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Monday
Sep212015

Display Technology News Roundup 9.21.2015

Image via Honeywell

How Display Technology Transforms Control Rooms "Regardless of the size of the display, ease of use is a key design factor. Operators are being asked to control far more pieces of equipment, and many of them are complex machines that run at far higher speeds than their predecessors. That means operators must be able to understand and analyze a lot of information. "The amount of data available today is an order of magnitude different than several years ago," Scott says. "We’ve moved to graphics, but a human’s visual awareness to see everything and the amount of information people can process hasn’t changed. Going forward, HMIs need to provide better information and keep the operator in the loop so they truly know what’s going on. When something goes off the rails, they need to know what steps to take." Many HMIs are being designed to help operators focus in on problems. And when problems occur, they’re providing information that helps operators know what to do to rectify the situation." via Automation World

Apple 3D Touch – the iPhone 6s reboots multitouch "Apple revealed the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and along with them a new sort of multitouch: 3D Touch. This system has Jony Ive saying that "tapping, swiping, and pinching have forever changed the way we interact with our digital world" - now it's time for Peek and Pop. This is what you might recognize as a technology called Force Touch, but here Apple is suggesting it's different enough from previous iterations that it'll be called something different: 3D Touch. According to Ive, "you can dip in and out of where you are, without losing sense of your context." This system has a light press for one action and a deep press for another. To see and sense these touches, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus works with capacitive sensors integrated into the backlight of the phone's display." via SlashGear

The Smart UI Design Behind Apple’s Frictionless 3D Touch "You could think of 3D touch as a right-click for a touchscreen. It’s a gesture that unearths a vast amount of extra information and functionality with very little effort. To make sense of this new form of interaction, Apple has given different types of presses playful nicknames—peek and pop—that fit neatly into the vocabulary we already understand with swipe, tap and pinch. Peek and pop have essentially turned the iPhone operating system into nesting dolls of information. Press on the screen a little harder than usual and you’ll experience peek—a preview of information like emails, directions, or photos. Press harder yet and you’ll “pop” into that information deeper, navigating directly to the app itself. “It isn’t really a new gesture, just an extension of one you already know very well,” explains Tobias van Schnieder, lead designer at Spotify. ...True 3D touch doesn’t feel essential in the way that the first generation of multi-touch interactions do today. It might not for a while." via Wired

Profit Margins for Large-Area Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Displays to Drop ""Even with recent price declines, many large panel sizes currently sell at marginal profits," Annis said "At least for now, panel makers have decided to keep utilization high and minimize overhead costs, in order to chase as much profit as possible while they are still able to. The downside to this strategy is that panel inventories at set-makers have ballooned, widening the gap between TV panel shipments and TV set shipments." As this excess inventory is sold down, panel prices are also expected to decline rapidly. Large-area display profitability will likely follow the same trajectory. At the same time, a substantial number of new eighth-generation (Gen 8) factories are currently ramping up production. Dedicated capacity for large-area displays will grow at a rate of 6 percent in 2015 and 8 percent in 2016, the highest rates in several years." via I-Connect007

Displays for a New Generation of Electronics "Whether the display serves a large-screen TV, a smartphone, or a wearable device, power consumption plays a key role in the design process. The issue of energy efficiency poses a problem for OLEDs that rely on fluorescent emission. This technology converts only 25% of the excitonic energy used to create light, with the remaining 75% lost as heat. In the late 1990s, Princeton University and the University of Southern California found that the use of soluble phosphorescent small-molecule materials improved the energy-to-light conversion efficiency to nearly 100%. UDC has since refined and advanced phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) technology. In addition to achieving greater energy efficiency, PHOLED technology reduces the display’s operating temperature considerably. Because higher temperatures accelerate degradation of the organic materials, the heat reduction extends the life of the PHOLED and reduces the amount of air conditioning required to keep the display cool." via IHS Electronics 360

