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Tuesday
Dec012015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.1.2015

Image via Oak Labs / Polo Ralph Lauren / Thomas Iannaccone

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), a leading distributor and solutions provider with nearly 15 years specializing in the global LCD display industry and PCAP touchscreens. This blog is an open resource for the display industry and welcomes content and sponsorship from readers. Contact us to discuss how we can work together on Display Alliance. For display panels, visit the Smarter Glass display database to search and compare thousands of panels side-by-side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday
Nov192015

Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), a leading distributor and solutions provider with nearly 15 years specializing in the global LCD display industry and PCAP touchscreens. This blog is an open resource for the display industry and welcomes content and sponsorship from readers. Contact us to discuss how we can work together on Display Alliance. For display panels, visit the Smarter Glass display database to search and compare thousands of panels side-by-side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday
Oct162015

Display Technology News Roundup 10.16.2015

Image via GelTouch

Display Alliance is sponsored by Smarter Glass (www.smarterglass.com), a leading distributor and solutions provider with nearly 15 years specializing in the global LCD display industry and PCAP touchscreens. This blog is an open resource for the display industry and welcomes content and sponsorship from readers. Contact us to discuss how we can work together on Display Alliance. For display panels, visit the Smarter Glass display database to search and compare thousands of panels side-by-side.

Could You Make Your Own Buttons with a Gel Touchscreen? "Researchers hailing mainly from the Technische Universität Berlin in Germany built a prototype of a touch screen with a layer of gel atop it that can change from soft to stiff when heat is applied—making it possible to create temporary buttons in all kinds of shapes that needn’t be defined in advance, which users can feel and use to interact with the display. Such technology could make it easier to use a range of electronics, from in-car displays to smartphones and wearable gadgets, to do things like receive alerts or input information without needing to glance at the devices themselves. (Video)" via MIT Technology Review

Researchers Create Nanocrystalline Thin-Film Transistor for Next-Generation LCD Screens "If you're reading this story on a screen with a liquid crystal display, thank thin-film transistors. Thin-film transistors function like standard semiconductor transistors, but are deposited on top of a layer of glass. In LCD screens, this allows the transistors to be embedded directly in the screen, which improves image stability. Researchers at Korea University and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology have now developed a new type of thin film transistor that's significantly faster than its predecessors -- an important step toward speeding up image display on devices like TVs and smartphone screens. The scientists made the transistor from zinc oxynitride, or ZnON, which they then plasma treated with argon gas." via AZoNano

How LCD screen glare could be solved with sunglasses "New sunglasses brand NoonWear, which uses "proprietary implementation of polarization technology," has launched NoonWear Ones, the "sunglasses that help owners of LCD screens, like laptops and tablets, use their devices outdoors." ...“NoonWear sunglasses provide traditional sunglass light protection and UV ray blocking, but they also let you see your laptop,” said Charles Barr, co-founder of NoonWear and an MIT graduate, in a statement. “We want to bring the LCD generation outdoors and let people use their electronic devices while in the sun.”" via Boston Business Journal

Will Foxconn Close Deal to Control Sharp's LCD Business? "Foxconn Technology Group has signed a letter of intent to buy a stake in Sharp Corp.’s liquid-crystal display business in a deal that would give Foxconn management control as the Japanese electronics maker spins off the unit, according to people familiar with the plan. ...Foxconn wants to model this deal on Chairman Terry Gou’s personal investment in Sharp’s Sakai Display operations in 2012, which resulted in the Taiwanese company having management control over the LCD factory, one of the people said. Hon Hai is Foxconn’s largest unit and the world’s biggest maker of iPhones. The company also makes iPads, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox console, and personal computers for Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Hon Hai gets about half its revenue from Apple and is seeking to expand beyond assembly to offer components, including displays and semiconductors." via Bloomberg Business

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A low-power reflective display with a wide color gamut "High-resolution reflective displays with motion image capability and a broad color gamut are considered by many to represent the next-generation display technology. Reflective displays dramatically reduce power consumption and allow for the realization of new display applications, such as smart watches and digital textbooks. In recent years, the electrophoretic display (EPD)—in which images are formed by the electronic rearrangement of charged pigment particles—has been widely implemented as a low-power display for e-book applications. The optical diffusion of EPDs is, however, essentially Lambertian, resulting in relatively low reflectivity. Narrow color gamut filters must therefore be used to avoid further reduction in the reflectivity, negatively impacting the display properties. To overcome this issue, we have developed a reflective color liquid crystal display (LCD) using a mirror electrode and a diffusion film that is designed to diffuse light only in its direction of travel. This display system requires that the chromaticity of optical components be suppressed, and establishes a method by which the optical diffusion of reflected light can be controlled. This results in a display with a wide color gamut and high reflectivity, making it optically similar to white paper." via SPIE

Will Lasers Light the Way for Projectors in Digital Signage? "Replacing lamps is a costly endeavor, and translates to steep labor costs when lamps reach their end of life after 1,500 to 4,000 hours of use. And the accumulation of dust typical in projectors that use lamps further accelerates their demise. However, laser phosphor projectors, which emit a more consistent light output over their lifetimes, are changing the game. With lasers as their light sources, these distinctly modern projectors offer up to 20,000 hours of projector life at maximum brightness. Lamp-less projectors also offer flexibility that is a major benefit in an environment that experiences heavy foot traffic on a daily basis. They have given users more placement options for display signage installations, for example. With their robust durability and convenient flexibility, laser phosphor projectors are positioned to shine a bright light on digital signage in the transportation industry." via Mass Transit Magazine

Japan Display plans R&D hub in China "Japan Display plans to open a smartphone panel development site this year in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, employing about 100 people. In addition to sending staff from Japan, the company gradually will transfer engineers from a design site in Taiwan. Besides handling designing, marketing and quality control, the site will also have a unit in charge of procurement. Conducting procurement operations there will make it easier to capture smartphone technology trends faster, and the company said sending marketing staffers from Shanghai was not enough to respond to customer needs adequately." via Nikkei Asian Review

Can the display industry in Korea continue to grow? ""Korea's longtime leadership in displays is increasingly challenged as Chinese and Japanese competitors are quickly narrowing the gap with Korean companies with massive investments in displays," said Minister of Trade and Energy Yoon Sang-jick at an event at the JW Marriott Hotel in southern Seoul, Friday. "We need to think how to keep the country competitive in the industry." Yoon referred to China's recent approval for BOE to invest in super-sized OLED displays using advanced 10.5-generation glass-cutting technology and the launch of JOLED in Japan. He told participants that the country plans to offer more financial benefits such as tax exemptions to companies focusing on OLED projects. "With a combined global share of 42.8 percent, the country is still leading the industry. But the issue is that the market has already been crowded due to weak demand and continued oversupply," said the minister. Korea has designated OLEDs as one of the next-generation key items. " via The Korea Times

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What's Next in Display Technology? "Reaching a bit further in the health sector beyond display apps, electro-stimulation, medical monitors are coming. UV skin docimeters and even electronics in contact lenses hold promise because of silver nanowire's incredible flexibility and transparency versus other materials. Major electronics OEMs like Samsung, Lenovo, Karbonn, NEC, Toshiba, and LG have shipped products ranging from mobile phones to large-area monitors using silver nanowires. Many others are in development or in the pipeline but not yet public. The switch is on by companies in both the consumer and industrial sectors, driven by product improvements and manufacturing cost benefits. Technologies that are synergistic with silver nanowires are providing opportunities to explore new applications." via EE Times

