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Thursday
Nov192015

Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Feb282015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 2.28.2015

Image via Microsoft HoloLens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Jan042015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 1.4.2015

Image via Cicret Bracelet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday
Dec012014

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 12.1.2014

Image via Cobia Boats / Florida Sportsman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Sep302014

Display Technology News Roundup 9.30.2014

Image via Flickr / That Hartford Guy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Sep032014

Display Technology News Roundup 9.3.2014

Image via Fast Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday
Jun232014

Display Technology News Roundup 6.23.2014

Image via Sharp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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
Dec222013

Display Technology News Roundup 12.23.2013

Image via Atmel

How Did Touchscreens Get Invented? "Oddly enough, the underlying technology for touchscreens wasn’t even thought up until the 1940s. Sadly, this concept was then left... well, untouched... until 1965, when one E.A. Johnson of the United Kingdom had another stab at it. Johnson came up with a finger-driven touchscreen that historians generally agree was the very first finger-driven touchscreen. ...To outline the jumps and bumps in the touchscreen’s history, Atmel has developed the following infographic (link), which -- in addition to noting some of the more historic milestones -- also includes some of the weirder tidbits of trivia and nuggets of knowledge." via EE Times

Quantum dot technology progresses, ships in LED-backlit LCD TVs "3M, for example, is now using QDs [Quantum Dots] supplied by Nanosys, Inc. to offer a quantum-dot enhancement film (QDEF) a thin, optically-clear sheet with red and green dots that replaces the existing diffuser film in the reflective cavity of an LCD backlight. This packaging, explains 3M marketing development manager Art Lathrop, "not only simplifies integration and protects the dots against flux but boosts efficiency by recycling light emitted in the wrong direction."" via LEDs Magazine

Meet 'Willi', An LCD-Covered Bus "The concept (video) designed by Tad Orlowiski is supposed to make use of transparent LCD screens, which would allow the display of images while simultaneously not interfering with the passengers views. This sounds pretty damn sci-fi, but apparently transparent LCD is a real, expensive technology." via Digital Trends

How Did 3M Create A Display With A Clear View from Any Angle "Multilayer Optical Film is made with such precision that it is viewable from a variety of angles without loss in resolution or clarity. This precision also contributes to its optical efficiency, which reduces power usage. It has become very important for the success of smartphones, says Ouderkirk, because it is one of the key pieces of technology whose primary role is augmented by a secondary function, which is to reduce battery pore consumption. Without it, most smartphones would have much higher battery consumption. But designing this new film was not easy, and required a major advance in the physical understanding of nanoscale materials’ optical behavior. Polymers were already used in high-performance reflectors, fabricated using a physical vapor deposition process that placed thin layers of organic materials. But such films were entirely unsuitable for interference optics." via R&D Mag

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How Much Does Sharp's New LED Device Expand LCD Color Gamut Without Lowering Brightness? "Sharp combined a blue LED chip with red and green phosphors made using totally new materials and realized the 90% color gamut on NTSC (CIE1931) standards and a high brightness. With the 0.4mm-thick model for small- and middle-size LCD panels, it is possible to ensure a screen brightness that is only 3% lower than the screen brightness of the LCD panel using yellow phosphors, the company said. And the wider color gamut enables to display video that looks stereoscopic." via Tech-On

How do carbon nanotube-doped liquid crystals result in faster LCDs? "Liquid crystals (LCs) exhibit a phase of matter that has properties between those of a conventional liquid and those of a solid crystal. This means that LCs can flow like a liquid, and at the same time the anisotropic LC-molecules maintain a long range crystalline order. Their unique combinations of liquid and solid-like properties allow liquid crystals to be used pervasively in the electro-optical display technology – known as liquid crystal display (LCD). In new work, researchers have observed that a dilute suspension of a small amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in a nematic LC (in the nematic LC phase the molecules are oriented in parallel but not arranged in well-defined planes) results in a significantly faster nematic switching effect on application of an electric field." via Nanowerk

