consume about half of the power in rapidly diffusing smartphones, but also for achieving higher frequencies to realize higher-definition TVs." via Controlled Environments

Does test equipment really need knobs and displays? "Put your tablet wherever you wish. Or remote the display to your laptop that is supporting some humungous monitor. Why settle for the fixed sizes of displays offered by vendors when you can buy high resolution displays at your local electronic retailer larger than your entire lab bench if you wished?Will engineers accept the remote display concept?" via EDN

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A True Revolution in Display and Touch-screen Manufacturing Begins "Cambrios (Sunnyvale, California) announced the formation of TPK Film Solutions, Ltd. (TPKF), a joint venture with TPK, the world’s largest touch solution provider, and NISSHA, a leader in film-based touch sensors. TPKF’s mission is to “produce ClearOhm silver nanowire-based film in a roll-to-roll process allowing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring to market cutting-edge touchscreens for new products and applications worldwide,” Cambrios announced in its press release. ...All of this may not sound too exciting until you understand not only that transparent conductors are essential components of most displays and touch screens, but also that ITO has significant limitations." via HDTV Magazine

Nvidia Ends Screen Tearing With G-Sync Display Technology "Conventional LCD monitors have fixed refresh rates, typically 60hz, which the GPU must work with, but with G-Sync, a module goes inside the monitor that transfers control of the refresh rate to the GPU. Because the display adapter controls the timing, the two are always synchronized, eliminating screen tearing without sacrificing performance." via The Escapist

Honeywell Nearing Launch Of Touchscreen-Enabled Avionics "Along with qualitative assessments of the pilots’ workload, researchers used electromyogram measurements of muscle activity to gauge the pros and cons of mounting locations and touch technologies. The researchers confirmed that the best fit for touchscreen displays on large flight decks for high-end business jets or air transport aircraft is on the center console, or pedestal. “From a pilot workload perspective, if you put touch there, that’s the best place for it. In a smaller flight deck, pilots are used to looking at bezel buttons and knobs on the forward displays, so touch makes more sense there.”" via Aviation Week

Robotic testing finds touchscreen inaccuracies at edge of iPhone display "Using a robotic finger and a specialized suite of test software, Finnish automated testing company OptoFidelity found that Apple's latest handsets accurately detect touch inputs only across a small swath of their displays, roughly equating to the location of the on-screen keyboard. The iPhone 5s and 5c, according to the company, suffer from "extremely bad" touch performance near the edges of the display." via Apple Insider

New multi-touch sensor is customizable with scissors "Together with researchers from the MIT Media Lab, they developed a printable multi-touch sensor whose shape and size everybody can alter. A new circuit layout makes it robust against cuts, damage, and removed areas. The researchers have presented their work at the conference “User Interface and Technology” (UIST) in St. Andrews, Scotland. The sensor remains functional even when cut to a different shape." via R&D Mag

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Tourist site desperate to stop graffiti adds vandal-friendly touchscreens "Officials in Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower Park are determined to stop name-etching vandals once and for all, and have rolled out a series of graffiti-welcoming touchscreen displays. Now well-behaved and asshole tourists alike can enjoy the thrill of leaving their marks on priceless antiquities." via Shanghaiist

Existing Inside the Screens "In his TED Talk, Reach into the computer and grab a pixel, Dr. Lee shows some current projects and discusses future possibilities. The talk begins with discussing the boundaries between the user and the screen, and throughout the talk the boundary gets smaller until it no longer exists." via Engineering.com

Wheel-Shaped Molecules Better For Displays "Whereas the usual rod-shaped LEDs can trap up to 80 percent of light generated because light flows from them in only one direction -- known as polarization -- Lupton and his team made a molecule that is "perfectly symmetrical, and that makes the light it generates perfectly random,” he said in a university news release, noting the new organic molecule is known as OLED." via International Business Times

Worlds Largest e-Paper Sign Displayed at UN Headquarters "e-Ink has set a worlds record for the latest e-Paper sign that is installed at the UN Headquarters in New York. The eWall is an intricate combination of architectural, display and network engineering. It stands about 6 meters wide with 231 tiled 7.4″ displays arranged in a grid of 33 displays across by 7 displays high. With an overall resolution of 26,400 x 3,360 pixels, it is perfect to read at long and short distances." via Good Reader

Aerial Imaging Plate turns holograms into touchscreens "Much like a low-quality monitor with a very narrow viewing angle, the AIP’s holographic effect can only be viewed from a very specific location in relation to the projected image. To onlookers, it appears as a regular flat surface, but to a person standing in the sweet spot, the image looks as though it’s floating in the air. In what may seem like a classic case of “it’s a feature not a bug,” Asukanet feels the specific viewing angle requirement is appealing, perhaps as a privacy feature, even though onlookers can see what’s happening on the flat display." via ExtremeTech

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Sunday
Aug252013

Display Technology News Roundup 8.25.2013

Image via TechSpot

NFC technology can be used to wirelessly power an E-ink display "NFC uses inductive coupling to provide power to passive tags and the E-ink display uses this to its advantage with the help of a wireless power harvester microchip and a 1mAh battery. Don’t expect massive power without wires just yet but it’s enough to power the 2.7-inch display with enough stored energy to cycle through images when not paired with the phone." via TechSpot

The PC monitor is dead. Meet the new smart monitor. "Bob Wudeck, associate vice president of strategy and business development at BenQ, says that the company has been forced to rethink the concept of a monitor, whether it be gaming monitors optimized for StarCraft or adding intelligence to the traditional display. 'The traditional model is a display that a desktop or notebook can plug into,' Wudeck says. 'We don’t think that’s going to be the case. We think that in the future, you’ll have more media content on your phone, and you’ll share more of that from your phone, than from a desktop computer,' Wudeck adds. 'And that’s something that we can develop a product around.'" via PCWorld

LG makes world’s thinnest, highest pixel density smartphone LCD ever "Displays continue to improve, though, as LG has proven with the production of a 5.5-inch 2560×1440 LCD with 538 pixels-per-inch. The LCD is the first mobile display to reach that resolution, and is also the thinnest, measuring in at a mere 1.21mm." via ExtremeTech

Breaking Google Glass Into Pieces: The Costs of Production and Likely Retail Price "'The Himax FSC LCOS [Field Sequential Color, Liquid Crystal on Silicon] requires both a display device and normally a 1-chip ASIC controller.... Figure the controller costs about $2 to $3, but this would go to near zero if the functionality was integrated into other chips in the system,' Karl Guttag tells Minyanville. 'The LEDs for illumination are about $2, and then the films for homogenizing/spreading the LED light and polarizing with packaging are another $2 to $3. I would guess the optics, including the beam splitter in front of the eye, are on the order of $5. When you total up the display plus controller, illumination LEDs and films, and the optics, the total cost is probably about $25, plus or minus $5.'" via Nasdaq

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

Next-Generation Displays: The Reality of Manufacturing Sets In "Amorphous silicon, with an electron mobility of about 1 cm2/Vs, served LCDs well for years but isn’t suitable for the new displays. Laser annealing of amorphous silicon to turn it into a polycrystalline form, typically in the range of 50 to 150 cm2/Vs, has been the mainstay for high-resolution mobile display manufacture. This process adds costs, however, and does not scale up well." via IEEE Spectrum

Shell 3-D Visualization Lab Offers Detailed Views on Energy-Related Research "For academics, students, engineers, oil and gas drillers, geologists and other scientists, the new Shell 3-D Visualization Lab in the University of Wyoming’s Energy Innovation Center (EIC) has the ability to image detailed 3-D models of land surfaces, the subsurface, molecules and more -- a view that allows these entities to share the same frame of reference. ...The visualization center also includes an IQ-Station, which is essentially a portable, immersive environment that contains a desk with a computer and three moveable display panels. Researchers can sit at the station and don 3-D glasses to review models on a smaller scale. The visualization center also contains a six-panel, two-dimensional video wall that can be used to view any images at high resolution, including 3-D images generated in the CAVE. Both can be used for many interdisciplinary projects, Shader says." via University of Wyoming

