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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

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

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

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

Wednesday
Jul162014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.16.2014

Image via LG Display

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Jul012014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.1.2014

Image via Worry Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
May312014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.31.2014

Image via Wired

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
May062014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.6.2014

Image via Cypress Semiconductor / Electronics Weekly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Feb092014

Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2014

Image via Macworld

Why doesn't Apple does make a touchscreen MacBook? "The appointment of Craig Federighi as the leader of all of Apple’s software efforts could have been seen as a sign of that merger, but Federighi himself is adamant that the Mac will always be true to itself. “The reason OS X has a different interface than iOS isn’t because one came after the other or because this one’s old and this one’s new,” Federighi said. Instead, it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. “This device,” Federighi said, pointing at a MacBook Air screen, “has been honed over 30 years to be optimal” for keyboards and mice. Schiller and Federighi both made clear that Apple believes that competitors who try to attach a touchscreen to a PC or a clamshell keyboard onto a tablet are barking up the wrong tree. “It’s obvious and easy enough to slap a touchscreen on a piece of hardware, but is that a good experience?” Federighi said. “We believe, no.”" via Macworld

Will Your Next TV Be An LCD? Not If This Startup Has Its Way "Kateeva, which has 68 employees on board after acquiring OLED Plus in Korea today, has some intriguing technology that could change the game — and level the playing field at the same time. ...To date, all the OLEDs you’ve seen — whether on your Samsung phone, or one of the high-priced TVs — have been made using an expensive, wasteful, sloppy process. The OLED material is vaporized and then winds up on the screen once it re-forms into a solid. Merck, which supplies the chemicals that form the OLED material, believes this method has a dim future: “OLED production based on chemical vapor deposition can hardly be cost competitive to LCD,” it said in a recent presentation on the topic." via Forbes

Why Are Automotive LCD Instrument Panels On the Rise? "With drivers becoming increasingly inundated by technology in the dashboard, the focus for automotive designers and engineers has primarily been on the "center stack" of the interior, where primary screens and controls typically reside. But as LCDs are added to—and even take over—the instrument panel (IP) and displace analog gauges, some of the coolest innovations are happening right under drivers' noses — and appearing in lower-priced cars. ...The reason for this IP innovation is that drivers are being asked to process more information while behind the wheel, and automakers and their suppliers are tasked with presenting it in a way that doesn't divert attention away from the road." via PC Mag

Will New OTFTs Revolutionize Flexible Display Technology? "Adding to the growing list of companies or research firms that are exploring the technology, the UK-based Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) recently showed off its new backplane fabrication process that will allow organic thin film transistors (OTFT) arrays to be bent up to a radius of 1mm without showing any significant reduction in performance. As the technology advances, the OTFT arrays could potentially be integrated into foldable, ultra-flexible AMOLED backplanes. This in turn could open the door to all sorts of new types of flexible and foldable devices." via Android Authority

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

Are AMOLED displays at risk of burn-in? "The problem is the “O” in the AMOLED acronym, which stands for “organic”. The organic compounds used in AMOLED displays are polymers or copolymers, such as polyfluorene (PFO) and polyphenylene vinylene (PPV), both of which degrade with use. This is partly due to the fact that the chemistry involved in creating the electroluminescence is irreversible, so the luminous pixels degrade as they’re used up, like a battery. These organic materials tend to crystallise, too – an effect that is exacerbated at higher temperatures. That’s something to bear in mind the next time your phone becomes warm while you’re playing a game or watching a video." via PC Pro

Will Chinese display panel manaufacturers pose a threat to Taiwan manufacturers? "Taiwanese flat-panel makers could see their position in China threatened by local rivals by 2016, when Chinese firms are expected to begin mass producing next-generation products, a local market researcher predicted on Wednesday. Mass production of panels started at two advanced Chinese plants in the third quarter of 2011, and four others are expected to catch up by 2016, moving China forward in the panel industry, according to Delux Chen, a flat-panel industry analyst at the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA)." via Want China Times

Taiwan's TAITRA looking for next big thing in display panel sector "Most notably, TAITRA Chairman Wang Chih-kang [in January] urged Taiwan's display panel makers to ramp up efforts toward innovating new products and developing new technologies amid heightened competition from mainland China. China last year imported about US$4.5 billion worth of display panels from Taiwan, said Wang. With production capacity growing rapidly across the strait, and increased efforts from South Korean competitors in the China market, the industry may not be able to expect procurement to continue at volumes seen in previous years, Wang said. “While Taiwan still retains a lead in display technologies, innovation remains the only path for the sector's survival,” said Wang, while also urging structural reform across industries and further deregulation of Taiwan's market." via The China Post

F-35 Test Pilots Will Begin Flying “Gen” Helmet Display "Getting the HMDS right is a serious issue because the F-35, the DOD’s costliest weapons program, was designed without a pilot’s heads-up display, a feature that is common to fourth-generation fighters. In September 2011, F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (Stand CS02) awarded a contract to BAE Systems (Stand U67) to develop an alternate HMDS with detachable night-vision goggles (NVGs) as a fallback system in the event VSI failed to resolve issues with the chosen helmet-mounted display." via AIN Online

Can New HMI alternatives improve operations and cut costs? "The fewer moving parts of multitouch tablets make them a better choice for workers who visit dusty, wet, and corrosive environments. Industrial tablets have the durability required for these areas, and many can be operated while wearing gloves. Furthermore, they can improve worker safety through the creation of commands that cannot be performed unless both hands are on the screen. Although it is unlikely that businesses are going to swap their functioning screens for new multitouch ones, it is highly probable they will replace worn-out screens with multitouch capability as the price for these devices drops. Multitouch functionality is also expected to become more ubiquitous due to the integrated support for the technology in new Windows operating systems. Eventually, all screens will likely have multitouch capability, so it is smart to select an HMI package that supports it." via InTech

Will OLET Slowly Encroach OLED Market? "The South Korean display industry has come out on top in LCD and OLED, becoming the envy of the world. Yet, Professor Lee Sin-doo is already making preparations for the future, refusing to sit on his laurels. What he is currently keen on is an organic light-emitting transistor (OLET). In contract to OLED that has two electrodes (the cathode and anode), OLET, a new light-emission concept, comes with three electrodes, giving it a competitive edge over OLED. OLET uses network electrodes, so it can emit light in the same structure without being affected by the type of substrates. The centerpiece of OLET lies with addressing OLED’s shortcomings. The supply of light though vertical-type organic transistors can solve OLED’s problems, so OLET will soon take over from OLED." via Korea IT Times

Will Wearable Tech Change the Smartphone as You Know It? "CA Technologies CTO John Michelsen thinks that if wearable technology does replace the smartphone, next-generation display technology will need to play a key role. "It depends on the visual technology. It's the display," Michelsen says. "What am I going to do when someone emails me an Excel file and I need to do a quick review and respond? The smartphone is barely viable as it is. If we can get display tech that lets me hit a button for a display, I think the cell phone goes away."" via CIO

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How the Avegant Glyph's virtual retinal display mesmerizes "Unlike most headset displays that are built around a small digital screen, the Glyph creates an image by reflecting a low-powered color LED onto an array of two million tiny mirrors. The micromirrors shape the light into a two-dimensional image, which is then beamed straight onto the wearer's retina – hence why they're referring to it as a "virtual retinal display." Since you aren't looking directly at the light source, the image comes off as more true-to-life and, according to the designers, reduces eye fatigue." via Gizmag

How display technology based on EYEBALLS makes devices more readable "Phones typically have a light sensor which ramps the backlight up and down based on the ambient light conditions. This is a limited solution, however, as daylight can be fifty times brighter than indoor lighting. The human eye copes with this well; transmissive technologies like LCD and OLED can't. Apical's technology counters this by modifying the image, pixel by pixel, based on the ambient light, the direction of the light and the estimated viewing angle. By increasing the contrast with this "assertive" display they can keep the image on your device readable as you move from indoors to outdoors." via The Register

Japan Display announces mass production of Memory-In-Pixel reflective-type LCD module "Since the MIP structure can keep screen images in the static random access memory transistor fabricated in each sub-pixel, in the case of still images, once data is written it is kept, and ultra-low power consumption is achieved. The new scattering layer optimizes the panel’s optical design, and enables a near paper-like display. Since the display consumes very little electricity it is suitable for ultra-low power applications, like wearable devices, which are not recharged for long periods of time. " via Fareastgizmos

How a new transparent display system could provide heads-up data "Many current “heads-up” display systems use a mirror or beam-splitter to project an image directly into the user’s eyes, making it appear that the display is hovering in space somewhere in front of him. But such systems are extremely limited in their angle of view: The eyes must be in exactly the right position in order to see the image at all. ...The secret to the new system [from MIT researchers]: Nanoparticles are embedded in the transparent material. These tiny particles can be tuned to scatter only certain wavelengths, or colors, or light, while letting all the rest pass right through. That means the glass remains transparent enough to see colors and shapes clearly through it, while a single-color display is clearly visible on the glass." via MIT

How to make your gloves touchscreen capable "Our favorite method, however, is also the easiest, as it involves using a product made specifically for this job, Any Glove. A liquid material that you squeeze out onto your glove and let dry, Any Glove works on most materials, including fleece, knits, and synthetic suede. A separate solution is available for leather. And it doesn’t wash off when you wash your gloves. Any Glove has also earned approval for use on combat gloves by the U.S. Armed Services, so, you know, it’s got that going for it." via TechHive

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

How an HMI Can Make a Good Machine Better "The company wanted to upgrade its product line of smart roasters with a new human machine interface (HMI) that would take operator productivity, connectivity and efficiency to the next level of operational excellence. “The touch panel interface is the key point of contact for the roaster operator,” said Ludwig, and improving the interaction and control of roasters by adding advanced functionality and remote monitoring capabilities would help customers meet key performance indicator (KPI) metrics and goals." via AutomationWorld