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

Quantum dots move into monitors "According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-out QD Vision, upon whose “ColorIQ” technology the displays are based, that represented the world’s first quantum dot monitor. ...When illuminated by the blue LEDs that typically feature in LCD backlights, the quantum dots act like a phosphor, generating light across the rest of the visible spectrum. The specific wavelength of that re-emitted light depends on the precise size of the quantum dot nanocrystals, and can be carefully controlled. According to the company, it means that its Color IQ optics emit “pure, finely-tuned colors”, enabling better color saturation and color rendering compared with standard LCD screens. “Most LCD TVs available today offer size and definition at the expense of color, using a smaller color gamut that only achieves 60-70 percent of the NTSC standard,” claims the firm. “With Color IQ optics, LCD TVs and other displays can achieve 100 percent of the standard.”" via Optics.org

Military display technology lets commander 'see through' armour "Developed by defence firm BAE Systems, the BattleView 360 is a digital mapping system that uses cameras and sensors to track the positions of all surrounding features of interest in both two and three-dimensional modes. A specially designed headset can be synced to vehicle cameras to allow commanders to 'see through' their vehicles in both visual and infra-red in real-time, or alternatively the feed can be transmitted to a touch-screen display. The live-feed will be overlaid with information from other vehicle systems and the touch-screen display can be used to identify friendly and enemy forces, for route planning and to let the commander view the display of other crew members, such as the gunner." via E&T Magazine

Will the next big Samsung phone have a display screen that folds in half? "With Samsung's phone sales looking troubled these days, the company has been forced to differentiate its devices with features like dual-curved displays and the S Pen stylus. A phone with a foldable display could be exactly what Samsung needs to win back customers who have defected to cheaper Chinese devices or Apple's iPhones. A foldable display isn't without precedent. In 2008, Samsung showed off a prototype of a display that folds in half at The Society for Information Display (SID), an event that showcases innovative display technologies. You can see the prototype display in action in the video above. (Video)" via Mashable

Will in-cell touch displays for smartphones rise rapidly? "The share of in-cell and on-cell touch display solutions within the smartphone industry is rising fast, according to WitsView. With Japan panel makers as the leading adopter, the combined share of in-cell and on-cell solutions in the smartphone market is expected to hit 40.6% in 2015 and will likely reach 47.8% in 2016, as these technologies will subsequently gain support from other panel makers from South Korea, Taiwan and China. "In-cell technology began to attract the market's attention when Apple introduced it to the iPhone 5 series," said Boyce Fan, senior research manager for WitsView. "The technology gained additional momentum as Japan panel maker Japan Display (JDI) seized the opportunity to apply its hybrid in-cell solution to all of its high-end smartphone panels. Since then, JDI has aggressively promote this technology in China, raising both the reputation of in-cell displays in the high-end smartphone market and the panel maker's brand recognition."" via DigiTimes

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What Is HDR (High Dynamic Range) Display Technology? "HDR-capable displays can read that information and show an image built from a wider gamut of color and brightness. Besides the wider range, HDR video simply contains more data to describe more steps in between the extremes. This means that very bright objects and very dark objects on the same screen can be shown very bright and very dark if the display supports it, with all of the necessary steps in between described in the signal and not synthesized by the image processor. To put it more simply, HDR content on HDR-compatible HDTVs can get brighter and darker at the same time, and show more shades of gray in between. Similarly, they can produce deeper and more vivid reds, greens, and blues, and show more shades in between. Deep shadows aren't simply black voids; more details can be seen in the darkness, while the picture stays very dark. Bright shots aren't simply sunny, vivid pictures; fine details in the brightest surfaces remain clear. Vivid objects aren't simply saturated; more shades of colors can be seen." via PC Magazine

Exploring Virtual Reality Display Technology in the Military Industry "The reason why I am reporting this here is the appearance of VR & AR components directly into the military mix, and also the latest technology seen here that is also about to once again cross the divide and make itself felt in the consumer sector. Regarding home grown technology from the defence industry (that we are able to talk about publicly), the big buzz at the show was the Striker II. Developed by BAE Systems, and called by the company most advanced fighter pilot helmet, to evaluate its digital night vision capability and target awareness. This space age Head-Mounted Display (HMD) (the defence sector coining the phrase originally) utilizes cutting-edge tracking system that ensures the pilot’s exact head position and the aircraft computer system are continuously in syn. While the digital night vision is projected into the pilot’s view, along with representations of target and aircraft instrumental data." via Road to VR