A Printing Process to Make Wall-Sized Displays "Adapting conventional printing technology, researchers have developed a way to rapidly and inexpensively make uniform arrays of high-performing transistors out of carbon nanotubes on flexible plastic sheets. The process could eventually lead to a tool for manufacturing large-area, low-power sensor arrays and displays." via MIT Technology Review

The Quest to Touch Virtual Objects "Brownlow says, 'Proximity interfaces are being developed where, as you bring your fingers towards the screen, the screen has a predictive ability of what you are about to do and you can then interface with the screen without actually touching it.' As 3D evolves there will come a point where the user will want to interact haptically with these images. " via Gizmodo

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Gulfstream’s Enhanced Vision System (EVS) II and Head-Up Display (HUD) II for the G280 certified by FAA "EVS II captures actual, real-time images of an aircraft’s surroundings using an infrared camera mounted in the nose. The HUD II uses a LCD to project images onto a transparent combiner in the pilot’s forward field of view, and integrates the images with flight guidance information." via Aviation Today

Kickstarter campaign for LED display "Two years in the making, LEDgoes is much like the kind of scrolling screens seen at convenience stores displaying the worth of this week's Lotto, or those seen in front of stock exchanges displaying real-time quotes. However, LEDgoes’ modular design allows the user to make the display practically any length from just one, 5x7 LED matrix panel wide, all the way up to sixty-four panels in total. An even longer length could be attained through software control. ...The Kickstarter officially ends on Sep. 9th at 11:40 PM CDT." via PRWeb

Shifting Apple product specifications to heap pressure on manufacturers "Reports indicate that Apple is set to adopt Japan-made In-Cell, and indium tin oxide (ITO) coated display panels for the company's upcoming products to be released this fall. With Apple's current products nearing the end of their life cycles, including market mainstays such as the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and the 9.7-inch early generation iPads, Taiwan-based panel suppliers are poised to be affected by the switch." via The China Post

The future of touchscreens revealed: bigger, cheaper, bendier "But there is a cheaper and less environmentally harmful alternative [than ITO], developed by MIT biochemist Dr Angela Belcher and inspired by the multi-layered formation of abalone shells. It uses silver nanowires scattered over a sheet of plastic. Take two layers of plastic coated with very long, very thin silver strands (or even one sheet coated on both sides) and you have a capacitive touch sensor that's thinner, lighter, more flexible and much easier to manufacture than the ITO sensors." via TechRadar

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Electronic Skin Lights Up When Touched "A team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed the first user-interactive “electronic skin” that responds to pressure by instantly emitting light. ...Javey, who has been working on developing the e-skin for the past five years, has high hopes for his new material. He’d like to create user-interactive wallpaper or a dashboard that responds to cues such as the driver’s eye or body movements." via IEEE Spectrum

Can touchscreens save you from carpal tunnel? They might actually be worse "Cynthia Burt, Injury Prevention Division Manager at the UCLA Office of Environment, Health and Safety, believes that the inherent nature of laptops make them less than ergonomically sound due to the relatively fixed screen and keyboard positions. This is amplified with a touchscreen laptop because, as she explains, there is a difference between optimal visual difference and optimal reach distance. 'We recommend that people have an 18- to 20-inch envelope in front of them for optimal reaching,' Burt told us." via Digital Trends

What Makes a Good Gesture Control "Phones rely on prompts that are supposed to teach you gestures step by step. But the issue is that human beings have only a limited capacity, depending on their needs, for this sort of tutoring. If we don’t learn the gesture quickly, we’ll quickly shut off the annoying prompts and fail to learn the gesture, says Yaro Brock, co-founder of Cookie Jar UX and a longtime user-experience researcher." via Bloomberg Businessweek

How An Amputee Built The World’s First Functional Prosthetic Finger for Touchscreens "One of MacDuff’s most critical design considerations hardly existed 10 years ago and is now somewhat of a holy grail in prosthetics: making the finger touch-screen-friendly. This had become, after all, one of the most important everyday functions of our fingers. RCM has such a next-generation upgrade to the BPF in development. Bengtsson tells Co.Design they’ve "already identified and tested the material" that can successfully mimic human skin and heat conductance. " via Fast Company

The economics of LCD demand "Reading the news, I get the sense LCDs are knocking on everyone’s door, as panel makers seek to enter every conceivable market. The IHS report notes how price competition in conventional audio systems for checking who’s outside your door leads to interest in new value propositions, such as video and audio surveillance, but that implies highly elastic demand relative to price. A rising demand for door-mounted LCDs requires falling prices." via Display Central

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Sunday
Aug112013

Display Technology News Roundup 8.11.2013

Image via Christian Holz / Fiberio

Touch Screen IDs Users via Fingerprints "Entering usernames, passwords, and pins is generally seen as sufficient security for desktops and mobile devices, but things become much more complicated when computers are used by multiple users, especially simultaneously. “Keeping track of who is doing what is a key element for collaborative interactive systems,” says Holz. “We have now created a touch screen that accomplishes this unobtrusively for every touch users make. Incorporating the ability to do this securely and seamlessly opens up a wide range of new applications.”" via MIT Technology Review

Amazon is working on displays that Apple and Samsung can’t match "And with his acquisition of the Washington Post, Bezos has a new incentive to breach new heights in displays—something as light as paper but infinitely more versatile. Bezos has said before that he thinks print is going away but journalism is forever, so it’s hard to imagine that he acquired a print newspaper with the idea that it would continue to be delivered in that medium. Other companies are also trying to turn electrowetting display technology into a viable business, so it seems that, like the development of the LCD display, which began in the US but was not perfected until the technology was acquired by Korean companies like Samsung and LG, this is the sort of technology that could take a long time to develop and will eventually give rise to an ecosystem of competing manufacturers." via Quartz

Mitsubishi expands Industrial TFT sales efforts "This announcement follows the acquisition by Kyocera Corporation of Optrex Corporation, one of Mitsubishi Electric’s sales channels for industrial TFT displays. Effective immediately, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will replace Optrex’ sales structure in Europe with its own Mitsubishi Electric Europe sales and customer support network." via Evertiq

Low Power with High Contrast LCD Displays "If your next portable battery project involves the need for a high contrast low-power (microwatt range) LCD display and you need it now, read on. Occasionally an existing technology is improved to push components into new usage areas. Sharp has done that with the monochrome LCD display, pushing it into microwatt power consumption territory while approaching e-ink display contrast levels. Coupled with pixel memory, they are call memory LCDs." via ENGINEERING.com

A telescope for the eye: New contacts may improve sight "The new lens system developed by Ford's team uses tightly fitting mirror surfaces to make a telescope that has been integrated into a contact lens just over a millimeter thick. The lens has a dual modality: the center of the lens provides unmagnified vision, while the ring-shaped telescope located at the periphery of the regular contact lens magnifies the view 2.8 times. To switch back and forth between the magnified view and normal vision, users would wear a pair of liquid crystal glasses originally made for viewing 3-D televisions. These glasses selectively block either the magnifying portion of the contact lens or its unmagnified center. The liquid crystals in the glasses electrically change the orientation of polarized light, allowing light with one orientation or the other to pass through the glasses to the contact lens." via EurekAlert