How this 3D holographic display makes Star Wars a reality "The technology behind the Voxiebox is much simpler than it would seem. The device contains a projector that beams an image up onto a screen, which in turn vibrates up and down at a rapid speed. The rapid vibration allows the image to appear as though it’s a 3D asset. If that’s tough to picture, think of it as similar to those light trail pictures that frequently pop up on social networks. You can circle around the Voxiebox and the image quality never wavers or fades out of view. The only way the image will disappear is if you look at the display’s base head-on; you’re supposed to look at it from an overhead angle similar to the camera orientation in games like Diablo." via ExtremeTech

What are the technical merits of the pixel density race? "If there is any single number that people point to for resolution, it is the 1 arcminute value that Apple uses to indicate a “Retina Display”. This number corresponds to around 300 PPI for a display that is at 10-12 inches from the eye. In other words, this is about 60 pixels per degree (PPD). Pixels per degree is a way accounting for both distance from the display and the resolution of the display, which means that all the information here is not limited to smartphone displays, and applies universally to any type of display. While this is a generally reasonable value to work with, the complexity of the human eye and the brain in regards to image perception makes such a number rather nebulous." via AnandTech

Can Malware Log Touchscreen Swipes To Record Your PIN? "Recording touch screen coordinates “has a certain value in itself,” Hindocha says. “If you’re monitoring all touch events and the phone hasn’t been touched for at least one hour, then you get a minimum of four touch events, you can assume that is a PIN code being entered.” “The more interesting thing is, if you get a screenshot and then overlay the touch events, you’re looking at a screenshot of what the user is seeing, combined with dots, sequentially, where the user is touching the screen.”" via Forbes

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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

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

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

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Tuesday
Sep102013

Display Technology News Roundup 9.10.2013

Image via Qualcomm

Qualcomm Toq: The Anti-Galaxy Gear Smartwatch "Qualcomm has been working on its Mirasol technology for years. To date, it hasn't been very successful in winning adoption of the low-power screen tech. The Toq could change that. The Toq is probably the highest profile proof-of-concept Qualcomm could have created to show off its mobile screen cred. Thanks to the screen technology, Qualcomm says the Toq can go several days between charges." via InformationWeek

Research of highly rugged and lightweight liquid crystal displays "Together with national and international industry partners, scientists at the University of Stuttgart have started the development of very robust and extremely lightweight displays within the research project LiCRA. Instead of common glass substrates these displays are based on plastic foils what makes them flexible. The overall market for rugged displays is estimated to a total of seven billion (milliard) US$ until 2015." via Printed Electronics World

A Faster Liquid Crystal "The brightness of a pixel in a typical flat screen display is regulated by an electric field that controls the orientations of molecules of a liquid crystal. In Physical Review Letters, researchers report a much faster way of using the field to change the state of the molecules and alter the light transmission. Although the measured effect is small, it is thousands of times faster than the conventional technique and might be increased enough to allow new design options for displays." via APS Physics

LG Display Develops World’s First Intel® WiDi Enabled LCD Panel for Monitors "LG Display succeeded in developing a panel that provides Intel® WiDi solution by building in a key chipset directly into the LCD module. With this cutting-edge LCD panel embedded with Intel® WiDi solution, LG Display enables users to enjoy quality images with an easy and convenient access to Intel® WiDi technology without the use of additional devices, as well as facilitate OEMs and monitor makers nimbly and cost-effectively adopt this advanced technology." via LG Display Newsroom

Taiwanese take early lead in UHD LCD-TV panel market ""Most television brands are counting on UHD sets-with their astounding 3,840 by 2,160 resolution-to rejuvenate sales," said Sweta Dash, senior director, display research and strategy for IHS. "That's why the Taiwanese suppliers are focusing heavily on meeting early demand for UHD LCD panels. Meanwhile, South Korean suppliers LGD and Samsung have turned their attention to a different technology: the active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) panel, which they believe represents the next generation of television."" via CIOL

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Apple bucks the PC OEM trend and increases demand for LCD panels "In real terms, panel shipments in July totaled 14.9 million units, down from 19.3 million during the same month in 2012, claims a new report by IHS. ...Of the top panel buyers only one company increased demand, and that was Apple. According to IHS, the Cupertino company increased panel demand in order to be able to keep up with demand for the MacBook Air." via ZDNet

Gesture-based UI boosts proximity sensor market ""The Galaxy S4 from Samsung Electronics represented the first major push towards gesture interface capability in a handset when the smartphone was released this year," said Marwan Boustany, senior analyst, MEMS & Sensors, for IHS. "This is a step that others in the industry are likely to follow, thanks to the rising availability of gesture solutions from suppliers like U.S.-based Maxim Integrated Products and soon from both Japan's Sharp and Taiwan-based Capella Microsystems."" via EET India

Challenges involved in modernising an aircraft's avionics suite "For example, two H-model C-130 Hercules aircraft, originally built in the 1970s, and two stretch variants built in the 1990s, recently underwent extensive avionics modifications in Cambridge. At the heart of the programme was the installation of a Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) compliant Flight Management System (FMS) and display and surveillance systems. The display system consists of six flat panel displays which incorporate the functionality of the many original electromechanical displays and the surveillance systems, including Enhanced Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (ETCAS - which is mandatory for aircraft entering controlled airspace) and an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. However, the aircrafts' original analogue autopilot systems had to remain, which meant employing signal converters so that old could interface with new." via New Electronics

Implications of passive stylus on large capacitive touchscreens "Passive stylus detection is a complex problem for touch engineers, with the root of the problem being the stylus paradox. The stylus paradox is that the signal profile for a passive stylus is several times smaller than that of a normal touch inut, but the fine point of the stylus makes the user believe that it will be more accurate. Accuracy and linearity are proportionally related to the signal to noise ratio of the system." via EDN

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Two new features for electrophoretic displays? "The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite will be the first product to incorporate Carta displays. Compared to Pearl, Carta promises higher reflectance and better contrast. What attracted my attention however was something that went completely unnoticed: on the specification sheet, E Ink now says an image update can be done in only 120 milliseconds." via Printed Electronics World

Researchers explore haptic technology beyond touchscreens "One of the critical challenges in developing touch systems is that the sensation is not one thing. It can involve the feeling of physical contact, force or pressure, hot and cold, texture and deformation, moisture or dryness, and pain or itching. "It makes it very difficult to fully record and reproduce the sense of touch," said Wang. As noted in the article, there has been significant progress on the development of flexible and sensitive pressure sensors, as well as tactile feedback displays for specific applications such as for remote palpation that could be used during laparoscopic surgery." Phys.org

When do interactive touchscreen displays make sense in the newsroom? "What most newsroom touch installations lack, is a clear vision of how this technology can be important for their audience. In many cases, engineers seem to have simply transitioned traditional on-air graphics onto a touch screen. Instead of some off-camera person triggering graphics on cue, the host triggers the graphics by touching points on the display. This can be pointless or profound depending on how it is implemented." via CGW

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World-first smart fabric screen-printed electroluminescent watch display "The watch display is printed directly on to fabric to achieve the world’s first printed smart-fabric watch. The watch is printed layer by layer using screen-printable pastes with electronic functionality such as conduction, insulation and electroluminescence. The electroluminescent displays were printed by Marc using the thick-film printing facilities in the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre cleanroom." via University of Southampton

The LG G Pad will use GF2 display technology "One of the first manufacturers to use a film-based touch panel was Apple, on the iPad mini. According to the WSJ, the same tech will allow the Cupertino company to make the iPad 5 lighter and thinner than previous generations. If this report from Korea Herald is accurate, LG will benefit from the same advantages by using a GF2 film-based panel on the G Pad." via Android Authority

EU Adjusts Tariff On Flat Panel Displays "At present, a duty rate is applied on imports of flat panel displays not used exclusively for automatic data-processing (ADP). The reform will mean that displays using signals from ADP machines will be able to receive duty free treatment on an autonomous basis." via Tax-News

Optical touchscreens benefit from compact, high-power infrared LEDs "Optical solutions are now on the march, particularly for large displays. Their benefit lies in the excellent image quality because they do not need any special coatings that absorb a certain percentage of the backlighting. They can detect any type of pointer or stylus and even fingers in gloves because they are not reliant on the conductivity of these objects. Optical designs are also not at all sensitive to scratches and, depending on the power of the emitters, can be used for any size of screen." via LEDs Magazine

'Fake skin' computer touchscreen may aid cancer diagnoses "Ms Jess Tsimeris, of Bruce, is working with electromagnetic forces, using magnets to raise and lower soft latex surfaces. She has created soft touch surface with lumps that can be moved around and made firmer, or less firm. ...Supervisor Tom Gedeon said research in the field could also lead to more secure key pads at ATMS, using a squishy surface where a user was identified by how hard they pushed." via Canberra Times

Elon Musk demonstrates Iron Man style fabrication interface "Armed with a Leap Motion controller and few of today's mainstay 3D display technologies, Musk really has created something that roughly resemble's the interactive displays in Iron Man — though it admittedly looks like a Mark 1 model. In the video below, Musk takes you through the evolution of his interface." via DVICE

Apple researching display tech that can independently adjust appearance of UI elements "To efficiently recognize and change each element, the system looks at color saturation, or more specifically, saturated pixels versus non-saturated pixels. In one embodiment, the non-saturated pixels are associated with areas that don't hold active content, and therefore show the most change when display adjustments are made." via Apple Insider

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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Sunday
Apr142013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.15.2013

Image via Tony Law for Bloomberg Businessweek

How Samsung Became the World's No. 1 Smartphone Maker "Lee Keon Hyok predicts that smartphones will indeed become commoditized, just as PCs did in the 1990s. “But you have to remember, we make a lot of parts,” he says. “The shape may change, but phones are still going to require AMOLED displays, memory, and processors. We are well prepared to meet those changes.” AMOLED refers to active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes. It’s the state of the art and possibly the only display technology that has its own K-pop song: Amoled, a catchy 2009 number by Son Dam-bi and After School. When the mobile business ceases to be profitable, Samsung will have to force its way into some other industry that requires a lot of upfront capital and expertise in mass-manufacturing. The company announced in late 2011 that it would spend $20 billion by 2020 to develop proficiencies in medical devices, solar panels, LED lighting, biotech, and batteries for electric cars. And if Samsung batteries or MRI machines don’t take over the market, maybe the chairman will set a huge pile of them on fire. “The chairman is saying all the time, ‘This is perpetual crisis,’ ” says mobile marketing chief DJ Lee. “We are in danger. We are in jeopardy.”" via Bloomberg Businessweek