How Korean LCD Industry Will Be Impacted By Core Technology for Digital Exposure Equipment "A Korean research team consisting of members from both industry and academia have successfully developed key elements of 8th generation digital exposure equipment, or lithographic devices for flat panel displays, which can be used in manufacturing not only LCD but organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens. Exposure equipment for flat panel displays was the only device that was not localized among the five key devices to produce displays, which forced local manufacturers to rely solely on imports from other countries such as Japan. As this development will open doors for the local production of exposure equipment, it is expected to bring about an economic ripple effect of over 1 trillion won ($US950 million), including import replacements worth 600 billion won (US$570 million), or 20 to 30 billion won per unit." via BusinessKorea

LCD Jargon: What Are Flat Panel Displays And How Do They Work? "Electro Luminescence (EL) is a device (or display) that utilises a material that generates fluorescence (self-luminous) when a voltage is applied. It has features such as high contrast, wide viewing angles, rapid response, low power consumption, etc. Those who don’t contain carbon molecules are called inorganic EL, and those who do are called organic EL." via Av Max

How To Recycle LCD Displays: UK Company Gets Approval "Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd has achieved full UK approval from the Environment Agency to be the world’s first recycling plant to mechanically process LCD Flat Panel Displays (flat screen televisions and monitors). These displays contain mercury and become hazardous waste when they enter the waste stream. Flat panel display recycling, when carried out manually, takes 15 minutes per display, however, the new process operates at a rate of one every six seconds making it faster and safer than any other process in the world. The UK sees one million used flat panel displays entering the recycling market per month." via Recycling Portal

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Why E Ink Devices Will Be Getting Lighter: New Display Technology "Fina is a glass based TFT technology that uses a very thin glass substrate to deliver products that are much lighter and thinner than what is possible with standard LCD displays. Fina displays weigh less than 50% of the weight of an equivalent glass based TFT and are less than 50% of the thickness as well. This is particularly important for mobile products requiring larger display areas. A 13.3" Fina display module, installed in the PocketBook CAD Reader, weighs approximately 60 grams." via E Ink

What Is Digital Signage Going To Look Like In 2014? "Video walls can even compete with very large single digital screens. There are still 150-inch plasma displays and LCDs now approaching 100 inches. As awesome as big displays are in their own right, they are limited with respect to their resolutions. With video walls, installers can utilize very high resolutions on each screen — reaching almost 6K by 5K. That's a higher resolution than one can achieve on a single screen. Video walls lend themselves to creativity and diversity, and that's why they will be more experiential in 2014." via Digital Signage Today

Why The Nexus 5 Display Is Synaptics' Calling Card to the Mobile Industry "The ClearPad 3350 technology used in the Nexus 5 features Synaptics' patent-pending In-Cell technology. This new technology allows touchscreen functionality to be present inside of the LCD display, which negates the need for an additional layer of sensors. The benefit is that it allows the mobile device to be thinner, lighter, and more responsive." via Daily Finance

Japan Display to acquire Taiwan LCM maker and establish new subsidiary in China "Japan Display (JDI) has decided to make Star World Technology Corporation (STC), a Taiwa-based manufacturer of LCD modules (LCMs), into a subsidiary of Taiwan Display (TDI), JDI's wholly owned subsidiary, by acquiring approximately 80% of STC's outstanding common shares through TDI. ...The principal objective of TDI is to expand business in the market for small and medium-sized displays, its main business domain, particularly in the China market, which is growing rapidly." via DigiTimes

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Are Car Touchscreens Losing Their Appeal? "Jack Nerad, Executive Editorial Director at Kelly Brook Blue, commented to USA Today that it is better to stick to what consumers know best, saying that Ford’s decision to get rid of buttons entirely “may have been a bit overkill”. Consumer Reports has furthermore labelled the interface “distracting”, the fundamental design as “flawed” and the flush, touch-sensitive buttons as “maddeningly fussy and…hard to distinguish.” Frost & Sullivan has taken a more diplomatic line, stating that “OEMs are finding it hard to balance out an offering which provides the latest and greatest features but also assures safety… clearly proving that full touch experience is not yet automotive ready.”" via Automotive World