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Samsung to Buy Germany's Novaled "Despite continued difficulties in producing OLED screens, Samsung has been heavily investing in the technology. It aims to develop expertise in the area to get an edge against rivals elsewhere in Asia, who won't catch up on the technology as fast as they did with liquid-crystal displays. "We're continuously widening the technological gap between (Samsung) and rivaling companies," Robert Yi, head of investor relations at Samsung Electronics said in July. He said the company aims for another technology "leap" with diversified OLED applications, including flexible displays." via The Wall Street Journal

Display Glass Slimming Technology Report 2013 "Reducing the thickness of a glass substrate to cut its weight has proven to be the most effective way to make a flat panel display thinner and lighter. However, if a glass substrate used in the TFT or cell manufacturing process starts off as a thin sheet, it runs into many difficulties because of the variables arising from the LCD module, or OLED manufacturing process. Thus, it is essential to slim the glass substrate through chemical and physical methods at the time when the cell production process is completed. This process is called glass slimming." via Displaybank

AquaTop turns water into a touchscreen display "A projection system called AquaTop uses water as an interactive display, allowing users' limbs to freely move through, under, and over the projection surface for a more immersive experience. The prototype setup, created by a team of engineers from Tokyo's University of Electro-Communications, projects games, movies, and photos (or, presumably, e-mail and spreadsheets, but they're not as much fun) onto a liquid surface made cloudy with an opaque powder." via CNET

Oxide semiconductors: where do they fit in the changing display industry? "Oxide semiconductor TFT technology is an emerging option which ticks many of the right boxes. They have high mobility, which makes them suitable for OLED, 3D and on-board processing. They have wide-bandgaps therefore they can also be transparent. Their high mobility enables lower aspect ratio and smaller pixels, and therefore lower consumption and higher resolution." via Evertiq

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Q&A with Harman: Automotive head-up displays "As the HUD projects images on to the car's windscreen, there can be severe limitations on the amount of windscreen space available for projecting directional images. Depending on the car's design, this can hamper the functionality of the HUD. As the technology develops, we expect to be able to overcome such an issue in the near future. In scenarios where a HUD may not be appropriate, a second screen in the driver's line-of-sight can be used to display a real-time image of the road interlaced with information, graphics and navigation instructions provided by the Augmented Navigation system." via just-auto

Harvard researching how to improve displays and digital imaging "A second study involving Zickler investigates a new type of screen hardware that displays different images when lit or viewed from different directions. By creating tiny grooves of varying depths across the screen’s surface, Zickler’s team created optical interference effects that cause the thin surface to look different when illuminated or viewed from different angles. The paper essentially asks, “If I know what appearances I want the screen to have, how do I optimize the geometric structure to get that?” Zickler explains.via Harvard

Touch interface without touchscreens? "Researchers at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have developed this eyeglass-based display, below, that uses images projected onto the lenses, and depth cameras focusing beyond the lenses, to create the functional illusion of operating a 'floating touchscreen'..." via Core77

The North American Display Business Environment "For the most part, the manufacture of display panels takes place outside North America, with the lion’s share of fabs in Asia. But there is display manufacturing of a different kind in North America – display integration. Says Semenza, “These are opportunities where some kind of customization is required – in the medical, military, and automotive markets, for example.” Such customization includes optical bonding, rugged packaging, light-enhancement films, enhanced backlights, and so forth for a wide variety of applications. Examples of these are adding displays to autos and building units and integrating displays for the medical, military, and industrial markets, with the latter including digital signage, public-access kiosks, ATMs, checkout systems, machine control, and oil and gas exploration as well as mining applications." via The Society for Information Display

Maintaining good touchscreen user experience "Capacitive touchscreens operate by driving a transmit voltage into the sensor panel on the device that creates a signal charge. ...The main problem with larger screens is that the transmit voltage has more surface area to cover and the resistance and capacitance of the sensor increases. ...The transmit operating frequency affects signal settling, refresh rate and power consumption. The goal is to determine the highest transmit operating frequency conditions for a consistent touch response across the panels while minimising scan time and power." via EET Asia

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Multi-Touch Industrial HMIs "The ultimate promise of multi-touch technology is that it will make workers more productive. American Industrial Systems has a whitepaper that might be interesting if you want to learn more about the evolution of this technology and the specific advantages it offers for industrial control. A Beckhoff video might also be interesting as an introduction to the technology. It provides a visual demonstration of how multi-touch technology is being implemented for industrial control." via DesignNews

Indium tin oxide, what makes touchscreens touch-sensitive, is almost gone "Some manufacturers are already planning on incorporating ITO alternatives into their devices. Foxconn might begin using carbon nanotubes in the non-Apple devices it makes by the end of 2013, and Samsung is working on prototypes that use graphene, according to Martinez. “There’s lots of R&D to be done though,” Martinez said." via GigaOM

Crowdsourcing with digital signage ""Our studies suggested that people walk up to public displays not knowing exactly what they want to do and usually to kill time. So we tried to find a way to tap into that," he says. ...Vassilis says such displays could be used to tap local knowledge, such as the best place to walk a dog, the meaning of some confusing signage, or what bands are playing in town." via NewScientist

Lack of critical avionic displays played role in 2009 Air France Flight 447 crash "As forward thrust was lost, downward momentum was gathering. Instead of the wings slicing neatly through the air, their increasing angle of attack meant they were in effect damming it. In the next 40 seconds AF447 fell 3,000 feet, losing more and more speed as the angle of attack increased to 40 degrees. The wings were now like bulldozer blades against the sky. Bonin failed to grasp this fact, and though angle of attack readings are sent to onboard computers, there are no displays in modern jets to convey this critical information to the crews. One of the provisional recommendations of the BEA inquiry has been to challenge this absence." via The Telegraph

BOE Technology Group places significant orders for Applied Materials display production equipment "The Applied PiVot PVD and PECVD systems selected by BOE provide a high-performance, cost-effective path to manufacturing stunning high resolution amorphous silicon, metal oxide and LTPS displays. These systems can significantly increase production and achieve the same economies of scale that enabled the cost of LCD TVs to fall by more than 95 percent over the past decade and brought large-area LCD televisions within the reach of billions of consumers around the globe." via Solid State Technology

The Human Body as Touchscreen Replacement "Sean Gustafson, Bernhard Rabe, and Patrick Baudisch from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany designed a so-called imaginary interface situated within the palm of the user's hand. This UI is "imaginary" in the sense that there's nothing actually there beyond the naked hand. The photo below shows how an imaginary "mobile phone" could be fitted onto the user's left hand. As each point is touched, a specific mobile function would be activated and announced by a computerized voice." via Nielsen Norman Group

Direct-Dry-Film Optical Bonding: Finding New Applications "OPTICAL BONDING in display products was first used for CRTs and then for flat-panel LCDs around 1980. The technology was confined mostly to low-volume high-performance avionics and military displays for a long time afterward. During the last 6 years, optical bonding has exploded in many commercial and industrial applications, such as iPhones, touch screens, tablets, digital signage, and medical imaging. Optical bonding has grown to a multi-billion (~ $2 billion) industry and is still growing at a fast pace. Liquid bonding has been the most popular optical-bonding technology for many years, but dry-film optical bonding is also gaining in popularity." via The Society for Information Display

What did you think about today's news? Leave a comment here and share your thoughts.