Should We Say Goodbye to the Display Screen at Work? "Here is a closer look at some screen-free interfaces that could revolutionize the way we work, as well as some of the challenges companies may face as they become more widespread. Ambient notifications: The ORBneXt, a screenless cube-like device sold by Advanced Lumonics LLC, continuously tracks any data stream you choose and changes color to notify you to take action when, say, an important email arrives or product inventory drops below a threshold. You could, for instance, program the cube to glow green when you get an email from your boss or an important collaborator. These kinds of screen-free, background notifications are essentially a way to curb the digital itches we tend to continuously scratch—such as checking our inboxes or stock prices—guiding us back to more productive activities." via The Wall Street Journal

Hello, Retina: New iMacs Get Eye-Popping Displays "Last year, Apple began offering an upgrade to 27-inch iMac called Retina 5K that quadrupled its resolution (5120x2880 pixels)—so many pixels that they seemed to just melt away, and made text look like the printed page. But Apple originally targeted professionals by charging a $700 premium for iMacs with these screens. Now Retina screens come standard on all 27-inch iMacs, starting at $1,800. There’s also a new screen for the smaller 21.5-inch iMac. At a resolution of 4096x2304 pixels, it packs 4.5 times as many as before for $1,500, a $400 premium. The new color capabilities may take more of an experienced eye to appreciate. The human eye and high-end cameras can see a wider range of colors than most LCD screens can reproduce. But in the last year, manufacturers have figured out how to amp up the color range (called gamut) even on consumer-level monitors and TVs." via The Wall Street Journal

Is Ultrasound the Future of Touchscreens? "UK start-up Ultrahaptics, for example, is working with premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover to create invisible air-based controls that drivers can feel and tweak. Instead of fumbling for the dashboard radio volume or temperature slider, and taking your eyes off the road, ultrasound waves would form the controls around your hand. "You don't have to actually make it all the way to a surface, the controls find you in the middle of the air and let you operate them," says Tom Carter, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ultrahaptics. Such technologies, proponents argue, are an advance on devices we can control via gesture - like Nintendo's Wii or Leap Motion's sensor device that allows users to control computers with hand gestures. That's because they mimic the tactile feel of real objects by firing pulses of inaudible sound to a spot in mid air." via Khaleej Times

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Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays "In research published in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers at Stuttgart’s Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research and LMU Munich, Germany have developed nanostructures capable of changing their electrical and optical properties when a finger passes by them. The resulting device could usher in a new generation of touchless displays. While touchless displays raise the question of whether every finger that passes by a display’s surface is really intended to interface with the computer, the researchers believe this new interface will address the problems of mechanical wear suffered by today’s touch screens over time, as well as concerns over screens, especially at ATMs, being transmission vectors for viruses and bacteria. Computer hardware analysts aren’t completely sold on whether touchless displays are really next step in computer interfaces. That debate notwithstanding, the technology that enables this approach is impressive. The researchers have developed what amounts to a humidity sensor that reacts to the minute amount of sweat on a finger and converts it to an electrical signal or a change in color of the nanostructured material. (Video)" via IEEE

Is Apple’s 3D Touch the Start of a New Interface Revolution? "It’s all very heady and philosophical—Petschnigg apologized a few time during our conversation for having his head so far in the clouds. Developers are still figuring out what this all means. Petschnigg imagines you could use Peek and Pop to look through your notes faster, for one thing. And who knows what else? “We know basic selection, text selection is going to change,” he says. “Object selection is going to change. We know on the tools side we gained an entirely new dimension of expressiveness.” They’re prototyping a lot of new ideas. “Diagram tool!” he proclaims at one point, like he just remembered it. “In our diagram tool, if you want to pick up a shape, duplicate a shape, stamp a shape, these all start to feel totally natural." There’s one more example he’s excited about: window management. As the world moves from mouse and keyboards to touchscreens, even for productive uses, how do we deal with having a dozen apps running at once? Right now, Petschnigg points out, the metaphor fails. “You know, you click on the window, it comes to the front. The same with ordering of shapes on the screen.” When you want something else, you Alt-Tab, which no one does, or rely on some hacky workaround. “Now,” he says, “you can push things back. You can’t push a window back today. Now, all of a sudden, the street that used to be one way is now two way. Things will change.”" via WIRED

Is 3D Touch 'game-changing' for mobile developers? "3D Touch is a new screen technology that Apple developed for the iPhone 6S and detects variable pressure placed on the screen. It works by using capacitive sensors, which can measure microscopic changes in distances between the backlight and the cover glass as pressure is applied. ...3D Touch is going to improve the overall experience of navigating and shortcutting across all touch screen applications. I do think games are best placed to show if off, though. Knowing what 3D touch is capable of, I think game developers are going to come up with all sorts of new creative gameplay which incorporates the tech. There’s going to be games that people will want to download just to try out those new types of gameplay, things that will only be possible with 3D Touch." via Develop

Communicating with Touch "The heart of Sensel Morph consists of two layers: an electrode grid made up of 20,000 force-sensing elements and a sheet of polymer material that enables each sensing element to measure force over 4,000 detectable voltage levels. This means that the Morph can detect anything from the delicate touch of a paintbrush to the hard slap of a hand. Sensel uses an advanced lithographic manufacturing process to create the electrode grid, unlike most force-sensing arrays, which are typically screen-printed on Mylar film. The advantage of Sensel’s approach is that the lithographic process can produce a sensor array that consistently delivers high-resolution data, where screen-printed systems usually cannot." via IHS Electronics360

Are gaming display touchscreens the best for skill-based games? "So let’s add what happens in a casino environment to the touch screens on slots machines. Drinks get spilled, cigarettes are smoked leaving nicotine and smoke film, people have everything from hand lotions to body oils to a range of other substances on their fingers that can build up on the touch screens making it harder overtime, particularly without regular cleaning, for the screen and finger connection to be properly made and recognized on the touch screens. Net result of a dirty touch screen, is having to tap the screen a few times for your command to be recognized. Not real efficient for a skill game that relies on the player’s speed and timing along with game responsiveness. As the technology standards related to skill-based gaming are still evolving and pending approval, it is likely the type of circumstance described here will be included in the testing process. Yet I would suggest this very issue will be added reason for the skill-based games to migrate from traditional slot machine boxes to player’s smart phones or tablets. During a media only Skill-Based Gaming Panel at G2E, Bryan Kelly, SVP of technology for Scientific Games, in reaction to concerns about the future cost of games to operators by Melissa Price, SVP of gaming for Caesars Entertainment, disclosed that other form factors such as tablets would likely be a part of the future way for skill-based games to be played." via Gaming Today

OLED Gets Cheaper: LG Slashes Its OLED TV Prices "In what could prove to be a watershed moment in the history of TV technology, LG has announced that it’s slashing the prices of its OLED TVs to such an extent that they can now compete on price with some LCD TVs. LG’s new pricing takes between 30% and 45% off the prices of its new flat-screened EF9500 and curved EG9600 4K UHD TVs, as well as bringing full HD OLED down to below $2,000 for the first time. The full details of LG’s new OLED pricing scheme run as follows." via Forbes

What are the pros and cons of video walls vs. large-format displays? "A tiled LCD video wall will be less expensive and will have greater flexibility in how the final image is displayed than a single unit. For instance, a site may want to cover a long, thin wall or a curved wall that a single large-format display doesn't fit on, but deploying the solution will take a little more effort and the finished product will always have the bezel line in the image. A single large-format display is easier to deploy and can show great UHD content without a bezel break, but there may be locations that simply can't accept a single panel this large. A 98-inch panel doesn't fit in the average elevator or in areas with tight corners." via Digital Signage Today