Next-Gen iPad To Be Lighter, Thinner Thanks To New Display "“It’s likely that part of the thinner/lighter design will be reducing the size of the LED backlight, partly by making the display more efficient and partly by using more efficient LEDs,” NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Semenza told CNET in a recent note. ”The other significant change that we feel is likely is a shift to a film-based touch sensor.” ...Apple may unveil its next-generation iPad during a special press conference later this month, though a recent rumor suggested that the new tablet won’t launch until fall 2013." via BGR

Nvidia shows off stunning graphics with Kepler Mobile chip "Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang showed off the company’s next-generation mobile chip, dubbed Kepler Mobile. Speaking today at the company’s investor day, Huang said that Nvidia made a huge investment in transforming its high-end Kepler family of PC desktop graphics chips so they can run on mobile devices. ...The new chip will be able to play high-end PC games such as Battlefield 3, pictured in the video below. That means that Kepler Mobile could enable mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — to run DirectX 11 graphics, with high-end features such as advanced shadows and lighting. To date, this hasn’t been possible — by a long shot — on mobile devices." via VentureBeat

What’s New in Multi Touch Technology? "By offering a more complete picture of how modern multi-touch technology is impacting business, the more we can better understand the environmental, ergonomic, economic and workflow enhancements that are resulting from innovations of this technology. This paper focuses specifically on new and existing users of equipment in the fields of building automation and HVAC, medical & healthcare, interactive and self-service kiosks. Moreover, it evaluates the most current technologies, features and benefits of multi-touch technology." via AIS

Pixelligent Technologies launches PixClear Zirconia nanocrystals for increased light output in touchscreens "When incorporated into existing products, the nanoadditives can dramatically increase light output and readability of modern touch screens and displays. PixClear, Pixelligent officials say, also increases the light output of products for lighting applications such as HB-LEDs and OLEDs. Prior to Pixelligent, nanocrystal dispersions suffered from aggregation and were cloudy, difficult to process, and unstable, which prevented their commercial adoption. But Pixelligent officials claim their PixClear dispersions are something new: they're perfectly clear. These clear dispersions allow Pixelligent to deliver precise control over the target applications’ optical, chemical and mechanical properties." via Solid State Technology

Planar Releases 3D BIM Models of LCD Displays and Video Walls through Autodesk Seek "Digital display company Planar Systems Inc. has announced that 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) models of select Planar large format LCD displays and video walls are now available free through the Autodesk Seek web service. Autodesk Seek allows architects, engineers and designers to easily find, preview and download 3D models of Planar displays. They can then incorporate these models into their building plans without having to create the models themselves." via Digital Signage Connection

Touchscreen Gestures Reimagined as Sculptures "In an era when kids become intimately familiar with tablet and smartphone devices at a young age, designer Gabriele Meldaikyte captured today's touchscreen gestures in analog form. As shown in the video above, Meldaikyte's mixed-media exhibit reimagines the language of smartphone communication as sculptures; there's pinching, tapping, scrolling, flicking and swiping. ...Although touchscreen gestures are common today, there could be a shift towards more intuitive ways of control such as voice command (e.g. Google's Project Glass)." via Mashable

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

Convergent screens, content and data creating 'One Screen' to rule them all "Today the consumer disposition changes based on two things: where they are and what they are doing. For instance, a personal screen (tablet, mobile) or the screen on the wall becomes a point of wait whenever the consumer has "Dwell Time." They could be in line getting coffee or at a doctor's office. When the consumer is driving down the road, or at a train station or airport, the consumer is "On the Go," and their screen or the screen in the venue or on the roadside becomes a point-of-transit screen, where the messages are brief and about the brand. And when the consumer is either in a retail environment or just sees something they want to buy, the screen then becomes a point of sale, where the consumer is now a "Shopper."" via Digital Signage Today

China panel makers continue to improve their panel technology "China-based panel makers BOE, Tianma Micro-electronics and China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) are showing increasing signs of improved technology and are likely to start producing more high-end panel products in 2013. The panel makers currently use a-Si TFT technology to produce Ultra HD (3840 by 2160) TV panels but are looking into using IGZO technology in 2013 instead. The makers are also aiming to release 400ppi smartphone panels during the year." via DigiTimes

Computing Pioneer Alan Kay Talks About The Past, Present, and Future of User Interfaces "Part of the motivation for the PARC GUI came from our desire to have a universal display screen which could display anything — this led to the bitmap screen. One drawback of these screens and the screens today is that the visual angle of the display (about 40°) is much narrower than the human visual field (which is about 135° vertically and 160° horizontally for each eye). This is critical because most of the acuity of an eye is in the fovea (~1-2°) but the rest of the retina has some acuity and is very responsive to changes (which cause the eye to swing to bring the fovea on the change). Head mounted displays can have extremely wide fields of view, and when these appear (they will resemble lightweight glasses), they will allow a rather different notion of UI — note that huge fields of view through glasses will help both 2-1/2 D and 3D graphics, and the UIs that go along with them. This suggests many new design ideas for future GUIs, and they will slowly happen." via Time

Novel Plastic Film Displays Glasses-Free 3-D Images For Mobile "The film is basically a lenticular lens, which is a series of tiny lens elements that direct light to each eye. The nanoimprinting technology developed at IMRE makes it possible to create this type of lens on a plastic film. “The filter is essentially a piece of plastic film with about half a million perfectly shaped lenses engineered onto its surface using IMRE’s proprietary nanoimprinting technology,” said Jaslyn Law, the IMRE scientist who worked with TP on the nanoimprinting R&D since 2010, in a press release." via IEEE Spectrum

Quantum Dots in LCD Before OLED "As you read this, retailers are putting Sony model W009A BRAVIA TV sets on shelves around the USA. We’ll be seeing quantum dots in LCD before OLED for sure. It didn’t look that way a few years back, so I thought it would be interesting to bring us all up-to-date on the industrial and commercial development of quantum dot (QD) technology for display applications. ...Given the extent of industrial development, I expect to see more results soon. OLED TV has not progressed as fast as hoped and LCD makers need extra features to justify UHD prices. This looks like the right time for LCD color gamut to become a key product feature and reason for consumer upgrades." via Display Central

Interactive Holographic Video Display "Holoxica announces an Interactive Holographic 3D Display, which is a second generation prototype. The design is inspired by Head-Up Displays (HUDs), based on free-space optics with images floating in mid-air that can change in real-time. ...The interactive holographic display system comprises a Holographic Optical Element (HOE) lens, a digital controller, a motion sensor and a projection subsystem (a laser projector) imaging a diffusion screen. The HOE is about the size of a page (20x30cm) and the images are formed in real space (in mid-air) about 20cm from the hologram plane. The image are about the size of a hand (up to 7x7cm). The images can be refreshed at video rates and arbitrary images can be displayed. However, the images are formed in three distinct planes, corresponding to the colours of the lasers in the laser projector i.e. red, green and blue. ...Immediate applications of this technology include HUD-style displays and novel user-interfaces with the added dimensions of real-space interactivity. " via Holoaxica

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An introduction to CPI's OLED prototype line facility "The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is a UK based R&D institute that helps companies develop and scale manufacturing processes. The CPI sent us the following video and update on its OLED/OPV prototype line (built by MBraun) that was designed to enable materials companies, device designers and end users to develop their technology within a fully automated, controlled environment. CPI's system supports both small evaporized and soluble OLED materials." via OLED-Info

LCD VS Plasma TVs "For those of you who care to understand the science behind [Plasma TVs], here’s how the magic happens: An electrode applies an electrical current to a small cell filled with a noble gas mixture (usually neon and xenon). This excites the gas, ionizing it and transforming it into a plasma. This plasma emits ultraviolet light – which we can’t see – but when the UV light hits a phosphor coating that lines each cell, it causes the phosphor to glow and put out light that we can see. Depending on which particular phosphor the cell is coated with, it will create a red, green, or blue glow. Just like with LCD displays, each cluster of red green and blue subpixels makes up one pixel on the screen (see header image)." via Digital Trends

QD Vision secures $20m to ramp production of components for LCD applications "According to the company, Color IQ significantly improves LCD color performance. Until now, most mainstream LCD TV designs have had to sacrifice color quality, typically only delivering 60-70 percent of the NTSC color standard. Color IQ increases typical LCD color performance by up to 50 percent and is capable of delivering 100 percent of the NTSC standard, QD Vision said." via Boston.com

George Gray, the man who made flat screens possible "Gray didn't invent liquid crystals. In fact, they are quite common; every cell in our body is surrounded by a liquid crystalline membrane. Nor did he demonstrate that liquid crystals have the flippable characteristic that makes them suitable for displays. Gray's breakthrough was to develop molecules that are flippable at room temperatures. But just like so many great innovations the road to development was far from easy largely because there was little appetite for funding research on molecules that, at the time, had no clear applications. Turning liquid crystals from curiosities into the ubiquitous technologies that they are today required both a burning need for new displays and the foresight of one of the more colourful government ministers." via The Guardian

Apple job listing confirms Apple is investigating using flexible displays in future products "Flexible display rumors have picked up steam even more since rumors of an iWatch from Apple, and just today we came across two new Apple patent applications detailing flexible devices that could change states as a user bends or twists the device. We all know Apple patent applications have never been a good indication of future product releases, but now Apple has came right out and stated in a job listing that it is indeed considering flexible displays. "Apple Inc. is looking for a Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance."" via 9to5Mac

OLEDs and the beginning of the end for LCDs "In 2012 Samsung Electronics moved their LCD business units into a separate entity. One report suggests that the Taiwanese have invested $60 Billion in the LCD industry and seen a return of just $40 Billion. Some Japanese makers, despite having superb technology, have seen recent losses in some cases equal cumulative profits of the preceeding 5 to 10 years. Restructuring is therefore afoot. In the last few weeks Samsung purchased a 3% stake in Sharp. Japan Display Inc (JDI), puts together small and mid sized LCD panel manufacture units from Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba, focusing on automotive, cellphone and digital camera displays (not TV). Meanwhile, the Chinese are quickly moving into LCD panel production. For many years the top five in the LCD business, in order, were Samsung, LG Display, Innolux, AUO and Sharp. Now, as evidence of China's progress, in late 2012 Chinese BOE is number 5 for notebooks and monitors and China Star (CSOT) number five for TVs." via Printed Electronics World