Saturday
Jun152013

Display Technology News Roundup 6.15.2013

Image via Discovery News

Transparent Solar-Cell Screen Charges Phone "Startup Ubiquitous Energy, a spin off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is developing a technology that makes the solar cells themselves transparent by using materials that only absorb infrared and ultraviolet light and let visible light pass through. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are taking a similar approach, while researchers at the University of Cambridge are weaving solar cells into organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, where they can capture light leaked from the edges of the OLED elements as well as from outside the phone." via Discovery News

Society For Information Display Applauds Winners at Display Week 2013 "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. Gold Award: Sharp and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) for Sharp's IGZO LCD (as used in the AQUOS Phone Zeta SH-02E). Silver Award: Shenzhen China Star's 110-inch 4K x 2K 3D TFT-LCD TV" via PRNewswire

Worldwide Microdisplays Market "Microdisplays are small displays that require magnifying optics to use them. These displays are made of a CMOS chip that includes a two dimensional array of transistors. In combination with the liquid crystal material, a cover glass yields a reflective LCD. Microdisplays are generally used in head mounted displays, projectors, view finders, or in other lens view display systems. Continuous and rapid development in display technology has made the way for different types of displays in the commercial market in the past few years." via SBWire

Amazon Acquires Display Maker Liquavista "Liquavista uses a technology called electrowetting to develop color displays for e-readers and portable media players. The first commercially available electrowetting display panels are expected to arrive this year, according to the Digital Reader. ...Electrowetting produces displays with advantages in a couple of key areas—viewability in various lighting conditions and low-power video playback. Amazon, a leading maker of both ereaders and tablets, may be interested in Liquavista's technology for both device categories." via PCMag

New Quantum Dots Make Colors in LCD Even Brighter "In work that appears to tip the scales further for quantum dot-enabled LCDs, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have developed a method for doping quantum dots that will give LCDs a color vibrancy not seen before. In research published in the ACS journal Nano Letters ("Cluster-Seeded Synthesis of Doped CdSe:Cu4 Quantum Dots"), the UIC team reveal a method for introducing precisely four copper ions into each and every quantum dot. This doping with copper ions opens up the potential for fine-tuning the optical properties of the quantum dots and producing extraordinarily bright colors." via IEEE Spectrum

Japan Display expands manufacturing "Japan Display President Shuichi Otsuka announced yesterday that the company is boosting capacity of high-definition LCD manufacturing at its plant in Chiba as it has set its target sales this year at 800 billion yen (7.8 billion US dollars), almost double the 450 billion yen it earned last fiscal year. “Our business is now on track,” said Otsuka, who previously was CEO at Elpida Memory Inc. “Our technology is unique, so it won’t be easy for other companies to do the same.” By competitors, Otsuka means companies like Sharp Corp. also from Japan, South Korea’s LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan’s Innolux Corp., also big names in the display-making industry and sharing the market with Japan Display. Japan Display’s share of the global market for small- and mid-sized LCDs was 16.6 percent in 2012, Sharp Corp. held 14.8 percent, followed by LG Display Co.’s 13.5 percent and Innolux’s 10.2 percent." via Japan Daily Press

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

Displays market loves LED lighting "In conclusion, the benefits of using LED lighting in an automotive environment has several positive implications. First, they never need to be replaced, since their solid state longetivity is in excess of 100K hours – equivalent to 11.5 service years, thereby surpassing the life of the vehicle. This allows automobile manufactures to permanently embed them into “in cabin” backlighting without requiring accessibility for replacement. Styling can also be dramatically altered as LED lighting systems do not require the depth or area as do CCFL bulbs." via Electronics Weekly

Glasses-free 3D display for theaters "It is not surprising that almost every movie is now produced in 3D. An additional incidental benefit is a reduction in illegal in-theater recording of movies. However, there are several reasons why some people are against 3D movies, in particular the discomfort of wearing special glasses. Yet, even though glasses-free 3D display technology has been commercialized for personal devices, such as the Nintendo 3DS, significant limitations must still be overcome for theater-scale projection. For glasses-free display, special optical parts must be installed in front of the screen, which interrupts original images from a projector and is incompatible with conventional theaters. ...To meet this demand, we have developed a glasses-free, front-projection 3D theater display system.2" via SPIE

Application scenarios for interactive OLED data-eyeglasses "The interdisciplinary project FAIR is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is dedicated specifically to the support of physical functions by using “hand-free applications in augmented reality“ (FAIR). Within this joint-project demonstrators for innovative human-machine-interactions will be developed. A display – similar to eyeglasses – represents the visionary interface. The control and interaction with the display will be achieved via eye movements. Thus the displayed elements can be seen but provide at the same time the possibility for interaction. This enables the user to start different computer-controlled actions via eye movements. The first steps within FAIR will focus on three special application scenarios: assistance and interaction systems for persons with disabilities, innovative human-machine-interfaces in the field of entertainment as well as information- and augmented-reality-interfaces in industrial maintenance scenarios." via nanowerk

Researchers turn regular LCDs into touchscreen "Doctoral students Ke-yu Chen and Sidhant Gupta work in the Ubiquitous Computing Lab on campus. They came up with the idea for their project, uTouch, while working on a similar project called LightWave that tested how the energy given off by any electronic devices in someone’s house and even by the human body can be manipulated to control an electronic device. The energy, called electromagnetic interference (EMI), is what caused a light bulb to dim and brighten as they moved their hands closer and farther away from the bulb. “We thought that the monitor could have a similar effect,” Chen said. It did. Chen said an LCD monitor radiates EMI, also called noise, to the power line when it is turned on. The EMI increases as the human hand approaches the screen, and uTouch captures the EMI variations and uses them as signals to detect a touch gesture." via The UW Daily

Is touch really the future of the PC? "Right now the best touch pads have an accuracy of 1mm the best touch screens have an accuracy of 7mm. Right off the bat we can see that a touch screen is 7-times less accurate than a touch pad. But there is more to it. When you use a touch pad your eyes are on the object you want to manipulate on the screen while your finger is on the pad. When you use a touch screen your finger is on the screen often blocking the item you want to manipulate. Now consider that the average finger is about 10mm across. You are now blocking the area you want to work on with your finger, which is larger than the sensor in tour touch screen." via Decrypted Tech

Scientists Discovered a New Less Expensive Technique of Creating 3D Images "Scientists at University of Glasgow's School of Physics and Astronomy discovered a new less expensive technique of creating 3D images. They created a system which makes use of the detectors that have single pixel for sensing the light instead of various pixels used in imaging sensors found in digital cameras. The detectors have the capability of judging the frequencies beyond visible light, which in turn would help in various new applications for 3D imaging in geography and medicine. The scientists explained that the single pixel detectors will cost just a few pounds in comparison to present systems which amount to thousands of pounds. " via Jagran Josh

Say Goodbye to the Sharp that We Knew "If we look at the difference between consolidated LCD sales and gross LCD sales before eliminating internal transfers, we see that only 50% to 60% of sales were external transactions in 2008–2012. The portion of external sales increased in FY2013 but the LCD assets in Sakai were removed from consolidation as part of Sharp’s effort to lighten its balance sheet in September of 2012. That means sales from Sakai’s Gen-10 lines no longer contribute to operating results. The problem with that is Sharp’s own capacity becomes only 3% of the industry and that share is declining. Sharp is already smaller than China Star (CSOT) on a consolidated business basis. Thus, Sharp has few alternatives to becoming more of a merchant supplier to other brands, like Samsung." via Display Central

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Europe honours LCD screen pioneer Martin Schadt "In 1970 the Swiss physicist achieved a breakthrough that would pave the way for LCD read-outs at first on calculators, watches and alarm clocks, and then flat-panel TVs, laptops and smartphones. But one year later his employer, Roche, thought the feat was a mismatch with its other pharmaceutical-focused efforts and canned the project. Thankfully, the decision proved short-lived and Dr Schadt helped the firm become a major supplier to the screen-making industry, as well as making further contributions to the technology's evolution. His admirers know him as the "father of the pixel", and this week the European Patent Office gave him its lifetime achievement award, noting that sales of devices featuring LCD panels totalled $120bn (£80bn) in 2012." via BBC News