What Is "Internet of Display"? Are you Viewing Your Information Through a Straw? "Most of you have probably heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT) which refers to the fact that millions and soon, probably billions of devices will be connected to information via the Internet. Recently Andrew (Drew) Jamison at Scalable Displays has been chirping about what he calls the “Internet of Display” (IoD). Since reading his article introducing the concept, I have been having spirited debates with a number of people about this concept – and trying to decide if the term has merit and if so, a concise way to describe it. In this article, I will lay out the concept in more detail as I understand it and I invite you to chime in with comments and your input. One of the trends behind IoT and IoD is that functionality and data that used to reside on PCs, workstations or company servers is moving to the cloud. The result is that the conventional display/workstation paradigm is changing and moving in the direction of simply a “dumb” display being all that an end user needs to do complex tasks. For example, this means that a CAD designer can interact and render designs in the cloud delivering just images to his display. A digital signage media player can migrate to the cloud delivering the content playlist in real time. A control room can use the cloud to aggregate multiple sources of data and video using management software resident in the Internet to deliver images to the display solution. A 360-degree video of computer-generated or video images can reside in the cloud streaming to VR headsets or mobile devices." via Display Daily

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Sunday
May032015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 5.3.2015

Image via Apple Watch

How does Apple's Force Touch enhance the touchscreen experience? "On March 9, Apple announced the Apple Watch and new MacBook at its Spring Forward event. The company also acclaimed its Force Touch (with Taptic Engine) as a new concept in these products. Apple previously seemed more interested in pressure-sensing technology, as it applied for a stylus use patent. However, tap-sensing replaced pressure-sensing. Tap-sensing is limited in pressure detection, and its sensing level is not as sophisticated as pressure-sensing technology. ...Force Touch is more of a marketing term than a specific technology. Apple will likely adopt the most appropriate tap-sensing technology depending on the product. For example, the company already indicated that touch screens are not suitable for clam-shell notebook form factors. Still, Apple will continue to improve its user interface. In addition to the new butterfly mechanism replacing the scissor-like keyboard, Force Touch replaces the diving board design to make its trackpad better." via ECN Magazine

Sharp may spin off LCD unit "Loss-making Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp (6753.T) may spin off its LCD panel business and seek funding for it from the government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a source familiar with the plan said on Sunday. The Nikkei business daily earlier reported that the LCD unit, which supplies displays to smartphone and tablet manufacturers, will be spun off in the current fiscal year and that INCJ could invest 100 billion yen in the new entity." via Reuters

How refrigerator LCD screens are driving consumers to drink "The latest digital screen innovation for hospitality businesses is a refreshing change: pub refrigerators with transparent LCD displays built in. Heineken has ordered 200 of Focal Media’s new Damoc Cooler Displays for UK and Ireland locations serving its products, hoping to raise its beer brand’s profile and develop sales. Irish firm Focal Media creates content, digitising conventional advertising where necessary to tie in with events featured at the venues – particularly Heineken-sponsored sporting fixtures such as Champions League and European Cup rugby, which can be big attractions for pubs that show them on TV. Content also includes promotional videos and social media updates." via Screenmedia Magazine

Researchers developing LCD shutters that go from transparent to a new scene "A group of researchers at Pusan National University in South Korea are developing LCD shutters that can be either transparent — allowing you to see your neighborhood — or opaque — giving you views of anything you choose to put on the screen. While not a completely new idea, Tae-Hoon Yoon and his group have a new design that could eliminate some of the problems associated with making a transparent display out of OLEDs. "The transparent part is continuously open to the background," Yoon told AIP Publishing, which published his work in AIP Advances. "As a result, they exhibit poor visibility." Instead, the group’s idea involves a polymer network of liquid crystal cells that don’t absorb light when the shutter is "off," making the material transparent. To make the shutter opaque and ready to project an image, you supply electricity, letting special dichroic dyes absorb the light reflected by the LCDs." via Digital Trends

Shape-changing display could spell the end for the 2D graph "Researchers have developed a 3D prototype display which brings data to life in just this way sounding the death knell for the two dimensional bar chart. Human Computer Interaction specialists at Lancaster University have built a device which translates data into a three dimensional display. The interactive grid of 100 moving columns enables people to understand and interpret data at a glance. People can also physically interact with data points by touching, selecting and swiping through them to hide, filter and compare sets of data easily. The 3D display is radically different to interacting with data on a flat screen. A month's sales figures for example spring to life and take on a 'shape' in front of you, numbers become 'things', trends become gradients which you can reach out and touch." via Phys.org

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Graphene produces a working 3D holographic display "The graphene-enabled display created by a team of researchers from Griffith University and Swinburne University of Technology is based on Dennis Gabor's holographic method, which was developed in the 1940s and won Gabor the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. The team has created a high-definition 3D holographic display with a wide viewing angle of up to 52 degrees, based on a digital holographic screen composed of small pixels that bend the light. ...To create the hologram, graphene oxide (a form of graphene mixed with oxygen) is treated with a process called photoreduction, using a rapidly pulsed laser to heat the graphene oxide. This creates the pixel that is capable of bending the light to produce a holographic image. This, the team says, could one day revolutionise displays -- with the most obvious implications in mobile technology and wearable technology. It could also be used for holographic anti-counterfeit tags, security labels, and personal identification." via CNET

Refurbished Avionic Display Panel Connectivity "As part of our continuing series on aircraft refurbs, we’ll focus on a specific avionics upgrade this month—the wireless interface of a portable device (tablet or cell phone) running a flight planning app with IFR-certified, panel-mounted avionics. If you’re doing an avionics upgrade as part of a refurb, we think wireless avionics integration makes sense, especially as the cost may be as low as $1,000 plus installation on top of what you may already be doing. We’ll look at the underlying concept and outline what’s available from the two main players, Aspen and Garmin. We’ll also tell you up front that while Aspen was the first to deliver, its capabilities are limited, and Garmin’s offering is less expensive and more able." via AVweb

Should outdoor digital signage be enclosed? "As enjoyable as a bright sunny day is, it can wreak havoc on an LCD display. There are two main concerns, the first of which is brightness. An average brightness rating for a commercial LCD screen is usually somewhere about 500 nits, which is fine for indoor environments; however, put that screen in sunlight and it will be very difficult to view. With the increased demands on display manufacturers for products to be placed outdoors, we are now seeing displays made for this purpose with brightness ratings of 2,000 nits and higher. The second major concern is that many LCD panels, when exposed to direct sunlight, can become unstable and the image can turn black. In most cases this is temporary, although at a minimum it will cause a disruption to the messaging on the screen. Thankfully, we are starting to see manufacturers produce products that are designed to be viewed in direct sunlight. As you can see, there are several factors that need to be addressed when end-users are looking to expand their digital messaging beyond the inside of their store. " via Digital Signage Today

How to Use Imaging Colorimeters for Automated Visual Inspection of Flat Panel Displays "The use of imaging colorimeter systems and analytical software to assess display brightness and color uniformity, contrast, and to identify defects in Flat Panel Displays (FPDs) is well established. A fundamental difference between imaging colorimetry and traditional machine vision is imaging colorimetry's accuracy in matching human visual perception for light and color uniformity. This white paper describes how imaging colorimetry can be used in a fully-automated testing system to identify and quantify defects in high-speed, high-volume production environments." via Quality Magazine