Epson Concedes It Showed Reflective-LCD Projector Too Soon "The reflective LCD technology differed from conventional high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) in that the polarized light rays don't pass through the panel but rather are reflected back at a different angle than they came in on. But the reflective technology also required a more complex polarized beam splitter to combine red, green and blue images and took semiconductor controllers out of the optical path and put them behind individual pixels." via Consumer Electronics Daily

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Multi-focal AR contact lenses work for both near and far "The idea behind the iOptik, is that the contact focuses foreground light, like that from a nearby monitor, onto the center of the pupil. The background light is focused on the surrounding (annular) regions of the pupil. This resembles currently prescribed multi-focal contact lenses, which seem to work quite well — only these guys are just a little more extreme in the separation of the two fields. As shown in the video above, the image is projected directly onto display components that are integral to a pair of special glasses. Superimposing full-field 3D virtual images, which would be particularly enticing for the gaming world, would be seamless with such a device. Interaction with avatars would take place in the whole user space rather than just on a limited screen." via ExtremeTech

Japan Display has begun to see profits "Japan Display is a joint venture of Japan-based firms such as Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi with 70% of shares owned by government-affiliated institutes. Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi each owns 10% of shares. Japan Display was established on April 1, 2012 with capital of JPY230 billion (US$2.3 billion) and currently employs around 6,200 staff. Otsuka noted that Japan Display focuses on LTPS-CMOS technology and expects panel capacity to increase to six million units in 2014 due to minimizing non-silicon based technology capacity and focus on expanding LTPS capacity." via DigiTimes

Displays defy distraction at New York Auto Show "At BMW, where analog instrument clusters are part of the classic BMW look, many of the high-tech electronic displays in 2014 models mimic analog dials. Even the BMW Concept Active Tourer premium compact car displayed at the show has a rounded albeit digital electronic instrument cluster. Here again the large display in the futuristic infotainment console isn’t a touchscreen. The only touchscreens are the two removable iPad-like displays facing the rear passenger seats, which also have access to handy fold-down trays." via TechHive

Smell-o-vision screens let you really smell the coffee "The "smelling screen", invented by Haruka Matsukura at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan and colleagues, makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on any LCD screen that is displaying the image of a cup of coffee, for example. It works by continuously feeding odours from vaporising gel pellets into four air streams, one in each corner of the screen. These air streams are blown out parallel to the screen's surface by fans, and varying the strength and direction of them manoeuvres the scent to any given spot on the screen." via NewScientist

Bendable screens still need a breakthrough ""There are barrier films in all sorts of products, for example food packaging, but the challenge is that OLED is one of the most sensitive materials we follow, and so creates huge challenges," says Lux Research's Melnick. Singapore-based Tera-Barrier Films, for example, has developed a way to plug leaks in the layers using nanoparticles. Director Senthil Ramadas says that after years of delays the company last month started production in Japan and aims for mass production by end-2014. "You have several challenges in the value chain," he said. "All these things need to be established, and only now is it coming out." And there's another problem: all the materials in a bendable display need to be bendable, too — including the transparent conductors that drive current through the display. Several technologies are vying to replace the brittle and expensive Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) used in most fixed displays, including nanowires, carbon nanotubes, graphene and conductive mesh." via NBCNews

Is Samsung safe from the threat of Korean war? "Samsung's primary hedge against the threat of war remains its massive geographic diversification of manufacturing assets, experts note. While Crystal Valley, a two million sq ft complex built on a former vineyard that employs about 20,000 workers, is an important cog in the Samsung machine, particularly in LCD display manufacturing, it's just a small part of the company's global capabilities. The company boasts five other plants worldwide that could pick of the display manufacturing slack in the event of a global shutdown."via Channelweb

Three-dimensional displays, past and present "The ultimate goal of display technology is to show a dynamic three-dimensional image that appears to float without a frame, much as Princess Leia did when projected from R2-D2 in the 1977 movie Star Wars. The history of 3D displays begins in a much earlier time—long before the advent of movies, holography, or electronics. It goes back to 1838 when Charles Wheatstone at King’s College London proposed the concept of the stereoscope, which works based on binocular disparity: Because our two eyes, physically separated by about six and a half centimeters, observe different perspectives of an object, the illusion of depth can be created from two 2D images whose features are slightly offset from each other. The brain merges those two images into a single 3D perspective." via Physics Today

Laser Fusion’s Brightest Hope "Here at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a U.S. national security laboratory tucked amid vineyards and undulating grassy hills about an hour east of San Francisco, the lasers of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) have already created the intense pressures and temperatures needed to get atoms of hydrogen to fuse. But NIF is trying to achieve a far more challenging goal, one that countless researchers have sought for decades. NIF’s aim is not just fusion but fusion’s equivalent of a chain reaction, a self-sustaining “burn” capable of producing more energy than is needed to get the process started in the first place. ...The laboratory has also built a small industry around damage mitigation. After a laser shot, engineers can use a telescope in the target chamber to look back through every line of optics for damage; each defect gets a number. They then use blue LEDs to program liquid-crystal-based screens through which beams pass before amplification. These screens can be made to have any arbitrary pattern of transparent and opaque areas, creating dark spots in a beam in order to circumvent damaged areas down the line. When too many defects accumulate, the engineers remove the damaged component and send it to another building, where the surface is re-treated and carbon dioxide lasers are used to etch out damage, leaving behind optically neutral conical pits. Nowadays, up to 40 pieces of optics, mostly the target-chamber focus lenses and debris shields—protective screens between the target chamber and the rest of the optical line—are pulled and sent away to be refurbished each week." via IEEE Spectrum

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Thursday
Mar072013

Display Technology News Roundup 3.7.2013

Image via Jinha Lee / NBC News

3-D computing prototype puts your hands inside the screen "Attendees of the latest TED conference got a look at a futuristic device called SpaceTop where the user views a 3-D workspace through a transparent display, manipulating the on-screen elements with just their hands. It won't be on shelves any time soon, but it does pique the imagination. ...The transparent display is equipped with a camera that tracks the user's head and adjusts the perspective on the 3-D desktop "under" it. Meanwhile, a second camera watches the user's hands and determines their position in three dimensions." via NBC News

Sharp Samsung Alliance – An Alliance of Mutual Benefits "Given that Sharp is a leader in oxide TFT technology, especially at Gen 8, it’s possible that Samsung can utilize the oxide TFT backplanes from Sharp for its AMOLED TV." via DisplaySearch Blog

Samsung's investment in Sharp could prick Apple "Apple is believed to buy about a third of its LCD panels from Sharp, and it closely relies on the company for some of its most advanced products, according to analysts. When Sharp has problems, it can slow down the release of Apple devices. So if Sharp starts to favor Apple's chief rival, Samsung, that could have big implications for Apple." via CNET

LG Display Overtakes Samsung in Global LCD Market ""LG Display has found new customers such as Sony and Panasonic and increased production accordingly," analyst So Hyun-chul of Shinhan Investment Corp. said. "It has gained a foothold for growth by supplying most LCD products for Apple's iPads in the explosively growing tablet PC market." In contrast, Samsung failed to increase sales dramatically because it is highly dependent on a single customer, affiliate Samsung Electronics." via The Chosunilbo

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Air Force takes first step in replacing obsolete CRT displays in F-15E jet fighter-bomber "The project calls for eliminating obsolescent or otherwise-troublesome technology in the MPD such as CRT avionics display technology and high-voltage components. The replacement display must not affect the present MPD interaction with the Boeing advanced display core processor (ADCP) or change the operational flight program, Air Force officials say. ...The sources-sought notice is a market survey to identify suppliers with the necessary expertise, capabilities, and experience to develop a replacement MPD for the F-15E." via Military & Aerospace Electronics

5 Tech Stocks That Could Leap On Touchscreen Trends "Sollensys manufactures multi-touch sensor modules for use in the government, education, medical and consumer technology sectors. The company’s goal is to be the leading global provider of small to medium sized capacity touch sensors to the high quality and advanced technology spectrum of the touchscreen market. Through consultation with customers, Sollensys designs, develops and delivers the best possible touch sensor technology for its products. Much like Apple, Sollensys provides a high quality product through excellence in design, advanced process and production techniques, and quality control. Sollensys aims to be a leader in the capacitive touch industry, which is the company’s core technology." via Investment Underground

Flexible, transparent imaging device developed "The new imager, which resembles a flexible plastic film, uses fluorescent particles to capture incoming light and channel a portion of it to an array of sensors framing the sheet. With no electronics or internal components, the imager's elegant design makes it ideal for a new breed of imaging technologies, including user interface devices that can respond not to a touch, but merely to a simple gesture, the journal Optics Express reports. ...The main application the researchers envision for this new technology is in touch-free, transparent user interfaces that could seamlessly overlay a TV or other display technology, according to a [Johannes Kepler University Linz] statement. " via Zeenews

Wearable display meets blindfold test for sensing danger "Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have developed a special set of body modules that provide wearers with extra-sensory perception as to who or what is nearby. The design could help the blind navigate safely or even support cyclists or drivers as additional safety support in traffic. Called SpiderSense, this is a wearable display that can pick up ultrasonic reflections from objects. SpiderSense can also allow the wearer, even if eyes are closed, to navigate." via Phys.org

Beyond a Human Framework of International Relations "Diplomats could soon be wearing AR contact lenses or glasses that will translate in real-time a native’s foreign language, presenting the information like movie subtitles on the lens or glass in that diplomat’s own native tongue. They will be able to translate a newspaper in another language with a glance, access data on treaties and current news events while undergoing diplomatic negotiations, or even assess the disposition of a foreign contact by using lie detection sensors and emotional cues—all displayed immediately through the AR lens interface. The technology has already been used by U.S. Marine mechanics to help them with more efficient repairs. Detailed specifications, for instance, can instantaneously be displayed through goggles when looking over an engine. Other branches of armed forces continue to use and develop new adaptations." via Diplomatic Courier