Use of quantum dots with LCD screens in consumer devices edging closer to reality "Quantum dots are very small bits of semiconducting nano-crystals—they're useful because they can be confined in three spatial dimensions allowing for very tight control of emitted light at precise wavelengths. Shining a light through them produces exceptionally pure colors—applying trillions of them to a thin film allows for the display of color richness never before seen with LCD devices. Researchers have been raving about the benefits of the technology for several years while manufactures have been promising that devices with the technology would soon become available to consumers. It appears that such promises are finally about to come to fruition." via Phys.org

Apple going back to Samsung as LCD panel supplier "The industry believes that one of the reasons Apple has decided to come back to Samsung Display is because of its ability to get its hands on thin glass. Thin glass is a major component used in LCD displays that can be found in mobile devices—Apple uses them in its iPhones and iPads." via iDownloadBlog

Europe's largest liquid crystal display factory opened in Ventspils, Latvia "In its new plant in Ventspils Ltd. "EUROLCDS” will produce different types of passive liquid crystal display technology based products. The goal of the company is the global market (Europe and the USA), but primarily the European cluster of LCD products. Liquid crystal display materials will be supplied mainly from China and Japan. One of the largest business segments of the factory will be production of glass that automatically darkens when exposed to bright light for welding masks. Road signs and information display products that use EASL Polydisplay technology will also be produced. At present, the company employs 20 employees, but with the business growing, the number of employees is expected to increase up to 50; in the future there might be 50 more employees employed in distribution and administrative proceedings." via Ventspils.lv

Transparent graphene-based display could enable contact lens computers "The researchers were able to build miniature inorganic LEDs by connecting the graphene sheets together with silver nanowires into a hybrid structure. The flexible silver nanowires enabled the hybrid strucuture to maintain its high conductivity even when bent. The most important factor for using the hybrid graphene in a contact lens-based computer is its high transparency. Other transparent materials like indium tine oxide (ITO) become much less conductive when bent. When the hybrid LEDs were embedded into a regular soft contact and tested in a rabbit no ill effects were observed." via ExtremeTech

Government aid helped make Sharp's IGZO crystals a reality "To develop IGZO, Hosono received research funding from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), an independent administrative agency affiliated with the science ministry. The agency provided 1.8 billion yen ($18 million) of funding for a five-year period beginning in 1999. Of that, around 100 million yen was used for basic research on IGZO. IGZO is dozens of times more conductive than silicon. It can make smaller TFTs and give high-definition quality to liquid crystals." via The Asahi Shimbun

The Future of 3D TV and Why ESPN Dropped Its Pioneering 3D Channel ""3D does cause people to switch off in its present form,” admitted Andy Quested, BBC’s head of 3D and HD. “About 20 percent of people find sports matches in 3D simply too long. Twenty-five percent of people are apathetic toward 3D viewing no matter the content. Another 10 percent can’t see 3D because of visual impairments, but arguably up to half the audience for 3D content is put off by having to wear glasses." Dolby is among the stakeholders arguing that glasses simply won’t work in the home." via The Hollywood Reporter

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Innolux sales drop after ceasing touch display operations "In a statement issued on Friday, Innolux reported consolidated sales of NT$37.47 billion (US$1.25 billion) last month, down 8.4 percent from a month earlier and also down 5.2 percent from a year earlier. At an investor conference on May 9, Innolux said the termination of its touch display enhancement technology operations would cut its sales by about NT$5 billion during April and last month, but its gross margin would improve accordingly." via Taipei Times

Hon Hai Annoints Display Research Center In Japan "Hon Hai Precision Industry announced that it has established a research and development center in Japan to focus on display screens and touch panels. As a part of its diversification strategy, Hon Hai is reportedly expanding its businesses outside the OEM sector. The company has continued to invest in the display screen sector; in 2012, Hon Hai acquired a 38% stake in Sharp's Sakai TV panel factory." via China Tech News

New tactile display sends information through skin instead of eyes "Your sense of touch could be the next frontier in relaying valuable contextual information if new research currently being conducted at MIT proves successful. Researchers believe it may be possible to design wearable arrays of GPS-enabled vibration motors that provide simple navigational cues or detailed data through a kind of tactile Morse code. This could lead to non-visual haptic display technology — why not check your email without even opening your eyes?" via ExtremeTech

New Technology Creates Unbreakable Smartphone Display "The plastic substrate created by Professor Yoon and his research team have greatly enhanced needed properties of heat resistance, transparency, flexibility, inner chemical capability, and tensile strength. Although the material retains flexibility as a native advantage of plastic film, its tensile strength is three times greater than that of normal glass, which is a degree similar to tempered glass. In addition, Professor Yoon’s substrate is as colorless and transparent as glass and resists heat up to 450℃, while its thermal expansivity is only 10% to 20% of existing plastics." via PCB 007

How supersensitive screens get touch-y "Have you seen a diagram of a mobile phone display? It's a lot more than the cover glass you're worried about shattering when you drop your phone. There are layers that stack up to form the whole package, from the coated cover glass on top through filters, substrate glass, and screen material, like the LCD or OLED sheaves that actually turn pixels on and off to create the picture you see on the screen." via CNET

A Pleasure To Touch: Advanced Human Machine Interface Touchscreens For Vending "Engineers need to consider three key factors when looking to embed touch control into vending machines. 1. The specified touchscreen solution must be durable, as these pieces of equipment are designed for 24/7 public use. Furthermore, some venders may be deployed in a variety of environments, including outdoors, where they will be subjected to wind, moisture and extreme temperatures. As the machines may be located in lightly supervised areas, the chosen touchscreen should be resistant to deliberate harm from vandalism, in addition to accidental scratches from users' watches and jewelry." via Vending Times

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers “Killer Existence” " [Another] thing is that we’re going to see these interfaces that augment the user’s eyes, ears, and mind in such a way that it actually helps with their daily life instead of distracts them. Suppose you’re playing a video game or watching TV. Having something that actually shows you the TV guide or a second screen while you’re doing other things is really powerful." via MIT Technology Review

Developing 3D gesture-based car dashboards "One common aspect of the systems now emerging is that the touch screen head unit represents the nexus of an ever-growing diversity of input signals such as television and DVD, live video and graphics from advanced driver assistance systems, status information from various vehicle sensors, Bluetooth communications, GPS and mapping, and Internet content such as traffic updates, news feeds and social media notifications. User interface design is critical if drivers are to gain the maximum benefit from interacting with the system without suffering distractions or information overload. Considerations for designers extend beyond the layout and menu structure to encompass multiple ways of interacting with the system; touch, gesture and voice control will all be necessary, in addition to control using buttons on the console and steering wheel." via ElectronicsWeekly

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Saturday
May112013

Display Technology News Roundup 5.11.2013

Image via io9

Here's the Real Reason Why Virtual Reality Doesn't Work Yet "So, vision and self-motion will spark a little bit of place cell activity, but balance and other sensory cues are what's fully required to properly encode a rat’s — and likely a human's — position. Moreover, the researchers speculate that other cues — like smell, sound, and textures — are what's needed to help the rats properly self-locate themselves. But looking at the scans, the researchers realized that the only spatial encoding that was being done in VR was distance. It’s clear from the study, therefore, that a variety of sensory clues must interact and compete in the brain for us to construct a robust cognitive map." via i09

A liquid crystal force to reckon with "A need for fast, solution-based processing of organic electronic devices has sparked increased interest in ‘discotic’ or disc-shaped liquid crystals. These molecules, which contain a flat aromatic core surrounded by hydrocarbon side chains, can spontaneously pile into column-like structures that could be ideal for one-way charge transport. Research led by Takashi Kajitani and Takanori Fukushima from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute has now revealed a way to turn individual discotic columns into liquid crystal films with unprecedented hierarchical order in two dimensions ("Amphiphilic Design of a Discotic Liquid-Crystalline Molecule for Dipole Manipulation: Hierarchical Columnar Assemblies with a 2D Superlattice Structure").via Nanowerk