Which Apple Watch Display Is the Best? "DisplayMate has taken a close look at the OLED screen in the smartwatch, and it notes that sapphire carries its share of drawbacks over the toughened glass in the Watch Sport. While you're still getting colorful, sharp visuals, the higher-end Watch's sapphire reflects almost twice as much light and washes out the picture in very bright conditions. And no, Apple can't use an anti-glare coating to fix this -- that would scratch easily, which misses the whole point of sapphire." via Engadet

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Could butterfly wings could reduce display screen reflections? "Materials such as glass always reflect part of the incident light, making display screens hard to use in sunlight, but the glasswing butterfly hardly reflects any light in spite of its transparent wings. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have found that irregular nanostructures on the surface of the butterfly wing cause the low reflectivity and hope that a synthetic version of the structure could be used for lenses or mobile phone displays." via E&T Magazine

How will new electronic paper make inexpensive electronic displays? "Researchers from the University of Tokyo have revamped an old e-paper concept to make an inexpensive handwriting-enabled e-paper well suited to large displays like whiteboards. They describe the e-paper in the Journal of Applied Physics ("Electrically and magnetically dual-driven Janus particles for handwriting-enabled electronic paper"). Traditional ink and paper is convenient for both reading and writing. In e-paper development the writing feature has generally lagged behind. Handwriting-enabled displays mainly show up in the inexpensive, but feature-limited realm of children's toys, and in the high-end realm of touch-screen e-readers and smart pens. A team of Japanese researchers has now taken an e-paper technology originally developed in the 1970s and updated it to make a tough and inexpensive display that could be used like a whiteboard when a large writing space is required." via Nanowerk

Why does HDR for 4K Display need end-to-end thinking? "According to Mark Horton, strategic product manager, encoding portfolio at Ericsson Television, "There is a big push back happening against phase 1 (4K resolution). There is little consumer benefit of Phase 1 at sets below 55 inches and they (broadcasters and service providers) think the extra bandwidth doesn’t justify the consumer benefits". These comments were some that he made at this week’s DVB World in Copenhagen. It’s for this reason, according to Horton, that many broadcasters and media companies think HDR is the much more worthwhile investment and that it can create improved results for consumers simply by being applied to HD instead of 4K resolution. Horton also claimed that Ericsson is working independently of the various HDR-related proposals being reviewed by ITU, MPEG and other standards bodies. So far Ericsson doesn’t favor any specific proposal but the company’s unique position of being involved in the entire content chain from content acquisition to end-user screen technology is causing Ericsson to worry about HDR-related standards and decisions being reached in isolation from each other in ways that cause harm to the entire HDR content transmission line. HDR content, in other words, needs to be implemented across the board in a uniform way and according to Horton, "We need to understand what the ‘HDR look’ will be for types of content, whether sports or drama, and need end-to-end tests in a real-world situation."" via 4K News

Oppo's bezel-less display technology appears on video "A video from China reveals some of the technology employed by Oppo that gives its newer handsets a look of being bezel-less, when in actuality there is a razor thin border around the glass. A prototype stars in the video and in real-life this technology will be employed on the Oppo R7. The extremely thin handset has been the subject of quite a few leaks. Besides presenting a bezel-less look, the Oppo R7 also could be the thinnest smartphone in the world measuring less than 4.85mm thick." via phoneArena

Google Unveils a Stick That Turns Any Display Into a PC "This is the Asus Chromebit, and according to Sengupta, it will reach the market this summer, priced at less than a hundred dollars. Sengupta is the Google vice president who helps oversee the distribution of Chrome OS, the Google operating system that runs the Chromebit. The device is a bit like the Google Chromecast—the digital stick that plugs into your television and streams video from the internet—but it does more. Google pitches it as something that lets you walk up to any LCD display and instantly transform it into viable computer, whether it’s sitting on a desk in a classroom, mounted on the wall in an office conference room, or hanging above the checkout counter in a retail store or fast food joint. “Think about an internet cafe,” Sengupta says during a gathering at Google’s San Francisco offices. “Think about a school lab.”" via Wired

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Light-emitting paper acts as a cheap, flexible display "Ludvig Edman and a team of researchers at the Umeå University in Sweden believe they have solved the problem by going back to basics. They asked the question: "how do you make a display as flexible as a sheet of paper?" And the obvious answer they came back with was: "by using a sheet of paper." What Edman has done is to develop a spray-on solution which allows a sheet of paper to be turned into a usable display. Six layers are sprayed on to the sheet. The first layer is an adhesive allowing the rest of the layers to stick to the paper. Next, four layers form the actual display, allowing electricity to flow across the paper sheet and be turned into light. The final layer seals the sheet and protects the newly formed display." via Geek

How can a touchscreen display become a biometric scanner? "A team of researchers from Yahoo Labs has developed a much affordable alternative to fingerprint sensors for phones. It's a biometric system called "Bodyprint," and it only needs devices' capacitive touchscreen displays to authenticate body parts. Since displays have lower input resolution compared to specialized sensors, the system requires you to use larger parts of your body. It can recognize your ear, fist, phalanges, set of five fingers and your palm -- simply press any of them on the screen for access. In addition to serving as your phone's gatekeeper, it has a number of other potential applications, as well. (Video)" via Engadget

How can video display re-create human vision models? "Image processing technology has achieved remarkable breakthroughs, with more vivid colors, richer detail and higher definition images. This adds up to better resolution and a broader range of available colors at lower cost per pixel. But despite these stunning advances in visual display, it has been impossible to accurately reproduce what the human eye would see when viewing the scene directly. ...The human eye adjusts how it sees colors based on brightness, and color of the viewing light. Technological displays, unlike the human eye, do not differentiate between regions that should be adjusted (such as shadows) and those that should not. ...This new era of real-time color processing, first developed by Entertainment Experience for its eeColor software application, in partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology, is now a reality. The new model displays vibrancy that even in Ultra HD, has never before been possible." via TechRadar

Could Silver Nanowire Conductors Improve Touchscreen Displays? "There are several factors that make silver nanowires a material ideally suited to new products for the "touch age." Let's start by noting that touchscreens should be thin, light, visible in various ambient light conditions, highly responsive, and -- perhaps most importantly -- lower-cost. The most popular touchscreen technology is projected capacitance, or pro-cap. At the core is a transparent conductor -- a layer of material that needs to conduct electricity while remaining transparent so as to allow light from the underlying display to shine through the screen. Indium tin oxide (ITO), the legacy conductor material, is neither very conductive nor transparent compared with silver nanowires. It's also too brittle for flexible display and touch applications. Forthcoming generations of both smaller and larger touch interfaces need to be very responsive; also, the display needs to be bright and visible in all types of ambient lighting. This requires notably more highly conductive transparent conductors with high transmission ability. Silver nanowire delivers on all counts." via EE Times

World's first multitouch, button-free 3D shaped panel for automotive "Canatu, a leading manufacturer of transparent conductive films, has in partnership with Schuster Group and Display Solution AG, showcased a pioneering 3D encapsulated touch sensor for the automotive industry. The partnership is delivering the first ever, button-free 3D shaped true multi-touch panel for automotives, being the first to bring much anticipated touch applications to dashboards and paneling. The demonstrator provides an example of multi-functional display with 5 finger touch realized in IML technology. The integration of touch applications to dashboards and other paneling in cars has long been desired by automotive designers but a suitable technology was not available. Finally the technology is now here. Canatu's CNB™ (Carbon NanoBud®) In-Mold Film, with its unique stretch properties provides a clear path to the eventual replacement of mechanical controls with 3D touch sensors. The touch application was made using an existing mass manufacturing tool and industry standard processes." via Printed Electronics World