How Display Technology Is Going Organic "A third challenge involves cost. OLED displays are made using a fine metal mask to create the pixel pattern. In this approach, a thin sheet of metal with holes in it is placed over the substrate, and the organic molecules travel through the holes before ending up on the substrate. That is cost-effective for small displays, which helps explain why OLEDs have done so well in mobile applications. When the same technology is scaled up for a large display or television, however, drawbacks appear. It becomes difficult to make the masks and to maintain the proper tolerance. Also, during processing, the masks have to be cleaned periodically. What’s more, the mask must be precisely positioned from one pass to another so that the different colors found in each pixel properly align to each other. Partly as a result of such factors, today a large OLED TV can be many times the cost of a similarly sized LCD TV." via Photonics Spectra

How Is Clothing Being Turned into Information Displays? "Researchers from Holst Centre (set up by TNO and imec), imec and CMST, imec’s associated lab at Ghent University, have demonstrated the world’s first stretchable and conformable thin-film transistor (TFT) driven LED display laminated into textiles. This paves the way to wearable displays in clothing providing users with feedback. ...The conformable display is very thin and mechanically stretchable. A fine-grain version of the proven meander interconnect technology was developed by the CMST lab at Ghent University and Holst Centre to link standard (rigid) LEDs into a flexible and stretchable display. The LED displays are fabricated on a polyimide substrate and encapsulated in rubber, allowing the displays to be laminated in to textiles that can be washed." via Solid State Technology

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NASA’s Avionic Cockpit Display Helps Mitigate Supersonic Booms "While low-boom supersonic aircraft will minimize the intensity and occurrence of sonic booms, atmospheric physics still dictate that shock waves will reach the ground in some form, no matter how well the vehicle is designed. The question is whether the location and strength of these waves can be predicted and, if so, can the information be relayed to the crew in time for them to do something about it?" via Aviation Week

Car makers going big on 3D touch control, says UK sensor firm "The company said it is seeing its QTC force touch sensors being integrated under in-car surfaces such as plastics, rubbers, wood, leather, metals and glass. Neil Jarvie, Peratech sales v-p, says that the capability to incorporate pressure sensing that capacitive touch sensing does not provide is important for Tier 1 automotive companies. The matrix sensors are designed to track multiple touches for position on X and Y axes and independent pressure sensing along the Z-axis. According to Jarvie, this allows designers to reduce button count in the centre stack, steering wheel and other cockpit surfaces." via ElectronicsWeekly

What is the challenge of parasitic extraction for touchscreen designs? "One of the major verification challenges for touchscreens is parasitic extraction. Because a finger or touch tool is essentially a big conductor sitting on top of the screen, a 3D field solver extraction tool is typically required to achieve the desired accuracy necessary to capture the subtle effect at the touch point. However, most field solvers do not have the capacity to evaluate an entire design in a timely manner, making them unacceptable for production design. Capacity in this instance means the ability of the extraction tool to run on big designs to completion. For example, if an extraction tool runs on a design for three days and generates accurate results, it does not suffer from a capacity issue, but it may suffer from a performance issue. If another extraction tool runs on that same design, but never finishes, it has a capacity issue, which means the algorithm inside the tool is not well-suited for large designs. Capacity is simply a metric, like accuracy and performance. With field solvers, capacity is typically an issue because of the resources required to do the extensive computational work. What is needed is an extraction tool that can deliver field solver accuracy with a satisfactory turnaround time for production designs." via EDN