'Next' iPhone display production set to begin "A Japan-based report indicates that production of at least one key component for the next iPhone will begin next month. Sharp will begin volume production in June of the display "panel" for the "next" iPhone model at its Kameyama plant in Mie prefecture, according to a report in Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, a major Japanese industrial newspaper." via CNET

LG OLED Display: 'Unbreakable' Screen in Works for Apple and Google Phones "LG is shifting away from an unprofitable LCD business into OLEDs (organix light-emitting diodes), according to the Korea Times. "LG Display will produce an 'unbreakable OLED display' -- the first phase of flexible displays -- at our AP2 line of the 4.5th-generation plant in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. The move was aimed at taking a lead over rivals in the race for next-generation displays," Frank Lee, a spokesperson for LG said." via Latinos Post

Amazon's rumoured smartphone with 3D display is an awful idea "The first problem for Operation Hologram is there's no way it won't look completely cheesy. If they couldn't make Tupac look good at Coachella, there's no way in hell they'll make him look good on your phone. Doubt our word? Take a look at the glasses-free 3D screen on the Nintendo 3DS. It's the worst reading environment ever after reading in total darkness. If you're into headaches, fuzzy images, and being let down by technology, you're going to love a smartphone that pushes 3D to your already display-weary eyes." via Wired

Bluescape, the Touchscreen That Covers a Wall "According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working on a retina-tracking phone that produces 3D images. Those images would float above the display, allowing you to relive your Star Wars fantasy of saving Princess Leia. ...The global design director for office-furniture maker Haworth, in partnership with interactive display company Obscura Digital, has created a touchscreen that covers a conference-room wall. Like a supersize version of CNN’s (TWX) Magic Wall, Bluescape displays a unified image across 15 linked 55-inch flat-screen monitors, each equipped with 32 specialized sensors to read users’ hand movements. ..The big hurdle for Haworth will be getting the wall screen’s costs down. A decade of efforts by other companies to market an “iWall” have failed because of high prices, says Roger Kay, president of market researcher Endpoint Technologies Associates, who has not seen Haworth’s product. He cited Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) video collaboration and networking system Halo, sold to Polycom (PLCM) in 2011, as a similar tool hamstrung by cost. But “I love the technology,” Kay says of wall-screen designs, adding that they’re the only devices since the iPhone “that made me feel like there was a quantum leap forward.”" via Bloomberg Businessweek

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Korea launches touch screen industry forum to help domestic manufacturers grow worldwide "The Korean government has established a forum for touch screen manufacturers in the country, aimed at encouraging cooperation and boosting their global businesses. The move is part of the country’s wider goal to become the world’s second larger touch screen supplier by 2020. The organization was launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy today, as the Yonhap News Agency reports. Initial members include large firms like Samsung Display — a business owned by Samsung — and LG Display, in addition to some 120 small and medium touch screen manufacturers." via The Next Web

Inside the factory where Vertu assembles smartphones by hand "Vertu is one of the pioneers of using sapphire to cover its displays, a material which can only be cut with diamond tipped tools. While the screens are prepared offsite, Vertu bonds the sapphire glass to the display at its factory following 48 hours of polishing, a process unique in the industry. They’re bonded in a class 7 clean room, where the staff are clothed in hooded protective gear and the air is extracted through a system built into the windows. If you’re wondering just how clean the room is, class 7 is one step down from being suitable for surgery." via Digital Trends

Revolutionary display technology can lift the ban on digital billboards "Miortech introduces color displays that reflect sunlight, just like paper, with environmental benefits such as low power consumption and reduced light pollution overcoming the disadvantages of LED billboards. Miortech established Etulipa as a subsidiary to bring its electrowetting display technology (EWD) into the digital signage space. CEO Hans Feil states: "We can now demonstrate full color reflective displays with the same approach as in digital printing: the so-called CMY-technology. The positive feedback on our demos, which performed under different light conditions including bright sunlight, pointed us into the direction of the digital billboard applications. We found that advertisers and billboard owners are extremely keen to enable more digital boards. This technology allows for instantaneous creative updates and the ability to respond in real-time to current events and market conditions". The next step is to build a demo-digital billboard to prove our claims to advertisers and billboard owners." via EMSNow

Diamond Pixels: Galaxy S4’s unique subpixel arrangement gets a close up "This is still a PenTile arrangement – there are twice as many green subpixels as blue and red ones. However, at this resolution and pixel density, the drawbacks of PenTile arrangements are very hard to notice. For a primer on the difference between PenTile and the “regular” RGB displays, check out our Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Note 2 comparison. According to Soneira, Samsung dubbed this novel subpixel arrangement Diamond Pixel, which is a bit misleading, considering that the subpixels (the “dots” of color that make up one pixel) are the ones that are actually diamond-shaped. Samsung probably wanted to distance this new layout from PenTile, which has often been the target of critics due to the “fuzziness” it shows around text and other fine graphics." via Android Authority

MIT tech turns any surface into a user interface "The interface-everywhere zeitgeist highlights the increasingly schizophrenic relationship between display and viewer: do we want greater usability and convenience, or do we want greater resolution and picture fidelity? As relatively low-fi displays like e-ink gain traction in everyday life, the role of the monitor will look increasingly like that of the television. Why consume Facebook the same way as Game of Thrones — does a wall post require such detail? And if a low-res display clamped against your temple can put a friend’s latest tweet next to their face as you speak to them, we might begin to wonder why we ever believed that a huge desktop screen was a good way to handle our increasingly endless digital chores in the first place." via ExtremeTech

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Garmin's Glass Cockpit "Information is displayed on the center touchscreen, as well as between the speedometer and tach. If one display goes down, the other will still function, reflecting Garmin's aviation-oriented redundancy mentality. A future head-up display is being designed into K2, as well. Interestingly, the touchscreen doesn't incorporate haptic feedback. Garmin argues it's not particularly effective and said the screens suffer unacceptable response lags. There will also be some analog technology set below the display. "In K2, we didn't put everything into the touch panel," product manager Kip Dondlinger says. "I'm still a strong believer in volume and temperature knobs and some preset buttons."" via Autoweek

Why Corning Isn't Scared of Sapphire As Disruptive Threat To Gorilla Glass "It turns out that Corning isn't scared of sapphire. The glass specialist has conducted a number of in-house tests to see how sapphire stacks up with its latest Gorilla Glass 3, with its own product coming out on top. The study involves placing two devices -- one covered in sapphire and another sporting Gorilla Glass -- into a spinning container full of everyday objects. After a 45-minute twirl, both materials are subjected to a ring-on-ring strength test that applies pressure. Corning says that Gorilla Glass withstands more than 2.5 times as much force." via The Motley Fool

Finger-free phones, full body gesturing, and our “touchscreen” future "Understatement of the century: touchscreen technology evolved at a rapid pace in the past decade. In the days of Y2K, Palm Pilots were a big deal. Five years ago? The iPhone debuted and the corresponding touchscreen explosion hasn't slowed up since. Today we're at a point where we think we understand how all the innovations in touch technology can fit into our future. But based on these last few years, good luck. Did anyone see the tablet-craze coming? The locomotive of technological innovation has yet to be derailed, but it’s come to a point where we must find particular uses and integrations for all of these advancements. Looking at how companies like Microsoft and Samsung are approaching the future of touchscreen technology may be the surest clues we can get. " via Ars Technica