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Tuesday
Mar172015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 3.17.2015

Image via Saarland University

DIY printing custom touch-sensitive displays "Computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom displays, including touchscreens. Using a regular inkjet printer equipped with a special ink, a DIY thin-film electroluminescence (TFEL) display can simply be printed out from a digital template of the desired size and shape using a program like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. "So far, nothing like this has been possible," says researcher Simon Olberding. "Displays were produced for the masses, never for one individual user."" via Gizmag

Japan Display confirms new plant "Japan Display Inc said on Friday that it would build a new $1.4 billion liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing plant, which a source said would supply smartphone screens for Apple Inc. The company did not name Apple, in line with its policy of not identifying clients. A person familiar with the matter said Apple would also invest an unspecified amount in the plant, which would further the Japanese screen maker's aim of becoming the primary supplier of high-tech screens for iPhones. ...Japan Display said it aims to start operations at the plant in 2016 and expects the move to increase its LCD capacity by 20 percent. The company, formed in a government-backed deal in 2012 from the ailing display units of Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd, has led a volatile course since its public offering last year." via Reuters

Sharp Reiterates Commitment to Panel Business ""Our panel business hasn’t worsened to the point where we’re saying it is facing an uphill battle yet, and we are committed to developing more value-added products and to remain an important pillar for the company," Norikazu Hohshi, who heads Sharp’s device business, said at a news conference. The display maker recently slashed its business outlook, saying it would record a net loss of ¥30 billion ($246 million) in the fiscal year ending this month, compared with a previous forecast of a ¥30 billion net profit. The company has struggled as rival Japan Display Inc. has made aggressive sales pitches to Sharp’s main customers in China such as Xiaomi Corp." via The Wall Street Journal

Is VR Union more immersive than Oculus Rift? "VR Union, a two-year old startup based in Prague, has leapfrogged his advances in virtual reality by creating virtual-reality goggles with a display that is triple the resolution of anything else available on the market. ...VR Union also found a way to leverage Fresnel lens technology, originally developed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for lighthouses in 1823. The tech allows for a nearly 180-degree field of vision and makes it possible for users to wear prescription glasses inside the headset. In contrast, Oculus uses a conventional heavier aspheric lens, similar to a handheld magnifying glass, that offers a 100-degree field of vision. VR Union says the conventional approach disturbs complete immersion by creating the effect of peering through two short tubes. Dozens of display companies, including Sony and Samsung, are vying to become the global standard for VR goggles before they become a mainstream device." via Fortune

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Are real-time holographic displays one step closer to reality? "Real-time dynamic holographic displays, long the realm of science fiction, could be one step closer to reality, after researchers from the Univ. of Cambridge developed a new type of pixel element that enables far greater control over displays at the level of individual pixels. The results are published in Physica Status Solidi. ...“In a typical liquid crystal on silicon display, the pixels’ electronics, or backplane, provides little optical functionality other than reflecting light,” said Calum Williams, a PhD student at Cambridge’s Dept. of Engineering and the paper’s lead author. “This means that a large amount of surface area is being underutilised, which could be used to store information.” Williams and his colleagues have achieved a much greater level of control over holograms through plasmonics: the study of how light interacts with metals on the nanoscale, which allows the researchers to go beyond the capability of conventional optical technologies." via R&D Mag

Sharp's sensitive 70-inch LCD responds to brushstrokes "The capacitive touch panel screens, shown off Tuesday in Tokyo, provide an experience that's closer than ever to working with pen and paper, even with large screens. Technology in the prototypes could be used in a range of applications from sketching to calligraphy to writing memos on mobile devices. ...Capacitive stylus brushes and touchscreens that respond to pencil have been commercialized already, but Sharp says its displays are more sensitive and work with large formats. When screens are larger, noise from the display reduces the sensitivity of the touch panel. Sharp was able to keep the noise in check by using a parallel drive sensing method, which drives the processes of multiple touch sensors at the same time." via CIO

How do LED displays work? These amazing GIFs show exactly how "Designer Jacob O'Neal of Animagraffs.com has created a series of beautiful animations that show just how all these pixels and crystals combine to display the words and pictures we see." via Business Insider

Prototype of Retina Imaging Laser Eyewear for Low-Vision Care "QD Laser, Inc. and the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics at the University of Tokyo announced the prototype of the retina imaging laser eyewear for low vision care. ...The laser eyewear has a miniature laser projector on the glasses frame that provides the wearer with digital image information using the retina as a screen. Remarkable characteristics, not achieved by other devices using liquid crystal displays (LCDs), are as follows: 1. Wide viewing with a small device owing to the projection principle. 2. High brightness, high color reproducibility and energy reduction owing to semiconductor lasers as RGB light sources. 3. Image viewing at any position of the retina. 4. Focus free - meaning picture clarity is independent of the individual’s visual power. 5. All optics to be installed inside the glasses owing to the “focus free” characteristics. The glasses appear to be normal." via Novus Light

Korean researchers develop microencapsulation technology for displays "A team of experts at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed technology that they say will help viewers see images three-dimensionally. "We use molecular engineering to create rubber covered microcapsules that can move around in liquid and change shape and color, making displayed images look three dimensional." They say their technology, which microcapsules phototonic crystals, can be used for next generation reflective-type color displays that can bend or fold. What's more, these microcapsules have characteristics that allows them to change colors based on varying temperatures, which would result in a more brilliant display panel." via Arirang

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How does Kyocera's smartphone display prototype soak up solar power? "This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Kyocera is showing off a concept phone that uses its own display to convert the sun's rays into juice for its battery. While we've previously seen devices that harness the sun's rays via solar cells mounted on the chassis, Kyocera's prototype employs a transparent photovoltaic layer that can be placed on top of or beneath the touchscreen. The specific technology on display this week comes from a company named Sunpartner, which makes a power-generating display layer called the Wysips (What you see is photovoltaic surface) Crystal connected to a chip that manages and converts solar energy into power that can be stored in the device's battery. Sunpartner says Wysips is capable of delivering up to 5 milliWatt-peak/cm2, a figure the company expects to soon double thanks to next-generation photovoltaic materials. The layer is only 0.1 mm thick, making it easy to add to a device without impacting the aesthetic design. The company also claims that it will not impact the the display's touch capabilities. (Video)" via Gizmag

AMD's LiquidVR Technology Signals New Battleground For The GPU Wars "The holy grail of virtual reality is a concept known as presence. For a user to feel fully immersed in a virtual environment, the time between the user moving their head or hands and seeing that action reflected in the virtual space (defined technically as "motion-to-photon latency") needs to be minimal, or preferably non-existent. Reducing that latency involves a lot of moving parts, from the software to the GPU to the display technology inside of a VR headset. That’s the battleground, and it’s what AMD hopes to improve with LiquidVR. The company says it intends to bring "smooth, liquid-like motion and responsiveness to developers and content creators for life-like presence in VR environments powered by AMD hardware." AMD released the Alpha version of their LiquidVR SDK (software development kit) to developers today." via Forbes