Here's why Apple made the touchscreen stylus that Steve Jobs hated "When Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller announced that the company's stylus for new iPad Pro would be called Pencil, the crowd audibly laughed in unison. On the surface, it was because it played into the stereotype that Apple lays claim to everyday inspirations. But on a deeper level it traces back to former CEO Steve Jobs, who famously said in 2007 at the initial iPhone reveal, "Who wants a stylus? You have to get em', put em' away. You lose them. Yuck." Yet it turns out that eight years later, some people do want a stylus — and they've improved substantially alongside the devices with which they're used. ...Steve Jobs didn't envision the iPhone 1 being a viable tool for graphic designers and illustrators, people who've long used pro-grade products from companies like Wacom. But now, the Pencil is an option for those who want to use the iPad Pro as if it were a sheet a paper and the stylus as if it were — wait for it — a real pencil. Apple has designed the pen so that it has little to no latency. It can draw thicker lines with applied pressure and orient its toolset to whether you're tilting the pen, for shading, or dragging it along the surface to draw lines or form letters. These selling points make it clear that the Pencil is not designed to help you clean out your inbox." via The Verge

This Head-Up Display Helmet Will Make F-35 Pilots Missile-Slinging Cyborgs "After years of delays and more than $60 billion dropped on development, the jet is finally just about ready, and it’s bringing some pretty slick tech along with it—including a brand new helmet that will let the pilot see through the plane, aim missiles with his eyeballs, and keep an eye on key data no matter where he turns his head. The F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System, developed by a joint venture led by defense contractor Rockwell Collins, takes the head-up display (HUD) usually projected onto on a piece of glass at the front of the cockpit, and puts it on the helmet. That means the pilot’s always got it in his field of vision, and can see useful data like the horizon, airspeed, altitude, and weapons status wherever he’s looking. More than keeping the pilot’s cranium safe from smacking against the canopy, and mounting stuff like a sun visor and oxygen mask, the Gen III helmet is designed to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. At engagement altitudes of a few thousand feet and speeds of up to Mach 1.6, it’s crucial to know what’s going on ahead of, to the side of, above, and below and the jet." via Wired

Virtual Reality's Pursuit Of Presence and True Immersion "Depending on where an object lies in our visual periphery, our sight of it may be less sensitive to fine detail (or high-resolution), but more aware of latency and rapid changes. Research into VR must account for both this requirement of highly precise rendering in particular regions of the visual spectrum and the low-latency necessities of generating the entire view-scape. What does this all mean? Well, an immersive display capable of outputting a human eye’s expected resolution of 60 ppd requires an incredible 7.2K of horizontal and 8.1K of vertical pixels per eye — or 116.4 million pixels (megapixels) total or 16k resolution! Current displays, such as the latest home entertainment systems and VR technology, are capable of up to “only” 4K resolutions. As VR display research advances, though, 16K per-eye resolutions will likely be achievable within a few years. But what about latency? After all, low latency is absolutely essential for true immersion, and arguably is the most important performance metric for VR." via TechCrunch

New system for deposition of OLED barrier films "AIXTRON SE a worldwide leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has sold the first Optacap-200 encapsulation tool to a major Asian display manufacturer. The standalone R&D system that handles substrate sizes of 200 mm x 200 mm was ordered in the third quarter 2015 and is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter 2016. The innovative Optacap plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology enables the deposition of highly flexible and effective barrier films for thin-film encapsulation of OLED display, OLED lighting, organic photovoltaic and flexible electronic devices." via Printed Electronics World

Introducing an Automultiscopic Display "A team of researchers at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (Playa Vista, CA) have developed a system that captures videos in a unique way and then presents full sized images of people on a so-called 'automultiscopic' display. The term automultiscopic is used to define a display that allows multiple users to view 3D content simultaneously, without the need for glasses. A recent publication by the team is entitled 'Creating a life-sized automultiscopic Morgan Spurlock for CNNs "Inside Man."' A copy of this brief article is available on-line and can be found here. The production of an automultiscopic image begins with capturing video of the subject. Done while the subject is uniformly bathed with intensely bright light, the capture is accomplished using 30 Panasonic X900MK 60p consumer cameras spaced over 180°." via DisplayDaily