Boston College Study: How Touchscreen Technology Impacts Shopping Choices ""The Carroll School researchers had separate groups of people surf online for a sweater and a city walking-tour service using a touchscreen, touchpad, and normal computer mouse in one study, and sweatshirts and tents on iPads and laptops in a second study. After choosing a product, participants were asked how much money it would take for them to sell their product if someone else wanted to buy it. Those using the touchscreen wanted almost 50 percent more money for their chosen product than those using the mouse or touchpad laptop. Explaining the reason for such elevated perceptions of ownership, Brasel says, “This is the first evidence that we know of exploring this endowment effect via touchscreen interface. When we reach out to grab a product in the real world, we’ll hold the product in one hand and touch the product with the other hand. So the act of doing that on a tablet mimics our real-world experience much better than when we’re operating a mouse that in turn moves a pointer that is on some unconnected screen we’re not even holding."" via The Boston College Chronicle

How a robot is testing whether humans will find a new touchscreen responsive. "It’s a far cry from the menial work that Oculus’s robot arm was designed for: moving silicon wafers around in a chip fab. But it’s not just a party trick. Intel built Oculus to try to empirically test the responsiveness and “feel” of a touch screen to determine if humans will like it. Oculus does that by analyzing how objects on a device’s screen respond to its touch. It “watches” the devices that it holds via a Hollywood production camera made by Red that captures video at 300 frames per second in higher than HD resolution. Software uses the footage to measure how a device reacts to Oculus—for example, how quickly and accurately the line in a drawing program follows the robot’s finger, how an onscreen keyboard responds to typing, or how well the screen scrolls and bounces when Oculus navigates a long list." via MIT Technology Review

Aviation Displays: Honeywell Touchscreen Research Guides FAA Regulation ""We have a heavy focus on human factors, including the appropriate intended function and functional allocation for touch technology on the flight deck," said Merdich. "Our research, has shown that there are key attributes — technology, location, button size, spacing, menu navigation, etc. — to the implementation of touch that are instrumental toward insuring a satisfying user experience with touch in this unique environment." Focusing on human factors should help to relieve fears expressed by operators and pilots in reaction to previous reports on touchscreen technology regarding inadvertent touchscreen swipes. To address inadvertent touchscreen interactions, Honeywell's researchers and engineers are evaluating the usability of differing touch technologies, such as digital resistive technology, which requires more pressure to change the function of the interface than would a typical swipe on a touchscreen smartphone or tablet." via Aviation Display

How To Reduce electrical noise in projected capacitive touch panel designs "The most common culprit is, of course, the TFT. It’s directly behind the PCAP touch panel and is radiating straight into it. A TFT contains a variety of digital signals which may have frequency components in the hundreds of kilohertz, which is the exact frequency range that can cause problems for a PCAP. The backlight is typically the worst offender on the TFT. When choosing a TFT for a PCAP based project, try to avoid TFTs with CCFL backlights. The inverter used to drive a CCFL is very noisy and may cause localized (i.e. the noise is present directly above the location of the inverter) noise issues on the PCAP. An LED backlight is generally the best option when available." via EDN

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Sunday
Aug112013

Display Technology News Roundup 8.11.2013

Image via Christian Holz / Fiberio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
May012013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.30.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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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Tuesday
Jan152013

Display Technology News Roundup 1.15.2013

Image via PC World

Displair gives you a touchscreen out of thin air "Air flows out of the device, interacting with water drops to form a screen where you can beam images from a computer or tablet. But this is no mere projection screen, it's a fully interactive display, as I found it when I was able to play a game of Fruit Ninja just by waving my hand across the Displair's virtual screen." via PC World

CES 2013 OLED summary "But the most interesting OLED TVs didn't come from LG and Samsung this time - but from Sony and Panasonic. Both companies unveiled 56" 4K OLED TV prototypes. The two companies are collaboration on OLED technologies, and Sony made the TFT on Panasonic's set - which probably explains why both unveiled TVs in the same unique 56" size." via OLED-Info