Swedish university invests in virtual medical display technology "The Sectra Visualization Table is a large, multi-touch medical display with software that facilitates interaction with 3D images of the human body created by modern computer tomography or magnetic resonance cameras. Students are able to intuitively zoom in, rotate or cut into the visualized body without using a scalpel or destroying the subject. This means that the same image can be used repeatedly, and the students are able to study the impact of various illnesses on the anatomy in a manner that was not possible in teaching in the past." via European Hospital

Why E Ink is still the leader in e-paper "Overall, E Ink electrophoretic displays win on production cost. Unlike Liquavista and Mirasol, E Ink displays are compatible with roll-to-roll manufacturing using printing technologies. This has allowed the company to rapidly scale up and produce the electrophoretic material at high volume and high yield, thus offering the product at the right price point for the e-reader market. As of today, Liquavista is still not commercialized despite the fact the technology has been in development for roughly the same amount of time as E Ink's. Mirasol e-readers were sold in East Asia but did not attract enough traction, most likely because the devices were too expensive. " via Printed Electronics World

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Thoughts on AMOLED and LCD displays in 2013: Is there a clear winner? "In smartphone displays, LCD displays offer a few key advantages over AMOLED displays. Due to the "direct sunlight argument" where the Sun distorts colors and the image projected on AMOLED screens, LCD displays hold a clear advantage. At full brightness, LCD displays get much brighter than their AMOLED counterparts and also use less power in the process. They are miles ahead of AMOLED displays outside, and I'd say this is nearly an undenaible truth, and not an opinion. It's important to mention that LCD displays are only more efficient at full brightness as compared to AMOLED. AMOLED screens are more efficient all around, just not when the brightness is cranked up." via phonedog

LED-backlit display penetration rate to break 90% "LEDinside noted that there are price differences between the side-lighting mode and the bottom-lighting mode of the LED-backlit display technology. The cost of side-lighting mode is 1.5 times that of the bottom-lighting mode as the manufacturing process of the former is more complicated and calls for more expensive parts and components, it said. More than 70 percent of the TV products of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Corp. use the cheaper bottom-lighting mode, while Taiwan's AU Optronics and" via Focus Taiwan

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A Different Concept on the Future of Helicopter Avionics "“We’ve decided that touchscreens are not the way to go, for reasons of durability and practicality,” said Grady Dees, director of technical sales for Universal Avionics Systems. MD Helicopters vice president of engineering Chris Nehls heartily agreed. “The on-cyclic cursor control keeps the pilot focused on flying, we think,” said Nehls. The engineers decided, as well, to retain certain key knobs that pilots rely on, including the heading bug knob on the panel under the PFD. “It is what pilots are used to, and we want to make the system easy to transition to,” he continued. There is also a separate EFIS control display unit located on the center console that houses all of the buttons and knobs that are conspicuously missing from the bezel of the 12-inch PFD/MFD displays." via AINonline

A Comparison of AU Optronics, LG Display and Sollensys "To sum up, AU Optronics and LG Display have demonstrated poor profitability in the last few years. However, in a fast-growing market as the touch screen panels, a quick turnaround is possible, which may reward their shareholders. It is well known that turnarounds of companies are the most rewarding situations in the stock market. According to analysts' estimates, a turnaround for LG Display is likely in 2013. Sollensys is a nascent company with high expertise and valuable patents. It is promising fast growth, but one should carefully evaluate the audited financial statements of the company when they become available, just as one should do with any investment." via Smallcap Network

Sapphire is unscratchable, unbreakable, and the next big thing in touchscreens "GT Advanced demonstrations were compelling, and the science seems to back it up. Sapphire is a naturally growing crystal and is the second hardest substance on earth. It’s so hard, only diamond-tipped saws can cut it. GT Advanced grows sapphire and then melts and hardens them into ‘boules,’ which are 115 kilogram, or 254 lb. clear cylinders. Those cylinders are then cut into cubes, which are then chopped up into slices and shapes as thin and wild as you can imagine." via Digital Trends

Mobile displays that change shape "GHOSTs are display surfaces made of malleable materials that can change into and retain arbitrary shapes so as to display output from the system or allow new actions. At the same time, GHOSTs enable users to deform, touch, or otherwise manipulate the shape of their display surface to provide input to the system. The collaborative European research project includes Sriram Subramanian, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, and will bring together a range of partners from across Europe to design, develop and evaluate prototypes to define the current and future challenges of making organic user experiences." via EET India

Digital signage leading the way to a future 'Day Made of Glass' "More vivid, powerful glass substrates extend the scalability, usability and immersiveness of displays and blurs the physical and the virtual, he said. And new glass advances will create form-factor freedom that can drive application diversity and new user interfaces, making them even more intuitive and collaborative — "but we've still got far to go," he said. "Modern displays are still bricks and boxes," he said, referring to the form factors of smartphones/tablets and display screens. And because of this, the relationship between people and devices is backward, with people's environments and users' lifestyles dictated by the limitations of the device form factor, he said. People set up their living rooms to fit their TVs, and not the other way around, he said." via Digital Signage Today

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Sunday
Feb242013

Display Technology News Roundup 2.24.2013

Image via Electronics News

HMI trends in industrial touch screens "Glass touch displays are also setting a new design trend which optically excels with its smooth and seamless glass surfaces. At the same time though this is where the challenge begins: Where robust designs are concerned, the glass panel cannot just be stuck on the back with an assembly kit, like, for example, is the case with ceramic cooking areas, in order to create a shock- and vibration-proof hold. Especially not when the opening of the housing on the machine or equipment has to offer comprehensive protection against dust and spray water." via Electronics News

Apple patent filing points directly to 'iWatch' concept with flexible touchscreen display "In another embodiment, the invention calls for a more robust design in which the flexible display is mounted directly to the bracelet and "framed" by a thicker, more comfortable fabric covering. Switches and critical electronics should also be resistant to fatigue, the patent notes, as the bracelet switches from a convex shape to a concave configuration depending on whether it is being worn by the user. When in its "curled state," or otherwise attached to a user's arm, the bracelet can take on the form of an uninterrupted screen. On-board sensors, like gyroscopes and accelerometers, would aid in orienting the screen's information toward the user." via Apple Insider

Polytron Unveils Transparent Smartphone Display Prototype "Taiwan-based Polytron Technologies are apparently already experimenting with a glass like smartphone with a multi-touch display.The prtotype device called Switchable glass is a conductive OLED display (organic light-emitting diode) makes use of liquid crystal molecules, that emit light in response to electric current. When the device is switched off the molecules take the form of a white cloudy like substance, which transforms the device to appear like glass." via Gizbot

Apple CEO blasts OLEDs as inferior tech – independent research shows he has a point "At a Goldman Sachs investor conference today, the Apple CEO dismissed the idea that the display technology is something Apple should adopt, noting “If you ever buy anything online and really want to know what he color is, as many people do, you should really think twice before you depend on the color from a OLED display.” Cook, asked if Apple would consider creating devices with larger displays, said that size and specifications are things companies focus on when they can’t “create an amazing experience.” That’s obviously a shot across Samsung’s bow, but it’s an arguably true evaluation of both the PC business and smartphone manufacturing." via ExtremeTech

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Touch panel market projected for 34% growth in 2013 "The financial crisis that started in 2008 left much of the IT industry hobbling worldwide. But only the touch panel market is enjoying a boom. Many new players are pouring into the industry, and those on the sidelines are waiting for the opportune moment to enter. As more players enter the competitive landscape, touch panel prices are falling rapidly. In addition, to gain competitiveness and to differentiate itself in the market has led players to develop and improve structure, technique and process, and seek out new materials." via Solid State Technology

LG Display betting on OLED to the tune of $657 million "Today we learned that LG Display has invested a whopping $657 million in the production of large OLED TV screens, a figure that will enable it to produce 26,000 mother glass sheets a month which are big enough to make six 55-inch screens per sheet. In other words: the company will be capable of churning out 156,000 panels per page turn on your calender. Since LG display is the largest flat-panel producer in the world, and since LG Electronics owns a 38 percent stake in it – it stands to reason that LG proper will be buying plenty of the new panels. This is news that should resonate industry-wide." via Digital Trends

Panasonic Says Plasma is still the best TV technology "Unlike LCD TVs which use an array of LEDs to illuminate their pixels, plasma TVs use glass panels containing over two million tiny cells filled with a mixture of inert gases. An electric current passed through these cells excites the gases, causing them to illuminate the pixels across the screen. This method of lighting is traditionally a lot better for motion reproduction, contrast levels and reducing 3D crosstalk than LCD tech. But they do suffer from a lack of brightness and come with bulkier chassis than their LED cousins." via TechRadar

ISSCC 2013: Imagers, MEMS, Medical and Displays "Significant R&D effort is being spent on active 3D imaging time-of-flight (TOF) applications to support requirements from autonomous driving, gaming, and industrial applications, addressing open challenges like background light immunity, higher spatial resolution, and longer distance range. Deep-submicron CMOS single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) have been developed by several groups using different technology nodes. They are now capable of meeting the requirements for high resolution, high timing accuracy by employing highly parallel time-to-digital-converters (TDCs) and small pixel pitch with better fill factor. ...This and other related topics will be discussed at length at ISSCC 2013, the foremost global forum for new developments in the integrated-circuit industry. ISSCC, the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, will be held on February 17-21, 2013, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel." via Solid State Technology

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Three-dimensional dancing bear shows the way to practical holographic display "Three-dimensional holographic displays can provide truly realistic images because they provide all the depth cues required by the human visual system and eliminate visual discomfort. However, the development of a practical holographic display system is limited by the availability of a spatial light modulator (SLM) with a large pixel count and closely spaced pixel element (small pixel pitch). Such a SLM is critical to achieve a large displayed image and a wide viewing angle.1 Over the past five years, we have developed three holographic display systems to combat this problem, each with an increasing degree of sophistication, resolution, and color reproduction quality." via SPIE