ITO Recycling: A Green Ecosystem for Multi-Screen Era "One person having multiple devices is already an unshakeable trend. Moreover, manufacturing more display screens means ITO material consumption. Consequently, finding ways to create environmentally friendly recovery mechanisms for display materials in the multi-screen era will be an important link for the industry’s sustainable development. Environmental ITO recycling technology is beginning this solution mechanism. ...Currently there are two major sources of Indium tin oxide recycling. The first is ITO glass (such as displays, touch panels, and solar batteries). The second is ITO target materials. The former requires first breaking the materials into pieces, and then a chemical solution is used to filter out impurities and refine Indium tin. Afterwards, from the cladding material equipment, stripping and refinement can be carried out by directly soaking it in a solution." via CTimes

How will digital signage benefit from new reading speed technology? "Reading a text is something that each of us does at our own individual pace. This simple fact has been exploited by computer scientists in Saarbrücken who have developed a software system that recognizes how fast a text on a display screen is being read and then allows the text to scroll forward line by line at the right speed. The technology makes use of commercially available eye-tracking glasses, which are able to capture the motion of the user's eyes and convert this into a reading speed. Potential future areas of applications include electronic books or the large-scale displays used in railway stations and shopping centres. The research team will be showcasing its project from March 16th to March 20th at the Cebit computer expo in Hanover." via Phys.org

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Retina MacBook Pro Users Complain of Anti-Reflective Display Coating Wearing Off "A growing number of users have turned to the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums and Facebook in recent weeks to voice their complaints about the anti-reflective coating on Retina MacBook Pros becoming stained or wearing off. The long-standing display issue appears to affect several MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present. The anti-reflective coating appears to be wearing off under a variety of circumstances, including the pressure of the keys and trackpad on the display when closed, and the use of third-party cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths. While the issue is typically isolated to small areas of the screen, some users have shared pictures showing the anti-reflective coating wearing off across virtually the entire display." via MacRumors

Researchers create glasses-free 3D display with tiny spherical lenses "The most successful foray into the realm of 3D technology is probably the Nintendo 3DS, which has sold quite well by the standards of handheld game consoles. Part of that is effective use of 3D in games, but more importantly, you don’t need glasses to experience a 3D effect. Glasses-free 3D comes with drawbacks, but a team of researchers from Chengdu, China might have figured out how to make this type of 3D viable using spherical lenses in the display. ...Most people can tolerate a narrow viewing angle with a handheld device. But with anything larger, it’s far too inconvenient. The spherical lens display design featured in the new paper has the potential to boost the viewing angle of an autostereoscopic screen dramatically. The proof-of-concept display created by the researchers works at 32 degrees, with a theoretical viewing angle of up to 90 degrees. Additionally, microsphere-lens (MSL) arrays can be produced inexpensively using ball placement technology." via ExtremeTech

UniPixel Touchscreen Film Near Manufacturing "Texas-based UniPixel and its joint venture with Eastman Kodak Co. has been plagued with delays as it works on the underlying technology, which would use a similar process Kodak traditionally used to make film. The two companies announced in 2013 the joint venture that was expected at that time to turn out touchscreen sensor film by the end of that year from its Eastman Business Park plant. Now, nearly two years after that initial announcement, UniPixel CEO Jeff Hawthorne said the company expects initial commercial shipments in the second quarter of 2015." via Democrat & Chronicle

Qualcomm’s fingerprint tech turns touchscreen into Touch ID "The company has announced Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology at MWC 2015, a long name for what's shaping up to be a potentially big improvement in security ergonomics. Rather than a capacitive sensor, as used in Apple's Touch ID and on the new Samsung Galaxy S6, Qualcomm's approach uses ultrasonics so that it can sense through a variety of materials. ...That would mean pressing your finger against the display itself could be used to authenticate access, allowing for slimmer and more compact devices overall. Qualcomm says the sensor can see through sweat, grease, and hand-lotion, and other substances which would confuse a regular biometric scanner. Interestingly, an Apple patent suggesting just that sort of approach, embedding Touch ID into the touchscreen rather than in the home button, was spotted back in February." via SlashGear

AUO pushing 5 major selling points for panels "For 2015, AU Optronics (AUO) is pushing five major selling points for its panels to boost product demand. The points are Ultra HD resolution - AUO will upgrade all sizes of its panels to support Ultra HD resolution; curved display technology; integrated touch control technology; image improvement technologies such as wide color gamut and ultra-high dynamic contrast; and value-added functions for industrial, enterprise, car-use and wearable applications. The points were outlined from AUO president Paul Peng who added that AUO's aim for 2015 is not to gain market share but rather focus on profitability from high-end, differentiated products that outline AUO's technology advantages in the market." via DigiTimes

Flexible Hybrid Films For Longer Lasting Displays "The paper by polymer scientists Park Soo-Young and Cho A-Ra of Kyungpook National University describes a method to create a type of so-called "hybrid" film, composed of both inorganic and organic materials. A process known as the sol-gel fabrication technique can create hybrid films, but it, too, is less than ideal, because it requires the use of acids that corrode the metals and metal oxides in the devices' electronic components. … The hybrid films showed less depreciation in flexibility after 10,000 bending cycles than the inorganic layered films. Resistance of a material increases because of the formation of minute cracks as it flexes—just as it would when used in a flexible display screen. A film with higher resistance has lower electrical conductivity, meaning that more voltage must be applied to send a signal through it, which further degrades the material." via AsianScientist

NASA Is Developing Wearable Tech Glasses for Astronauts "The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is working on computerized glasses for astronauts that can guide them through how to repair a latch on their ship or conduct an experiment in space. NASA is teaming up with a San Francisco company called Osterhout Design Group, which makes augmented-reality glasses that project information onto the lenses. The plan is to create a system where how-to guides can be uploaded to the glasses, allowing astronauts to follow directions while their hands are full. NASA's engineering teams are working on integrating their software into the glasses and, later this year, will test them in an undersea lab to simulate the environment of space flight. Eventually, the device will be submitted to NASA's flight program team for its first trip into space." via Bloomberg

Visual science research is needed as displays get "There is an interplay between design, which makes the display attractive and can be for branding, and legibility. As displays get smaller, there is less room for flexibility and the exact balance between design (which is an artistic endeavour), and legibility (which can be measured with visual science) becomes more important. The trouble is, said Reimer, that there is not yet enough visual science to pin down the legibility end of the spectrum: “As displays get smaller, we must think much more cohesively. We need to get much more to the root of visual science to inform decision makers so they can balance design with science.” MIT AgeLab, together with typeface company Monotype Imaging, has developed a method for testing the legibility of typefaces on screens under glance-like conditions – an adapted form of ‘stimulus onset asynchrony’ (SOA) for use on a PC, by automotive manufacturers and human-machine interface designers for example."via Electronics Weekly

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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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Sep032014

Display Technology News Roundup 9.3.2014

Image via Fast Company

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Jul012014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.1.2014

Image via Worry Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday
Jun232014

Display Technology News Roundup 6.23.2014

Image via Sharp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday
May192014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.19.2014

Image via HMI Project

Why mobile and touchscreen HMI are the future "Concurrent with the trend to consumerize HMI, we're seeing an increase in mobilized HMI. Not surprisingly, given all these new devices connecting to the plant, security is becoming an issue. Other HMI trends include TVized large flat screens, increased use of thin clients, a broader view of data on the screen, and everything HMI coming at a cheaper price. ...Another aspect of HMI attractive to young engineers is TV-like screens. "We have graphics on 19-inch monitors that can be used on the machine. It's not a touch panel, but most shop guys don't like touchscreens," Randy Pearson, international business development manager at Siemens, said. "Touch is still new to all of us. Newer and younger engineers will bring touch in, and then it will be prevalent."" via Design News