Flexible smartphone curls up when it gets a call "The MorePhone is a very acrobatic smartphone. It's made with a flexible display and shape memory alloy wires. When a call comes in, it activates the wires and causes the whole phone to curl up. It's an unmistakeable visual cue that you've got someone on the line. The curling smartphone was developed by researchers at Queen's University Human Media Lab in Canada. The thin electrophoretic display that makes the movement possible was manufactured by Plastic Logic, a company specializing in plastic electronics. The alloy wires can trigger the phone to curl up at all corners, or to curl back individual corners to indicate different events, like an incoming text message or e-mail." via CNET

Frog Predicts: Flexible Displays Will Soon Change The World "As screens are reshaped, so will our experience of information. Rolston likens our tiny screens to “discrete pods of data,” whereas curved displays will break many of the natural barriers imposed by bezels. Imagine a recipe that doesn’t just appear on your wall or countertop, but can actually follow you around your kitchen, snaking its way into the nooks around faucets and refrigerator handles and presenting the pertinent information right where you need it (how many cups of water was that again? What should I be grabbing from the fridge?)." via Fast Co.DESIGN

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Why Samsung and Intel bet big on a startup that searches every word you say "But why are three very different kinds of companies — an electronics manufacturer, chip maker, and telecom giant — all so interested in this little startup? For Samsung, the maker of the Siri clone S Voice and a company with a reputation for stuffing as many disparate software features into its gadgets as it possibly can, the answer is obvious. "Samsung imagines a world not too long from now where there is a flat-screen in every room. You might have a phone or tablet they built on you, but Samsung will also have a screen in your wall or on your refrigerator," says Tuttle. "They are interested in technology that can use voice commands as an input, that can listen to a conversation and provide answers without needing to be asked."" via The Verge

The Wacky World of OLEDs "If we ever get large OLEDs right — that is, if we learn how to print the front plane; use IGZO or graphene or carbon nanotubes for the backplane; develop flexible and reliable moisture and oxygen barriers; and fabricate reliable displays via roll-to-roll processing with high manufacturing yield — there will no longer be much reason to bother with either LCDs or plasma display panels. That goal continues to inspire investment, but it continues to be very, very elusive." via Display Central

The future of 'green' screens in digital signage "With LED backlighting, for example, the backlight stays true longer and degrades in performance more slowly than a CCFL backlight, Karnani said. "So it's not that it's just an environmental initiative, there's also an improvement to the actual display from the customer's standpoint, so I would say that ends up being really a win-win," she said. "Reduced total cost of ownership absolutely goes right to the ROI for the investment; it is not only environmentally friendly, it's a better product and you're going to save money."" via Digital Signage Today

3D Computer Vision Short Course at Display Week "The course explores key elements of vision including visual perception and the human visual system (seeing vs. perceiving). Bhowmik then delves into Image formation and capture including both 2D and 3D techniques that look at four cases including single and stereo view plus 3D imaging with structured light and time of flight. He next turns to the algorithms dealing with inference and recognition (the math) and leading-edge techniques that include the importance of edge detection and why. Bhowmik shows the calculus that helps identify the edge by displaying the image as an “image intensity function” and characterizing (finding) the edge as the place of rapid change along the horizontal scan line (first derivative) citing the work of John Carry at the MIT A.I. Lab, calling it “…the most widely used edge detector in computer vision today.”" via Display Central

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Wednesday
May012013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.30.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

An elastic touchscreen into which you can literally sink your fingers "The stretchable touchscreen, dubbed Obake, was created by Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley, both of MIT’s Media Lab. The touchscreen basically amounts to an interactive display on top of an elastic surface. When you poke or pull at the display, depth cameras measure your movements and tell linear actuators to manipulate the elastic surface accordingly. So, if you make a pinch-and-pull motion, the depth cameras will measure it, then the linear actuators will make elastic stretch and protrude in such a way as if you’re pulling it. The surface doesn’t just create little mountains of stretched elastic; it can also create resistance if you, for example, push inward rather than pull outward." via ExtremeTech

The American Display Company That Samsung Relies On For Success "When the S4 launches this month it will have a new generation of clarity in the display, one that iPhone lovers might envy. It will be thinner. And the battery life will be extended by about 20%, even with the high definition screen. It’s about to become a better phone. The reason for this is US technology. At least that is one important reason. Technology that gives the Galaxy S4 a better screen but also longer battery life and the thinner form factor. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 relies on materials and patents from New Jersey-based Universal Display Corporation. Without Universal there would be no efficient, thin, beautiful OLED display for the S4. But Universal’s relationship with Samsung goes back through the whole Galaxy line. And it stretches far into the future." via Forbes

High-tech specs: Electronic eyeglasses offer wearers more control ""It totally removes the corridor of traditional progressive lenses," he said. "So it makes your reading seem like you're reading through single vision lenses. [It's the] same with the computer use, so instead of relying on a little corridor and adjusting your head, you can use the whole lens to see distance, intermediate and up close, so it really enhances the comfort." ...He compared the technology of the touch sensor to that of a smart phone. The eyeglasses have "a microchip, composite lenses with a thin transparent LCD-like layer, miniature rechargeable batteries and a micro-machine accelerometer to detect tilt," according to a press release. "The microchip, micro-accelerometer and miniature batteries are hidden inside the [eyeglass frame]. The transparent liquid crystal layer in each lens is able to electronically activate the reading portion when the wearer needs it."" via The Altoona Mirror

World's first smartphone for the blind "The smartphone uses Shape Memory Alloy technology, based on the concept that metals remember their original shapes, i.e. expand and contract to its original shape after use. The phone's 'screen' has a grid of pins, which move up and down as per requirement. The grid has a Braille display, where pins come up to represent a character or letter. This screen will be capable of elevating and depressing the contents to form patterns in Braille." via The Times of India

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

This Bobbing Display Lets You Read While Running On A Treadmill "Instead of simply enlarging the text to make it easier to read or relying on oversized monitors, ReadingMate allows a treadmill user to read normal-size text on a small monitor mounted in front of the machine. The system relies on infrared lights embedded in special goggles that are tracked by an infrared camera positioned in front of the runner. As the user’s head moves vertically, the system moves the text accordingly. ...In addition to letting treadmill users catch up on some reading while burning some calories, the researchers say ReadingMate could also find aviation, construction and transportation applications. Not to allow drivers and pilots to enjoy a good book while on the job, but to stabilize information displayed on screen while experiencing heavy shaking or turbulence." via Gizmag

A Simple Way to Turn Any LCD into a Touch Screen "A group of researchers from the University of Washington’s Ubiquitous Computing Lab developed a method called uTouch that uses a simple sensor and software to turn an ordinary LCD into a touch screen display. The system takes advantage of the low levels of electromagnetic interference produced by many consumer electronics, harnessing it to do things like control video playback with pokes and motions on an otherwise noninteractive screen. “All these devices around you have all these signals coming out of them, and we ignore them because we think they’re noise,” says Sidhant Gupta, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington’s Ubiquitous Computing Lab and one of the co-authors of the paper." via MIT Technology Review

Are touchscreens right for all equipment? "“With touch, you lose tactile feedback. With traditional controls a person using the instrument can continue to use the equipment without having to stare at it,” says Siegel. This is true of much research equipment, which requires simultaneous fine-tuning of several pieces of equipment at once. Sometimes functions available in one section of an application on a touchscreen are difficult to access from another section. This could be one reason TI has not seen a widespread adoption of touchscreen technology in the scientific research space. Siegel speculates that the consumer market usually sets the trend, and popular capacitive touchscreens are general overkill for research instruments." via R&D Magazine