Projected Capacitive Touch Screen Technology and Borders "The size of a PCAP sensor is directly related to the size of the display active area and the borders needed to have a linearly sensitive, reliable sensor that can be manufactured efficiently. Many different options are available for hosting the conductive traces that make up the bulk of that border, all with their own pros, cons and costs. Ideally, the sensor and the display would have the same active and outer areas, but as display borders get narrower, the touch sensor industry is striving to keep pace. By far the most common type of projected capacitive touch screen traces is the printed metal trace, usually Ag (silver). There are three main methods for creating these traces: printing, laser ablation and sputter deposition. These are listed in increasing trace density and price. The printing option is the cheapest and fastest method, but the traces are limited by the screen or ink deposition resolution." via TouchInternational

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Friday
Aug142015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 8.14.2015

Image via Google / Project Jacquard

Google and Levi's Team Up For Touch-Screen Enabled Clothing "Google and Levi Strauss have teamed up for a new project called Project Jacquard, named after a Frenchman who has invented a type of loom. This new initiative will be designed and spearheaded by a small Google team called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) and is taking touch screen to another level by developing touch screen enabled clothes. The touch controls will weave "interactive" textiles right into your clothes, giving any garment the ability to communicate with other gadgets and operate just like a touch screen device. “We are enabling interactive textiles,” the ATAP's own Emre Karagozler stated as part of their announcement. “We do it by weaving conductive threads into fabric.” “It is stretchable; it is washable,” he added. “It is just like normal fabric.”" via Shalom Life

How recycling LCD screens could solve rare metal shortage "The team from the School of Environment of Tsinghua University in Beijing tested 18 methods for removing indium from discarded LCD screens and displays. The methods involved crushing and grinding the LCD glass into particles less than 75 micrometres in size. The researchers then soaked the particles in a sulphuric acid solution at a temperature of 50 ºC. ...With the electronics industry selling millions of gadgets equipped with LCD screens, displays and panels of various sizes every year, there could easily be supply problems within the next 20 years if a sustainable way of indium recycling is not developed, some estimates suggest." via E&T Magazine

LG Display shows off press-on 'wallpaper' TV under 1mm thick "The 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display weighs 1.9 kilograms and is less than a millimeter thick. Thanks to a magnetic mat that sits behind it on the wall, the TV can be stuck to a wall. To remove the display from the wall, you peel the screen off the mat. The unveiling was part of a broader announcement by LG Display to showcase its plans for the future. The company said its display strategy will center on OLED technology." via CNET

"Always-on" Color Memory LCD is Ideal Graphic Display for Wearable Products "Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas (SMA) has unveiled its 1.33-inch (diagonal) Color Memory LCD graphics display. The 8-color LCD module has ultra-low power consumption, enabling longer time between recharges for small-display products with a battery. It also enables designers to meet the growing demand for "always-on" devices – e.g., products such as smartwatches that show a full array of data at a glance without need to "fire-up" the device. The high-resolution display (LS013B7DH06) delivers smooth graphics and simple video capability, thus showcasing richer content than many cholesteric, electrophoretic, and other bi-stable, "e-ink" type display solutions – all with lower energy requirements. Transmissivity allows addition of a backlight for visibility in low ambient light." via PR Newswire

Sharp to Explore Options for LCD Panel Business "Sharp Corp. said it would seek external help to prop up its LCD panel-making business and plans to quit selling televisions in the U.S. and much of the rest of North and South America, as the electronics company steps up its turnaround plan aimed at ending steep losses. ...In withdrawing from the TV business in the Americas, Sharp will sell much of its North and South America TV operations, with the exception of Brazil, to Hisense Co., a Chinese manufacturer. Sharp had a 4.6% share in the North America TV market, far behind market leader Samsung’s 35.1%, according to research company IHS." via WSJ