How Polaroid used LCD technology to avoid becoming irrelevant "Polarized technology, which was invented by Polaroid Founder Edwin H. Land was first used in goggles supplied to World War II pilots and has since been used in nearly every aspect of visualization, including the polarized sunglasses we wear today. ...With these three traits in mind: visualization, sharing and affordability, Polaroid went out on a venture to find new product categories that would embody the essence of the brand. ..."Every LCD flat-screen television has a polarizer on it. It’s a core component of the technology that allows you to view the picture on a flat-screen TV," says Hardy. Fulfilling the visualization component of the Polaroid brand as well as the concept of sharing and affordability (by making the televisions at a price point that would appeal to the masses), flat-screen televisions hit on all of the brand attributes Polaroid identified, making this product category a natural fit." via Fast Company

How do 3D displays work? Passive, active, glasses and glasses-free 3D "Active 3D works on plasma and LCD TVs and requires a set of powered glasses to make the 3D image. ...These active glasses work by having lenses that have a liquid crystal layer applied to them. When voltage is applied to the lens, it turns almost completely opaque; without, they are almost completely clear. There is some light loss when you're looking through the lens even without a current applied, and it's this that can make the TV image seem a bit darker when you're watching with them on. ...To produce a 3D picture, the TV displays the image for the left eye, then the image for the right eye. While it does this, the glasses shut out the light to the opposite eye. This happens 24, 25 or 30 times per second for each eye, so it is nearly impossible for you to tell it's happening, although some people do complain of flickering, and this might be why there are reports headaches with active 3D for a minority of users." via Expert Reviews

How MIT Is Building an Affordable Hologram-at-Home System "Over the past three years, researchers in the Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab have steadily refined a design for a glasses-free, multiperspective, 3-D video screen, which they hope could provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to holographic video in the short term. Now they’ve designed a projector that exploits the same technology, which they’ll unveil at this year’s Siggraph, the major conference in computer graphics. The projector can also improve the resolution and contrast of conventional video, which could make it an attractive transitional technology as content producers gradually learn to harness the potential of multiperspective 3-D. (Video)" via MIT News

How to create your own privacy display "The necessary materials are an old LCD monitor, superglue, paint thinner (or another solvent), paper towels, a screwdriver or drill, a pair of old glasses, and an x-acto knife or box cutter. If you follow the steps below, posted on Instructables by Dimovi, an electrical engineer based out of Austin, you can easily create your own privacy monitor. You’ll be free to have covert TV-watching and web surfing experiences in no time." via psfk

Sony sidelines OLED TVs for 4K sets "South Korean rivals LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have moved ahead of the Japanese company in this field. Sony does not see real demand for OLED TVs taking off anytime soon, whereas its 4K LCD TVs are generating revenue now and could help its TV business return to the black for the first time in 11 years in the year to March 2015. 4K TVs are priced around 100,000 yen ($970) higher than regular flat-panel TVs." via Nikkei Asian Review

Will bigger displays bump Apple past Samsung? "In fact, smartphones with a five inch and larger screen increased 369 percent, a growth rate that is much higher than the market in general. Devices in this category made up 34 percent of shipments, including a high of 43 percent in Asia Pacific. ...This appears to be bad news for Apple Inc., right? Yes and no. For now, since its screens are on the small size, this is definitely holding the company back. Moving forward, when Cupertino decides to “go big,” it will be in position to make up a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. In other words, you can guarantee that Samsung is not looking forward to the day that Apple rolls out a larger screen." via The Bibey Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Display Technology News Roundup 4.9.2014

Image via Spike Aerospace

Will digital signage replace plane windows? "Spike Aerospace, a Boston engineering firm that’s developing a small supersonic jet, recently caused a stir when it announced its plane wouldn’t have any windows in the passenger cabin. Instead, thin screens installed on the walls of the aircraft would display live views captured by cameras mounted outside. ...The cockpit, of course, will still have a real-life view, but Kachoria predicted windowless cabins would be the norm within 20 years on small planes like the one his company is working on." via NBC News

How will flexible electronics revolutionize user interface displays and everything else? "With RFID, you have to embed electronics into your travel card or keyfob or whatever – with Touchcode, from T+Ink, you just use conductive ink, which is cheaper, thinner and more flexible, to transmit information to the reader. The best thing about this system is that the reader can be found in any modern mobile device: the screen. Capacitive touchscreens usually work because of the conductivity in your finger; here, they just read the conductive pattern of the ink on the smart card, smart packaging or what have you. In this example, holding the promotional “Cars 2″ card over the suitable app brings up an image of the relevant car. It’s a darn sight easier to use – and more pleasing to the eye – than a QR code that needs to be held in front of the phone’s camera." via Gigaom

Are OLED displays dimmer than LCD? "According to DisplayMate, Samsung’s Super AMOLED Galaxy S5 is the brightest display they’ve ever tested, defeating the traditional notion that OLED screens are dimmer than their LCD counterparts. ...Samsung kept using the diamond-shaped subpixel that leads to higher efficiency without the graininess that came from PenTile arrays. The larger blue and red subpixels are diamond-shaped, while the green subpixels are oval, making it easier to squeeze in between the others while maintaining the highest quality possible…" via IntoMobile

Calgary-developed tactile touchscreens: Stevie Wonder tested, CNIB approved "Doug Hagedorn is the founder and CEO of Tactalis (formerly known as Invici), a Calgary startup he launched in 2012 and now includes a half-dozen people on the team. Their technology uses an array of magnets embedded beneath an LCD screen that can be activated and deactivated, corresponding with images on the display. Using a metal stylus or a ring on the tip of the finger, users can then “feel” the images in a dynamic way." via Metro News

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

Is Facebook's purchase of heads-up display company Oculus a good or bad thing? "No one seems to have seen the acquisition coming, least of all Oculus itself, which apparently thrashed it out in a matter of days after Zuckerberg decided to take it on. ...But the Rift needed this kind of cash injection to get to the point where its technology would be commercially viable. ...One of the biggest problems is latency between the movement of the headset, and the updated image. 50ms is the maximum, beyond which motion sickness can set in – and advocates suggest that sub-20ms is optimal. Another problem is motion tracking. Unless motion is tracked perfectly, the user's experience of where they are can differ slightly from the image displayed, leading to nausea." via E&T Magazine

Why is Samsung’s breakthrough in graphene research so promising for display technology? "Samsung calls the new method “wafer-scale growth of single-crystal monolayer graphene on reusable hydrogen-terminated germanium.” Traditionally, graphene has proven difficult, and therefore expensive, to produce. This has been due almost exclusively to the fact that producing graphene, especially in larger contiguous sheets, required a destructive process to transfer the material from its production environment over to the components it is being used to help build. ...Previous methods required a liquid based transfer of the graphene, but now, the germanium substrate layer that graphene is produced on top of can be re-used for continual growth of graphene, instead of being destroyed in the transfer process." via Android Authority

Why is Apple in talks to buy Japan display chip-maker Renesas "Renesas SP Driver, the largest maker of chips used to control mobile device screens, supplies all three of the companies that make displays for the iPhone, industry sources say: Sharp, Japan Display Inc and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd. "There's no doubt that, for Apple, the question of who buys Renesas SP is a matter of grave significance," said one Japanese display industry source, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Control over the supply chain has become increasingly crucial among smartphone makers. While up to now Apple has relied on outside suppliers for many key parts, Samsung makes vital parts for its Galaxy smartphones, from screens to chips to capacitors, in-house. That gives it greater control over costs, production schedules and specifications, as well as product information." via Reuters