U.S. Seeks Voluntary Limits On Car Touchscreens "The new guidelines limit simple tasks to two seconds. They also restrict the time allowed for complex tasks to 12 seconds, but do not limit the number of times a driver can touch a screen. The decision on whether a screen would freeze or shut down after 12 seconds would be left to automakers based on their own research, NHTSA said. The auto industry’s current guidelines, which are a decade old, allow drivers to read text and perform other more complex tasks while cars are moving at less than 5 mph, Strickland said. Systems now are designed so multiple-step tasks take 10 or fewer screen touches for a total of 20 seconds with a driver’s eyes off the road. But the devices won’t turn off or stop a driver from doing something that takes longer than 20 seconds." via CBS DFW

Prototype could revive glasses-free 3D displays "Dolby says they have now developed a system that encodes a 3D image stream and can decode it in real time to produce 3D without the need for glasses on "any 3D TV, tablet, laptop or smartphone" with sufficient resolution. The design requires adding a sheet of plastic with undulations that deflect light at 26 different angles simultaneously, offering effective 3D views from a wide range of angles. Because resolution is lost as an image is split and sent in different directions, the underlying display must be four times the resolution of HD television. Such displays are expensive, but they are becoming available, so 3D may yet have a future." via New Scientist

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Why Don't We Have Holodecks? "Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago recently created Cave2, the highest-resolution immersive panel display in existence. The cave is made up of 72 3D LCD panels arranged in a 320-degree shape. A special pair of glasses with tracking dots on them helps the computer know in which direction you're looking so it can adjust the images to fit your perspective. You can also use a wand, covered with sensors, to interact with the 3D objects around you. For now, the system is used for high-resolution medical-image viewing. It's cool but probably won't be in your living room anytime soon. What about recreational holodecks? Nathan Burba, director of Project Holodeck (which is exactly what it sounds like), told PM that cost has been a big issue until recently. "I would say that the technology has obviously been limited," he says. "The display technology has been locked away in military research, and there's a lack of innovation there because of the stringent requirements put on researchers."via Popular Mechanics

Google Glass is finally here: Tech specs released, first units shipped "According to the spec sheet, Google Glass will offer one full day of battery life for normal usage, but features like Hangouts and video recording will expend the battery faster. Google recommends recharging the kit with with the Micro USB cable and charger it supplies with Glass. The display resolution is the "equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away", but Google is being no more specific than that. " via ZDNet

LG Rolling Out Curved OLED TVs in South Korean Market "Why curved? The idea is to offer to an IMAX-like experience in the home. A curved display also eliminates the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail since the entire surface is equidistant from the viewer's eyes, LG says. The curved TV itself is just 4.3 millimeters (0.17 inches) thin and weighs 37.48 pounds. It uses proprietary WRGB technology and a four-color pixel system that features a white-sub pixel in addition to red, blue, and green." via HotHardware

Japan Display turns to smaller smartphone makers "Japan Display, the world's No.1 maker of small to mid-size panels, may increase sales to as much as 800 billion yen ($8.10 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 2014 from slightly below 500 billion yen a year earlier, said Shuichi Otsuka, CEO of the unlisted firm. The company, formed out of a merger of the small panel divisions of Sony Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp last April, does not publicly identify its clients but is widely known as a key Apple supplier. Apple undershot Wall Street's sales forecast for the third straight quarter in the three months ended December after iPhone sales missed expectations." via Yahoo! News

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Future of Computer Human Interaction on display at Paris conference "The future of computing comes to Paris this week with the annual Computer Human Interaction (CHI) conference, which showcases new approaches to the way users connect with electronics. ...One of the big draws at the conference is the “interactivity” section, which is like a mini trade show of futuristic prototypes that attendees can try out for themselves. Gone are the days of just keyboards and mice. “We’re seeing things that go much further into the future,” Baudisch said." via PCWorld

How today’s touchscreen tech put the world at our fingertips "Because it's so different from mouse-and-keyboard-driven and stylus-driven software, touch-driven software has also transformed the hardware it runs on. Most smartphones include just a few physical buttons: power, volume, a mute switch, and the home button. Using a touchscreen as the primary input obviated the need for things like a hardware number pad or keyboard, since the screen could dynamically become whatever it needed to be. Software keyboards have become even more context-sensitive over time, adding things like a ".com" button when typing in a URL field." via Ars Technica

Aggressively combat noise in capacitive touch applications "Today, thin is in. The push to make aggressively thin form factors for touchscreen devices, especially mobile phones, creates a two-fold problem: more noise coupled into the sensor from the display and a higher parasitic capacitance of the sensor. Displays generate noise that is much lower amplitude when compared with charger noise, but they can have a huge impact on touch performance due to their close proximity to the touch sensor. While AMOLED displays are very quiet (but more expensive than LCDs), the majority of the market today is still the noisier ACVCOM and DCVCOM-type LCD displays. It is the VCOM layer, the common electrode, of these displays that is the source of their noise." via EDN

Fujitsu Laboratories New Touch-based Interface Marries Analog & Digital "Transform boring, poorly stapled business plans, press releases, marketing materials and other old fashioned paper artifacts to life using Fujitsu Laboratories’ touchscreen interface that can animate and bring a whole new dimension to real world objects. ...This amazing touchscreen interface is also non-biased and can adjust color and brightness, and skin color accordingly so that it isn’t influenced by external or environment circumstances. In addition, if you don’t want to operate the device by touch alone, you can also manipulate the sensors with gesture controls — you can explore three dimensional objects with the simple movement of your fist to get a full 360-degree view." via Gadizmo

Samsung Demos a Tablet Controlled by Your Brain "The concept of a dry EEG is not new, and it can carry the drawback of lower signal quality, but Jafari says his group is improving the system’s processing of brain signals. Ultimately, if reliable EEG contacts were convenient to use and slimmed down, a brain-controlled device could look like “a cap that people wear all day long,” says Jafari." via MIT Technology Review

Advances in capacitive touchscreen for mobiles "First, it is critical for designers to understand the underlying construction of a touchscreen system to be able to understand how technology changes are remaking this segment. The key components in a touch system include the coverlens, sensor, LCD, and PCB. The coverlens is the outward facing component of the product. This is where the consumer interacts with the screen. In some products, this coverlens could simply be a protective cover to prevent scratching and damage, or it can actually be part of the touch sensing system itself." via EET Asia

'Interactive Fish Tank' turns water into a capacitive touchscreen "Once it makes contact with the surface, Donoso explains, a finger "acts in the same way as touching a button on an iPhone or any other touch screen." Indeed, in substituting glass for water, Donoso and Moore present a different, and perhaps more accessible way to understand how capacitive touch works on traditional displays. The underlying principle is the same: a user's touch elicits some change in the surface at the point of contact, and the software reacts accordingly. Whereas smartphone displays gauge this change in terms of electric charge, "Fish Tank" measures it in ripples." via The Verge

Discomfort and fatigue from stereo 3D displays "In stereoscopic displays, images have varying binocular disparity thereby stimulating changes in vergence as happens in natural viewing. But the accommodative distance remains fixed at the display distance, so the natural correlation between vergence and accommodative distance is disrupted, leading to the so-called vergence–accommodation conflict. The conflict causes several problems. First, differing disparity and focus information cause perceptual distortions. Second, viewers experience difficulties in simultaneously fusing and focusing a stimulus. Finally, attempting to adjust vergence and accommodation separately causes visual discomfort and fatigue in viewers." via SPIE

Shapeshifters: phones of the future could morph on demand "The six working prototypes, known as "Morphees," are thin, electronic displays capable of automatically changing shape to perform certain functions. Researchers say that if brought to market, the devices could usher in a new era in mobile computing, breaking down the physical barriers that have traditionally defined smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles." via The Verge

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