Improved Moisture Barriers for Organic Displays and Electronics are Coming "Materials used in OLED or OPV devices degrade rapidly when they contact oxygen or moisture, so they must be sealed tightly. In contrast, inorganic devices such as conventional TFT LCD or TFT-EPD survive the presence of humid air about a thousand times longer. In fact, EPD, such as electrophoretic E Ink displays, need some moisture so its encapsulation is meant to keep water in, rather than out." via Display Central

Key patent analysis on quantum dot displays released "The quantum dot recently emerged as a next-generation display material. Quantum dots, whose diameter is just a few nanometers, are semiconductor crystals. The smaller its particle is, the more short-wavelength light are emitted; the larger its particle is, the more long-wavelength lights get emitted. Considering that there are more advantages with the quantum dots over conventional light sources, it is not surprising that the quantum dot display gains a lot of attention." via Solid State Technology

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Sharp develops technology to recycle glass from LCD TVs "Sharp Corp has developed technology for reprocessing the glass from used LCD panels, a discovery seen helping to lower recycling costs for consumers. ...Working with Osaka Prefecture University, Sharp found a method for turning the crushed glass from panels into zeolite via reactions in an alkaline solution. The firm foresees stable demand for the material, which is used as an absorbent to purify water and as a soil treatment, among other purposes. A 40-inch panel would yield roughly 200 yen (US$2.35) worth of zeolite." via Waste Management World

As touch screen market grows, Asia gains advantage on industry ""Demand is growing for thinner, light weight, and lower cost touch panels and devices. In addition, we see strong touch screen growth over the next several years in larger display applications such as convertible/hybrid notebook PCs and all-in-one PCs,” saidJennifer Colegrove, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies at NPD DisplaySearch. “Over the next few years, in-cell, on-cell, and sensor-on-cover touch technologies will surpass the add-on type projected capacitive touch.” To meet consumer demand, technology companies are adapting to the market simply by adding touch screen abilities. Google, for instance, was rumored to be installing a touch screen in its next Chromebook. Although the conjecture came from a “leaked” video last week, it is inevitable that more laptops will feature touch screen technology." via Digital Journal

Apple's iPhone 5 Integrated Touch Display Technology Comes to Light and it loudly Screams it's Coming to all Macs Eventually "Specifically, rather than employ a separate, overlaid touch sensor panel over an LCD panel, embodiments of the present disclosure may incorporate integrated touch sensor components in-cell within display pixel cells of the LCD or on-cell above the display pixel cells. Among other things, these touch sensor components may include a conductive portion of in-cell black matrix, which also may shield light from one pixel from bleeding into another pixel." via Patently Apple

What do TV screens, bullet-proof vests and soap all have common? "Nematics were discovered in Germany in the late 19th century by virtue of their appearance under polarised light (as shown in the image), but no one realised they were more than a rather beautiful intellectual curiosity for another 50+ years. They are useful in displays because their alignment can be switched on and off by an electric field, so allowing individual pixels in a display to be separately addressed. Getting large areas of such displays to work perfectly with low energy consumption and high contrast are all technological issues; the basic physics (and requisite chemistry of the molecules) has now been known for many years. ...So, in the century and more since liquid crystals were first identified, they have transformed from an esoteric if attractive curiosity to a key class of materials in our everyday world. Things would look very different without them, as a quick appreciation of the screen on which you read this will make you realise." via The Guardian

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Saturday
Feb092013

Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2013

Image via ubergizmo

Mitsubishi Electric Free-form Screen Car Display System Developed "Mitsubishi Electric has come up with something interesting – a free-form screen car display system which is capable of projecting images on different kinds of screen, be they curve, oval or triangle in shape, in order to match the interior layouts of future vehicles. Basically, this prototype car display system will be powered by an optical engine which is capable of projecting images on curved, oval or triangular screens, in order to suit a wide range of car interiors." via ubergizmo

Will Samsung and LG Display Work Together on AMOLED? "Samsung and LG Display are both leaders in many aspects of AMOLED technology, but Japanese and Taiwanese competitors are catching up. In fact, Sony and Panasonic demonstrated OLED technologies (super top emission and ink-jet-printing respectively) which has led some to believe that Japan has taken one step leap forward." via DisplaySearch Blog

The Chromebook Pixel: leaked Google product, or clever hoax? ""The more pixels we add, the more wonderful the world," says the video's narrator. Even more tantalizing are hints that this high-res display is in fact a touchscreen. Still, it's not entirely clear whether we're seeing something that's the direct work of Google or an extremely impressive fan-made concept, but there's at least some evidence pointing to the former." via The Verge

Re-Thinking LCD Architecture for the Digital Signage Market "Since digital signage has become a recognized market, the differences in product requirements between that and a consumer TV have become more recognized. Although most differences between the two are complimentary: e.g. thinner bezels are beneficial to both consumer TV and digital signage but count for a lot more in the signage market. In some cases, however, the differences between the two are not complimentary and signage needs a solution that would be contrary to product design for a TV. One example is viewing angle." via Flat Panel Display Blog

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MSC offers embedded graphical LCD design day "MSC Gleichmann will be running a one-day workshop covering hardware and software design of graphical LCD user interfaces in embedded applications. It will focus on the Renesas 32-bit RX-series microcontroller development environment and will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, West Midlands on Thursday 14 March. The morning session will explain the fundamentals of driving a graphics LCD, first showing how this can be achieved using the RX62N Starter Kit to directly drive a WQVGA TFT display with touchscreen interface and then looking at how the software can be adapted for other similar standard displays." via ElectronicsWeekly

Apple Reviewing New Kind of Optical Film that Outshines OLED "Due to the film's low cost, it could replace other, more expensive films that have been used to create LCDs. Toyobo Co., a synthetic fiber manufacturer, will begin producing the film in April, at a scale of 10,000 tons per year." via Patently Apple

Trends in Capacitive Touch Panels "Cypress Semiconductor has been supplying capacitive touchscreen controller IC solutions since 2008 and has maintained a database with the sensor parameters and layer structures for each customer project that has entered mass production since then. Based on actual design project data from this database, we have derived some trends on the prevailing parameters of 'on-stack' sensors over the 2009-2012 timeframe. 'On-stack' refers here to structures where the touch sensor layers are supplied by standalone (ITO) sensor vendors and are combined with the display module after completing manufacturing of the display." via Electronic Design

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Invisible Smartphone on the Horizon? "Using technologies developed for displays, a Taiwanese company is showing off prototypes of a phone made of glass. ...Polytron has a long history with display technology, and markets a product as “privacy glass.” The liquid crystal molecules in the glass are arranged randomly when the current is off, but when it is on they line up and allow light to pass through. So this phone would be invisible until it is turned on. " via Discovery News

Can your 3D projector do that? "Watching in the dark will always be better than having a light on, but projectors today put out much more light than those in the past. For example, one of the 750HD’s selling points is the high level of brightness it provides 3,000 lumens of white brightness. And because the 3D view is “active” (liquid-crystal glasses used, not polarized), the full resolution of the image is maintained. The result is a more realistic and true-to-life 3D image as well." via 3DTV.com

How CNET tests TVs "Uniformity: With LCDs and rear-projection sets, we use this section to address backlight uniformity across the screen, making subjective observations with full-raster test patterns, letterbox bars and flat-color scenes, such as shots of skies, from program material. We also talk about off-angle viewing in this section, using similar material and subjective comparisons. Plasma TVs usually have effectively perfect uniformity and off-angle viewing, so we don't typically don't include this section in plasma reviews--but we will if the plasma's uniformity is atypical to our eye." via CNET

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‘Peacock’ color for screen displays "In a peacock’s mother-of-pearl tail, precisely arranged hairline grooves reflect light of certain wavelengths. That’s why the resulting colors appear different depending on the movement of the animal or the observer. Imitating this system—minus the rainbow effect—has been a leading approach to developing next-generation reflective displays." via Futurity

CES 2013 "It was impossible to walk through the CES without being bombarded with screens. Large screens, 3D screens, OLED screens, UHD/4K screens, 'smart' screens and all combinations of the above. With regard to large screens, the 110" 4K LCD screens on display from a number of China-based brands, including TCL and Hisense as well as Taiwan-based Westinghouse (in a hotel suite), were clearly hard to miss given not only their size, but the prominent position of the stands in locations that would have had major Japanese brands in those places in years gone by. That alone is part of a trend: Chinese brands will no longer be relegated to second place brands or OEM suppliers to others." via hiddenwires

Touchscreen suppliers snub notebooks in favor of smartphones, tablets "The unproven demand for touch screens on notebooks and the high-end specifications for touch on Windows 8 notebooks have contributed to touch-screen suppliers' reluctance to shift production from high-volume smartphones and tablets, noted Richard Shim, senior analyst with NPD DisplaySearch. ...In addition, there is a shortage of ultra-slim panels for ultra-slim notebooks due to the technical challenges and expense of making the panels. "The challenge from a production standpoint is that manufacturing ultra-slim glass--0.4mm and thinner--is not only difficult, but handling and transporting such fragile glass requires special equipment. Only two panel suppliers, AUO and Innolux, are taking on the extra expense of using ultra-slim glass to offer panels in any significant volumes," Shim said." via FierceMobileIT

Apple surprises with new solar / touchscreen patent "What’s interesting about this patent is that the solar panel would also operate as the touchscreen itself, rather than as two separate units, observed Forbes. Most touchscreens today use either a resistive (pressure-sensor) or a capacitive (conductive-sensor) screen to respond to touch input. The iPhone and iPad use capacitive touchscreens, for instance. However, the new patent takes a fundamentally different approach. “The integrated touch sensor array and solar cell stack-ups may include electrodes that are used both for collecting solar energy and for sensing on a touch sensor array,” according to Apple’s abstract. “By integrating both the touch sensors and the solar cell layers into the same stack-up, surface area on the portable device may be conserved. In addition to being used for capacitive sensing, the integrated touch sensor and solar panel configurations may also be used for optical sensing.”" via CleanEnergyAuthority