How to stretch a display and maintain pixel resolution "We dream of a single device with a size-variable screen display that can function as a phone, a pad, and a tablet as required. We want a small screen device for voice communications but a large screen when reading text or watching movies on the same device. Several engineering prototypes of so-called rollable or foldable, sometimes multi-axis foldable, screen displays have been demonstrated. The size of the viewing area—thus the device planar area as well—is small when the displays are stored in a rolled or folded form, but can be enlarged when unrolled or unfolded. However, such devices are generally bulky due to the form factor of the rolled or folded screen displays. We considered how to change the size of the screen display and its form factor." via SPIE

Disney Research Pixelbots Tell the Story of the Universe "Three years ago at ICRA in Shanghai, Disney Research presented a prototype for an artistic robot swarm. The swarm was made up of lots of little wheeled robots with LEDs, each of which acted as an individual mobile pixel in a dynamic image made entirely of robots. Disney and ETH Zurich have been refining this idea, developing both software and hardware and adding more robots to the mix. At the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction earlier this month, the latest version of this Display Swarm, now called Pixelbots, reenacted the story of the Universe (video)." via IEEE Spectrum

How Can Stereoscopic Displays Address the Accommodation-Convergence Problem? "The technology discussed by Dr. Bos was a means to use active liquid crystal based eyeglass lenses to address the well-known accommodation-convergence problem found in many stereoscopic display systems. The proposed means to fix the focus problem is, in principle, quite simple: use a camera to determine the “toe-in” of the user’s pupils. Based on this information, determine the distance from the viewer to the virtual object. Add to this the measured distance between the viewer and the display screen and it is possible to determine the power of a lens that can focus the user’s eyes at the proper object distance." via Display Central

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
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

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

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

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

Sunday
Oct272013

Display Technology News Roundup 10.27.2013

Image via Alenia Aeronautica Press Office / The Aviationist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Sep252013

Display Technology News Roundup 9.25.2013

Image via Bot & Dolly

Visually stunning art performance using cutting edge display technology "'Box' explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression." via Bot & Dolly

South Africans Develop ‘Digital Laser’ ""Our digital laser uses the LCD as one of its mirrors that is fitted at one end of the laser cavity. Just as with LCD televisions, the LCD inside the laser can be sent pictures to display. When the pictures change on the LCD inside, the properties of the laser beams that exit the device change accordingly," said professor Andrew Forbes, leader of CSIR's mathematical optics research group, where the work was done. Forbes, who in March became the first South African inducted as an SPIE Fellow, led the team, supported by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Igor Litvin and doctoral students Sandile Ngcobo and Liesl Burger. " via Photonics.com

Tetrapod quantum dot LEDs could lead to cheaper, better HDTVs "Manufacturers are seeking to "print" tetrapod quantum dots onto backplane films in liquid crystal displays (LCD) for brighter images, larger screens and a wider gamut of colors to deliver a new visual experience in image technology. Thinner, lighter, brighter and less expensive QD-LED displays, including portable and flexible devices, will offer almost infinite contrast levels, deep black levels and high light output with no motion blur or field-of-view issues." via Engadge

LCDs enter the fast lane "The molecules in a nematic liquid crystal do not line up perfectly with one another, resulting in a finite distribution of orientations around that of the director. The magnitude of this variation affects the phase of light passing through the liquid crystal and as a result its intensity. Since an applied electric field changes that magnitude, it also changes the amount of light passing through. Physicists have known for decades that such an effect ought to exist. What Lavrentovich and co-workers have done is to prove experimentally that it does exist and that it takes place over much shorter timescales than the relaxation of molecular reorientation in conventional LCDs." via Physics World

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

E-ink display adds a second screen to your iPhone "An 'always on' e-ink display has been created for the iPhone that turns the back of the device into a second screen. The 4in display, as demonstrated in the video below, combines Plastic Logic's plastic OTFT backplane with reflective frontplane technology from leading electrophoretic display (EPD) provider E Ink." via New Electronics

Comparison of Display Polarizer Technologies "The Moxtek® wire grid polarizer technology provides a consistent, highly durable solution to high quality LCoS display technology with a perfect polarization match to the LC imager. Latest improvements in the polarizing beam splitter (PBS) technology enable a 10% improvement in efficiency. This technical article offers a comparison between imaging needs and how Moxtek is improving its products. It explains how competing technologies in LCoS projectors compare in terms of brightness, performance, durability and reliability." via Azom

UCLA creates flexible OLED display that can be stretched to double its normal size, folded in half "The material functions in this way thanks to a novel layered construction. The light comes from a single layer of electroluminescent polymer, which is held between two transparent elastic composite electrode layers. The electrodes themselves are a notable advancement. A lack of stretchable electrodes has been one of the problems holding this kind of display back." via ExtremeTech

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The PenTile RG-BW LCD display on the new Note 10.1 consumes 30% less power "The problem is a lot of the backlight is absorbed and turned to heat, and thus wasted. To allow more light through, Samsung added a “white” subpixel to the arrangement, though a better term would be “clear”. This subpixel doesn’t absorb light like the other three types and serves to increase brightness, especially when it comes to displaying the white backgrounds that are prevalent on the Web." via Android Authority

LG, Samsung Display feel heat from little-known Chinese LCD makers "While the Korean giants were busy developing next-generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs, little-known Chinese companies have started selling a type of display that are sharper than the standard LCD and cheaper than OLED. Say hello to ultra high-definition (UHD) displays. ...As Korean display makers work on their response to this growing menace, Chinese UHD makers are enjoying the fattest margins in the industry." via Reuters

Filthy touchscreens carry more germs than toilet seats "Firms like Apple actively discourage users from using detergents on their touchscreens because they can damage them. The presence of the germs simply shows that touchscreen users fail to wash their hands properly, while few people bother to clean the devices and keyboards." via Business Report

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

Touchscreen displays cost how much?!?! "If your boss or client is still clinging to the idea that a cheaper option would suffice, perhaps we should move onto the issues of design and usability. Touch overlays, although seemingly a lesser investment, actually introduce more costs and opportunity loss due to several factors. ...The best integrated touch displays are designed to be beautiful and compact. Each monitor should have its own metal design to ensure the best fit, form and function." via Digital Signage Today

Movable Display is Made of Paper "Human organs shimmer in red on a sheet of paper displaying a longitudinal view of the human abdomen. The spinal column and pelvic bones form contrasting yellow islands. As the sheet of paper is bent downwards at the ends, the bones appear to come into the foreground while the soft tissue recedes. What appears to be science fiction at first glance, is the result of the “Flexpad” research project developed under the leadership of Jürgen Steimle in the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, in cooperation with Kiel University. " via Laboratory Equipment

Wonder Material Ignites Scientific Gold Rush "One factor holding graphene back is cost. Some U.S. vendors are selling a layer of graphene on copper foil for about $60 a square inch. "It needs to be around one dollar per square inch for high-end electronic applications such as fast transistors, and for less than 10 cents per square inch for touch-screen displays," estimates Kenneth Teo, a director at the Cambridge unit of Germany's Aixtron that makes machines to produce graphene." via The Wall Street Journal

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Sunday
Aug252013

Display Technology News Roundup 8.25.2013

Image via TechSpot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
May112013

Display Technology News Roundup 5.11.2013

Image via io9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Apr142013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.15.2013

Image via Tony Law for Bloomberg Businessweek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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