Samsung creates "transparent" truck display "When driving behind big semi-trailers, people regularly take risks overtaking them because they often have to first move out from behind the truck to see if the road ahead is clear before passing. This is particularly dangerous on single-lane highways because such a maneuver can mean driving into the path of oncoming traffic. Now Samsung Electronics has come up with a way to help reduce this problem by mounting cameras on the front of a truck and large screens on the rear to display to following drivers a clear view of the road ahead. Like the See-Through System we wrote about in 2013, the prototype video system on "Safety Truck" comprises a front-mounted camera to capture view of the road ahead of the truck. Rather than wirelessly send a live feed to a transparent LCD screen installed in a trailing driver's car, Samsung's solution transmits a continuous view of the road in front of the truck to exterior monitors mounted on the rear. (Video)" via Gizmag

Shape-shifting display projects objects out of TV screens using ultrasound levitation "The shape-changing display breakthrough is part of the Generic, Highly-Organic Shape-Changing Interfaces (GHOST) project and is the product of three years of research by the University of Copenhagen, the University of Bristol, Lancaster University and Eindhoven University of Technology. As glass cannot be bent as it will break, the researchers instead made a flatscreen display out of Lycra, which can be deformed at will. When a finger presses in on the display, a camera captures 3D depth data of the position and pressure of the finger on the screen. The researchers have developed computer algorithms that are able to detect and understand the depth information from the screens when a hand pulls at the display, as opposed to a glass screen display like an iPad, which has technology that only detects the limited area of a fingertip pressing on the glass in 2D." via International Business Times

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

Researchers develop the first skin-like flexible display "A research team from the University of Central Florida, led by Professor Debashis Chanda, has developed the first-ever skin-like colour display, which is thin and flexible enough to be used alongside fabrics. The research team’s technique could open the door to thin, flexible, full-color displays that could be built into plastics and synthetic fabrics. The technology is only a few micrometres (um) thick. That is considerably smaller than a human hair, which is typically around 0.1mm thick." via Android Authority

Samsung Display Introduces First Mirror and Transparent OLED Display Panels "The new Samsung Display OLED panel technology provides a digital viewing platform for making the consumer purchasing experience more visually engaging. When Samsung’s OLED display technology is integrated with Intel® Real Sense™ technology, a visually compelling, interactive closet or “self-modeling” wardrobe is created that can enable consumers to virtually “see” clothes or other retail items from an extremely realistic, customized perspective. Together, the two technologies create a “virtual fitting room” that will be used to help consumers vividly see themselves wearing clothing apparel, shoes or jewelry that they might wish to buy. Once retailers like Chow Sang Sang adopt the combined Samsung-Intel “personalization” virtual imaging solution, consumers will be able to go to leading stores around the world to see retail items in ways that will greatly enhance point-of-purchase shopping as we know it today." via BusinessWire

How the world’s first white laser could revolutionize lighting and display tech "Incandescent bulbs have given way to CFL and LEDs, but these lighting technologies may be destined for extinction as well. A team of scientists at Arizona State University have developed a laser that can produce pure white light that is brighter and more efficient than even the best LEDs. Technically, the laser itself isn’t white from the start, but the clever use of nanomaterials allows three colored beams to become one white beam. Lasers have always had appeal for lighting technology as they’re very bright, work over long distances, and have high efficiency. The problem has always been that lasers can’t be white. This work builds on a laser created in 2011 at Sandia National Laboratories. However, that was merely a proof of concept, not a functional device. The ASU team’s white laser produces enough light that it’s visible to the human eye. That’s a step in the right direction." via ExtremeTech

E-paper display gives payment cards a changing security code "Using payment cards with an embedded chip makes payments more secure in physical stores, but it's still relatively easy for criminals to copy card details and use them online. Oberthur's Motion Code technology replaces the printed 3-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) code, usually found on the back of the card, with a small screen, where the code changes periodically. Today, any criminal who has seen a card or overheard the owner dictating the CVV code can make an unauthorized purchase online or by phone. With Motion Code, because the CVV changes from time to time, the time a fraudster has to act is reduced." via Computerworld