ZBD's epaper customer displays "Berkshire-based ZBD started life in 2000 as a technology spin-out of UK research lab Qinetiq, launched to exploit zenithal bistable displays, hence the company name. ...Unlike E Ink displays, ZBDs can be made on a standard high-volume LCD manufacturing line with little modification. The image quality is high-contrast and easily read, like an LCD digital watch, but does not achieve the ink-in-paper look of E Ink in an eReader. ZBD has re-invented itself as an electronic shelf-edge labelling firm by combining its displays with a low-power radio receiver in units ('epops') that offer five years of maintenance-free operation from an internal battery." via ElectronicsWeekly

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Thursday
Jan312013

Display Technology News Roundup 1.31.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

Add OLED screens to your fingernails with NailDisplay "It's only a prototype right now, but a group of engineers at the National Taiwan University in Taipei think that using fingernail-mounted OLED screens could solve a number of UI problems plaguing today's gadgets. For instance, if a person is typing on a touchscreen smartphone, the NailDisplay could show what virtual key your thumb is on (and obscuring), essentially making your typing experience a "transparent" one." via DVICE

Jaguar Land Rover engineer discusses HMI display technology "The key differentiator that is holding back displays in the automobile is that of the environment. The harshness and variety of environmental extremes means that standard consumer display's can't be used, therefore specific development projects need to take place. I expect that the increased resolution trend will eventually migrate across to cars, but this must not be done at the expense of performance and in particular brightness - which in a fixed position system is critical to ensure performance in all ambient lighting conditions, this is something that consumer devices are not particularly good at." via Display Alliance

Penetration rate of touch screen technology used in LCD monitors expected to increase in 2013 "The global penetration rate of touch screen technology used in LCD monitors is expected to increase to 8-10% in 2013 largely due to the release of Windows 8, according to sources at ViewSonic. The penetration rate is expected to reach the percentage by the end of the year after climbing from 3-5% in the first quarter 2013 largely due to LCD vendors' plans to continue releasing products that are Windows 8 compatible, said the sources." via DigiTimes

Flex-o-Fab: a new 3-year EU project that aims to help commercialize flexible OLEDs within six years "The Flex-o-Fab project will draw on technologies and expertise already used to produce glass-based OLEDs and flexible displays. It will look to migrate existing sheet-to-sheet processes to roll-to-roll (R2R) production to further reduce costs and enable high-volume production." via OLED-Info

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

Sharp IGZO to Transform Displays "The cascading effect of these two advantages over A-Si are stunning, and Sharp is taking full advantage, as evidenced in the CES booth. The big advantage in mobile displays comes in power savings, as the larger aperture ratio allows for far fewer LED backlights to achieve the same brightness levels. But beyond the obvious power savings from fewer backlights, the high electron mobility from Sharp IGZO also allows the display panel to modulate the on/off state (at about 100 Hz) and still maintain the image on the screen, according to Chris Frank of the Sharp Camas Labs in Washington State." via Display Central

Today's thinner LCDs can show uneven lighting, even in bright scenes "LCD screens have often shown some backlight non-uniformity (called mura), because an LCD panel can let the backlight leak through more in certain spots than in others. Normally, this appears as an uneven cloudiness that usually can be seen only when the screen image is dark or completely black. But as TVs get ever thinner, we've seen a new problem that can cause even more noticeable type of non-uniformity, which, at its worst, can be distracting even in bright scenes." via ConsumerReports.org

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Reduce Display Noise In Capacitive Touchscreens "There are several options to reduce display noise effects on the touchscreen controller: shielding (eliminating noise magnitude), avoid noise frequency, digital filters, touchscreen sensor design, and synchronization." via Mobile Dev & Design

Car Makers Seize New Display Technology "Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz is torn on whether to implement the head-up display technology in its models. Its revamped E-Class sedan, which debuted at the Detroit auto show this week, is chock-full of new safety technologies such as a pedestrian-detection system, but doesn't include a heads-up display function. "There is still an internal debate [within Daimler] about it at the moment," said Joachim Schmidt, Daimler's global sales chief." via The Wall Street Journal

High res displays revolutionize user interfaces "In the past, UI designers had to think about what would look good on a display. Now these designers just need to figure out what looks good. This small shift in design mentality has unlocked the creativity of many on what a modern interface should look like, and we have only seen the start of it." via The Retriever Weekly

Kent Displays Listed As Manufacturer “Of Note” 2013 "A pioneer in the liquid crystal display industry, Kent Displays has transformed itself from a research-based organization into a business-to-consumer company. Its plastic LCDs, manufactured under the trade name Reflex, are used in a variety of applications in growing markets such as writing tablets, electronics skins and credit card displays. Among Kent Display’s products is a line of e-writers — the Boogie Board tablets — which were introduced in 2010 by Improv Electronics, Kent Displays’ consumer product subsidiary. In its first year in production, Boogie Board tablet sales exceeded forecast by 10 times because of their successful entry to the Chinese marketplace. By 2011, Boogie Boards were being sold in India. Today, the company is exploring other global markets for expansion. Learn more at www.kentdisplays.com." via Smart Business

E Ink accused of asset-stripping Hydis "The chief bone of contention for Hydis workers is the suspicion that E Ink is asset-stripping the company by selling its core technology — more specifically, the license for Hydis' LCD technology which is considered to be just a few notches below top display makers such LG Display — to rival companies. The act itself may be legitimate, but in that case, Bae insists that the government must initiate legislation to prevent such transfers of technology in the future. ...This would not be the first time that Hydis suffered at the hands of a foreign owner. Prior to E Ink's acquisition in 2008, the display maker — formerly a unit under Hyundai Electronics, the precursor to Hynix Semiconductor that was acquired by SK Group — had been exploited by China-based BOE Display." via The China Post

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“Moth’s Eye” Approach Will Reduce Screen Reflections and Glares "Moth Eye technology will be far more advanced than Apple’s Retina display, which develops screens based on the highest threshold of human sight that can distinguish between the pixels on a screen. While Steve Jobs touted Retina display technology as the maximum threshold of human sight, a recent rumor has it that Samsung Electronics will use diamond-shaped pixels in its soon-to-be Galaxy S4 instead of the usual Pentile-Matrix pixel display (while also producing a pixel density of 440ppi, or pixels per inch)." via The Droid Guy

Samsung hits OLED screen milestone "While it took Samsung four and a half years to reach the initial 100 million production mark for OLED panels, the next 100 million units were produced in just eleven months, and the last 100 million units were produced in only seven months. Samsung held a ceremony to commemorate the 300 million production milestone at Samsung Display City located in Asan city, Chungcheongnam-do, in South Korea, which was attended by its president and more than 300 other employees." via itbusiness.ca

Design Touchscreen-Based Handheld Systems For Low Power Consumption "Designers can stretch the operating battery life of handheld devices through judicious management of the operational states. Touchscreens, which are now nearly ubiquitous, make a good example. The operating conditions for a portable device, with the variety of applications it can support, generally can vary from intensely busy to nearly idle in a moment’s time. By utilizing knowledge of how a device is being used, the power consumed by the touchscreen can be more efficiently managed." via Electronic Design

Toray’s touchscreen film self-repairs scratches, cuts down on fingerprints "What Toray has done is manage to apply the anti-fingerprint solution to their self repairing film. So now you can have a fingerprint free touchscreen that also recovers from any minor scratches. Toray also updated the anti-fingerprint technology to make it easier to remove any dirt that does build up, however, in doing so the film doesn’t work quite as well as last year’s wrinkled nanometer surface method." via geek.com

Has Apple finally abandoned its sad claim to the 'Multi-Touch' trademark? "Apple's used "Multi-Touch" since literally the first minute Steve Jobs uttered the word, with a conspicuous pause between syllables and a handy slide behind him displaying the hyphenated form. The goal, as with any trademark, was to convince the public that "Multi-Touch" on Apple devices is a proprietary technology somehow distinct from all the other multitouch displays in the world. If you squint right and imagine you're a hotshot young attorney with a bad BMW habit, it sort of makes sense, in the same way that "E Ink" makes sense as a trademark. But it was always unfortunate: here's Apple, the leader in minimal design, allowing its lawyers to brutalize the perfectly functional word "multitouch" with two capital letters, a hyphen, and a superscript. Gross." via The Verge

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Friday
Jan252013

Display Technology News Roundup 1.25.2013

Image via Zebra Imaging

3D holograms assist battle preparation "Holographic maps developed by Zebra Imaging (Austin, TX) and sponsored by a US Army contract allow soldiers to view three-dimensional (3D) landscapes and cityscapes prior to entering a battle zone. The technology, which has other uses in both military and civilian applications, relies on software that converts light detection and ranging (lidar) data into an up to 24 × 36 sq-in. rollable laser-written holographic display that can be observed using a simple flashlight, without the need for special viewing glasses or goggles." via Laser Focus World

How an E-ink Screen is Made (video) "The following video shows the CMO of E-ink, Sriram Peruvemba, as he explains the steps involved in making an E-ink screen. " via The Digital Reader

Electrowetting displays: Brighter than LCD, lower-power, and daylight readable "In an electrowetting display, a small blob of black oil takes the place of liquid crystal. In its base state, the black oil is opaque and doesn’t let any light through. Apply some electricity, the electrowetting of the substrate increases, the oil becomes a tight bead — and voila, lots of light passes through. Repeat this for all three RGB subpixels and you have a computer display." via Extreme Tech

Texas Instruments wants LCDs out of cars "The LCD touch screen has become commonplace in cars, but the technology suffers from limited shaping. Texas Instruments used its Digital Light Processor (DLP) technology to come up with a display that could take a wide variety of shapes in the car, and allow touch control for people wearing gloves." via CNET

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

Acer denies making touchscreen alliance "He said neither the company nor its chairman are involved in assembling a touchscreen industry alliance in Taiwan. The Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday that Acer chairman and chief executive officer Wang Jeng-tang was organizing the nation’s first touchscreen industry alliance to take on industry rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea."via Taipei Times

Touchscreen restaurant table forecasts the end of human interactions "Moneual has unveiled a design for a touchscreen cafe table that can display apps to help diners browse and order off the menu. ...Designed to feature touchscreen menus, order placement interface, and payment options, the Touch Table would be the one stop shop for cafe-goers to enjoy a Seamless-esque experience by interacting solely with computers and minimally with humans." via Digital Trends