It's official: 3D is dead "There are no more 60-foot posters with people exploding out of flatscreen televisions. The super glitzy marketing videos now relate to the far more tangible benefits of higher resolutions, curved displays, and the beauty of OLED. The show floor space dedicated to three-dimensional imagery has been decimated, relegating a dubious technology to its proper position as a sideshow rather than a leading cause to upgrade your TV." via The Verge

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

Show envisions curved displays, controls "Given enough imagination, engineers could figure out how touch controls or displays could be helpful on the curved handle of a cup of coffee, said Mariel van Tatenhove, marketing director for touch materials for San Jose's Atmel Corp., a developer of microcontrollers, capacitive touch controllers and touch sensors. "We used to think the world was flat, but it's not," said van Tatenhove, who was showing off the company's paper-thin and bendable touch sensor called XSense. "Why shouldn't devices be either?"" via SFGate

Harman Wants to Put an Augmented Reality Display in Your Car’s Windshield "Harman has developed an augmented reality display technology that give you real-time information in your windshield while you drive. It's like Google Glasses for your ar except that the product is actually about to launch it (or so they say...). And Harman promises you won't crash while using it." via Gizmodo

Two Advanced LCD Technologies Appear in Soon-to-Ship Consumer TV Sets "Sharp didn’t really try in its big press conference, simply saying that in addition to its coming 4Kx2K TVs, the company was introducing an FHD Quattron TV that produced images with close to 4Kx2K sharpness. ...Very briefly, because a Quattron pixel contains four subpixels (red, green, blue, and yellow) instead of three, any given color can be created with more than one combination of primaries. This redundancy can be used to create two luminance peaks per pixel instead of the traditional one luminance peak per pixel. Thus, the panel can produce a true 4Kx2K image even though it contains only 2Kx1K (four-primary) pixels." via Display Central

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Tactus tactile LCD "It’s a flexible panel sandwiched atop a touchscreen that uses liquid to inflate and deflate buttons that provide actual tactile response on devices like smartphones, tablets, and kiosk computers. Fast forward to this week and Tactus is on hand at CES 2013 where it’s showing off a 7-inch reference tablet that features the slick morphing keyboard. Like an e-Ink display, the Tactus buttons only require power during state changes." via Geek.com

How to deploy digital signage in transit "Solar Clearing of the LCD screen also is a concern. With direct sunlight and a backlight at full brightness, the LCD crystals receive a large amount of heat and could go through a phase change causing black blotches on the screen. This solar clearing will cause degradation in the display, thereby reducing the operating life." via Digital Signage Today

Flat panel makers safe from rising NTD "Chang said the near term foreign exchange rate fluctuations are unlikely to hurt Taiwanese screen makers badly, but he is more concerned about long term movements if the local currency continues to climb. Chang said another silver lining is that the weakening Japanese yen has served as a factor to reduce the impact from a rising New Taiwan dollar as local flat panel makers are able to take advantage of a cheaper yen by importing components from Japan." via The China Post

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DNP creates bezel-narrowing LCD cover "InvisiBezel can be mounted on top of standard “narrow-bezel” LCD panels. The edges consist of prisms that optically stretch the pixels at the edge of the LCD panel to conceal the bezel. It also protects the panels from scratches." via InAVate

Samsung Again Teases Flexible Displays, But Will Anything Come of Them? ""Samsung and a few other vendors have been teasing the market for some time on flexible displays but so far as I can see, their yapping hasn't done much to create buzz around the idea, let alone actual demand," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "The more attention they receive, the more flexible displays look like a classic 'solution in search of a problem.' Unless Samsung and other involved parties can define some compelling need or use case, flexible displays are likely to become one of those long-discussed yet quickly forgotten misadventures."" via Sci-Tech Today

This Vomiting Robot Is Really A Next-Generation Display Technology "Petman, the eerily lifelike walking droid manufactured by Boston Dynamics, may look like a Terminator prototype, but it’s actually designed to test chemical protection clothing for humans. ECCErobot began as a testbed to study how our brains control our floppy, fragile bodies. And Larry, god bless him, is basically a display technology for studying the contagious properties of aerosolized norovirus (a nasty bug that spreads from projectile vomiting). " via MIT Technology Review

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