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Touch Screens Moving Beyond Smartphones and Tablets "The current trend of using iPads or other multi-touch tablets with dedicated apps for certain specific purposes may be innovative, but it won't be sustainable or economically scalable beyond a point. It is here that the necessity for dedicated multi touch devices comes into the picture. There is massive potential in this arena, and companies like Sollensys are leading the way forwards. " via Huffington Post

PaperTabs electronic paper expected to replace computers "PaperTabs, created at Canada's Queen's University in partnership with Intel Labs and Plastic Logic, look similar to sheets of paper with black printing. But PaperTabs are actually flexible computers powered by the latest Intel chips with 10.7-inch touchscreens and the ability to interact with other pieces of electronic paper. Lay one PaperTab beside another and they can work together to display a larger image, for example. PaperTabs can also be used simply to read large documents, with users bending the PaperTab each time they wish to virtually flick to the next page." via Perth Now

Xbox display technology turns your room into a ‘holodeck’ of sorts "Microsoft gave a demonstration of a new research project called Illumiroom that fills a room with lights and images that coincide with what’s being shown on a TV screen. The experimental display tech uses Xbox Kinect — in conjunction with a projector — to scan the appearance and geometry of the room." via Venture Beat

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Cockpit display innovators to convene at Avionics Europe 2013 "“Few humans would disagree that of our five senses, sight and touch are perhaps the most important. Avionics displays embody sight and touch via an increasingly important role for pilots, crew, passengers, and maintenance personnel alike,” affirms Vance Hilderman, president of Atego HighRely. ...Avionics Europe 2013 will take place 20 and 21 Feb. 2013 in Munich." via Avionics Intelligence

Inventing DualView: Displaying two images at the same time "The technology’s origins lay in 3D – specifically glasses-free 3D, most recently seen in Nintendo’s 3DS and 3DS XL handheld games console. Much like the 3DS, DualView combines a normal LCD with parallax barrier technology, displaying two pictures simultaneously by separating the direction of light from each pixel into two directions. But unlike glasses-free 3D, which tricks the eyes into seeing a single three-dimensional image by layering two 2D images, DualView uses the tech to display two 2D images simultaneously." via Humans invent

£25M Graphene R&D Centre With Backing from Nokia, Plastic Logic & Others "Material scientists and nanotechnologists get very excited about the potential of graphene — a one-atom-thick sheet of bonded carbon atoms which is exceptionally strong, lightweight and flexible and is a better conductor than silicon – but they are not the only ones to see huge potential in it. Nokia, Plastic Logic, Philips, Dyson, and BaE systems are among more than 20 industry partners who have pledged £13 million worth of support for a new graphene R&D centre to be established at Cambridge University. ...The new Cambridge Graphene Centre aims to develop graphene from a material with a lot of raw potential — researchers have already been looking at how graphene could improve battery capacity, and exploring its water-repelling properties — to a point where it can “revolutionise flexible, wearable and transparent electronics”." via Tech Crunch

Will Samsung use diamond or hexagonal sub pixels in their new AMOLEDs? "Reportedly, Samsung are developing hexagon and diamond shaped pixels. This means that Samsung will increase the resolution but the picture will suffer due to jagged pixel artifacts and blurring. It's probably that at such high pixel density this won't actually be noticed, but still." via OLED-Info

A Dual-Screen Smartphone "But it seems to me like the most clever, the most innovative, the most useful way to employ double screens is also the most obvious one: to turn your smartphone into a tablet. What I want–what everyone wants, I think–is the screen real estate of a tablet, with the convenience of a device that fits in your pocket. The trend right now is to try to find a middle ground with tablet-phone hybrids called “phablets” (see “Review: Galaxy Note”). The only problem: phablets are often awkward." via MIT Technology Review

Is Apple changing its mind on touch panel structures? "Calvin Hsieh, senior analyst at DisplaySearch, cites a report from China that Innolux has delivered "touch on display" samples for the iPhone, another China report that Innolux and AU Optronics have provided "one-glass solution" (OGS) samples for the iPad Mini, and his firm's own analysis that the iPhone 5 uses in-cell touch technology but the iPad mini uses a glass/film dual ITO (GF2, or DITO) structure. With both those processes struggling to attain good yields, could Apple end up changing its display technology adoption midstream?" via Solid State Technology

Plasmag Technology successfully develops TCP film "EDN quoted representatives of Plasmag as stating the technology has a simplified production process and low cost advantages over ITO films. EDN also quoted market observers stating they believe the technology will replace ITO film in the future for conductive touch screen materials, most notably for use in tablet products." via DigiTimes

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Thursday
Jan032013

The Display Technology News Roundup For 1.3.2013

Image via The Environmental Blog

OLED TV Arrives "The companies are tackling the OLED in different ways. Samsung is using three OLEDs—one red, one green, one blue—for each pixel; LG is using white OLEDs throughout, creating subpixels with colored and white filters. O’Donovan says he thinks, at least in the short term, that LG’s white OLED approach “will be better for yields and will create a more uniform color for the whole panel.”" via ieee spectrum

Panasonic Halts Plasma R&D "Panasonic is reportedly due to halt R&D activities for its plasma TVs to concentrate on developing OLED technology. ...In fact, plasmas could be phased out for good in 2014 to make way for upcoming OLED technology, which boasts all the benefits of plasma and LCD (infinite contrast, wide viewing angles, good response times, etc.) without the drawbacks." via Digital Versus

Small, medium-size AMOLED displays doubling by 2015 "Mass adoption of AMOLED technology, though, faces hurdles due to the higher cost and technical difficulty of manufacturing -- successful entry takes five years on average, according to the firm. "Prior to the start of mass production of AMOLED displays for mobile phones, only passive-matrix OLED (PMOLED) displays were available, mostly used in applications such as mobile phone sub-displays, automobile displays, and some industrial and niche applications," Chung stated." via Solid State Technology

The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers "In Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance, Gary P. Pisano and Willy C. Shih, professors at Harvard Business School, list critical technologies in which the United States has lost or is at risk of losing its manufacturing prowess. Among them are rechargeable batteries, liquid crystal displays, and semiconductors (70 percent of the world’s foundry capacity is in Taiwan). It is no longer feasible to make e-ink readers in this country, though the technology was invented here. Shih rejects the notion that innovative products can reliably emerge when designs are shipped off for others to produce." via MIT Technology Review

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

Apple May Use IGZO Display Technology on 2013 iPhone and iPad Releases "A rumor suggests that Apple, Inc. and Sharp Corp. are negotiating plans for the former company to use the latter’s IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology in its next-generation iPhones and iPad tablet computers. While this agreement could be a potential game-changer for Apple, low yield rates on Sharp’s end has forced Apple to consider other display manufacturers in Asia to ensure healthy supplies of display panels." via Eastern Morning Herald

A Closer Look – MIT Lab’s 8D display "The 8D display is just of several inventions to overcome the prohibitive bandwidth requirements of holographic displays, all without the need for eyeglasses, using optimized optical hardware and co-designed "compressive" image-encoding algorithms. To date, MIT have explored the use of such "compressive displays" that are primarily composed of multiple layers of high-speed liquid crystal displays (LCDs)." via 3D Focus

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Electrowetting combines the best of LCD and E Ink "The problem is that the polarization limits both the viewing angle and the light coming from the backlight. Together, those optical layers—the polarizers, the color filters, and so on—waste more than 90 percent of the backlight’s output. Electrowetting limits this loss by dispensing with the polarizers." via ieee spectrum

Liquid Crystal Finding Could Lead to New Computer Screens "University of Massachusetts Amherst mathematician Robert Kusner teamed up with researchers at the University of Colorado to conduct three-dimensional liquid crystal experiments. According to a press release, “The work is expected to lead to creation of new materials that can be actively controlled.” ...“These findings lay the groundwork for new applications in experimental studies of low-dimensional topology, with important potential ramifications for many branches of science and technology,” Smalyukh stated, noting that the finding could lead to upgraded liquid crystal display (LCD) screens in televisions and laptops that let them interact with light in new ways." via The Epoch Times

Uni-Pixel: Possibly The Best Investment For 2013 "In order to fully understand Unipixel's opportunity, one must first understand the market - touch screens. ...Current 'conductive layers' are made from ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) which is horribly flawed. Firstly, Indium is expensive, increasing from $300/kg to $800/kg in the past 3 years. ...Due to the brittleness of ITO, this cost gets exponentially more expensive for larger screens (such as tablets or laptops, or larger smart phones). This is where Unipixel steps in with the UniBoss product." via Seeking Alpha

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LG Flexible e-Paper Fails to Change the e-Reader World "Why didn’t this screen technology ever catch on in the e-reader world? Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Bookeen, and Bebook all use e-Paper made by e-Ink Holdings. This company has had a stranglehold on the entire e-reader segment. With the industry gravitating towards illuminated screens and e-Ink Triton 2, there aren’t any takers for LG." via Good Ereader

New E-Notepad by Sharp brings paper notebooks closer to their doom "The strongest point of the WG-N10 is the accuracy of its response when used with a stylus. It has a self correction system that adjusts the output lines accordingly as the stylus "writes", and can accurately display written notes even in the centimeter range. The reflective display even adds more intuitiveness to the unit, since it can be used just about anywhere that you can use an ordinary notebook, only you don't use up paper and ink!" via VR-Zone

Patent Issued for on Demand Calibration of Imaging Displays ""The steps further include receiving luminance and color values from a plurality of photosensors associated with the display screen, where the photosensors detect distinct luminance and color levels at the different regions of the display screen. The steps also include determining, from the detected luminance and color levels, a plurality of luminance and color correction factors by comparing the detected luminance and color values to reference luminance and color data. The steps additionally include applying the determined luminance and color correction factors to the different regions of the display screen so as to adjust luminance and color of the display screen at the different regions, where each of the different regions is spanned by a corresponding measurement field."" via Equities.com

Firewall: A Depth Sensitive Interactive Wall "Firewall is an interactive installation, a seemingly normal wall that is actually a stretched spandex surface which acts as a membrane interface sensitive to depth. People can push, touch, move and create fire-like visuals dynamically depending on the speed, pressure, depth and movement of the interaction with the spandex surface." via Digital Buzz Blog

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