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LG scales up In-Cell technology for thinner touchscreen laptop displays "With the launch of Windows 8 and its awful Start screen interface, we also got an influx of touch-enabled laptops and convertibles. It was a nice feature you could happily ignore if you so wished, but it does add a little extra bulk to the display because a touchscreen requires a touch layer in the panel. However, LG is about to fix that by scaling up the touchscreen tech used in its smartphones. The technology in question is called Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT). What it does is remove the need for a separate touch layer by integrating the touch sensor directly into the LCD panel. You no longer need to add the touch panel on top of the LCD, it instead comes as standard and reduces the thickness (by 1mm) and weight (by 200 grams) of the finished display." via Geek

Apple Watch Sapphire vs Glass Display "The world’s best [and most expensive] watches all have a sapphire crystal because sapphire is incredibly hard, making them extremely scratch resistant and almost scratch proof under normal use. But sapphire is fairly expensive, so most watches instead have a glass crystal, which isn’t as hard or scratch resistant as sapphire, but still holds up pretty well. But is there a visual difference between a watch that uses sapphire versus glass? If you were to hold up two identical watches side-by-side, the one with a glass crystal would be about 20 percent brighter than the one with sapphire (due to fundamental principles of optics that reduce its light transmission), so it appears somewhat darker and duller, particularly because the light has to pass through the crystal twice. There are some new upcoming advanced technologies that can make significant improvements on this issue that we’ll mention below. The above discussion is for traditional watches, which work by reflecting ambient light off the watch face that lies below the crystal. On the other hand, the visual consequences from using sapphire and glass are considerably greater when they are used on displays, including smartphones and smart watches, because minimizing screen reflections is especially important for displays, and sapphire has almost double (191%) the Reflectance of glass, which we consider next…" via DisplayMate

Researchers' 'Fairy Lights' Promise Floating, Touchable Laser Displays "As the researchers explain in their paper, an earlier incarnation of the technology relied on a nanosecond laser to create bursts of plasma that, when fired in rapid succession, can effectively act as a floating display. The problem, as IEEE Spectrum notes, is that while those plasma bursts can deliver tactile feedback, they can also burn you. The latest version developed by the researchers, on the other hand, uses a femtosecond laser to create a similar type of floating plasma display that's safe to touch. And while it won't burn you, the plasma will apparently still generate "shock waves" that will let you feel an "impulse on the finger as if the light has physical substance."" via Tech Times

Could this could be the big OLED breakthrough we've been waiting for? "But a joint venture by Fujifilm and nano-electronics research institute, imec, might well have turned up a more cost-effective method of producing high-resolution, big-screen OLED displays. This pairing produced photoresist technology for organic semiconductors back in 2013 and they have recently demoed full-colour OLEDs using that photoresist tech. It's a different method of producing OLED displays compared with Samsung's Full Metal Masking (FMM) tech and LG's white OLED (WOLED) with colour filters. The research is most encouraging though because it uses an OLED patterning setup that uses standard lithography tools in its manufacture." via TechRadar

Facebook’s Oculus to Pay About $60 Million for Gesture-Control Firm Pebbles "Pebbles has recently integrated its technology into the virtual-reality headset developed by Facebook’s Oculus VR, enabling users to interact with the device via hand and finger gestures. Unlike competing gesture-identification technologies, Pebbles’ enables users to see images of their own arms and hands in their virtual-reality display. In some other technologies, users can’t “see” their bodies, or only see generic digitally-generated versions. Pebbles’ technology can show unique features like clothing, scars or items held in one’s hand." via WSJ

Apple might be bringing fighter-jet technology to car windshields "The world’s most valuable company is “very likely” working on a 27- to 50-inch head-up display, a technology most famously used by jet pilots, that could project vivid icons and information for drivers while on the road, a tech analyst with Global Equities Research said Thursday morning. The curved-glass screen could also be wired with sensors and “may be completely gesture-controlled,” a stealth project that analyst Trip Chowdhry said could be Apple’s “next generation” device, after gadgets such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch." via Washington Post

Switchable holographic pixel elements for 3D displays "Many so-called 3D display technologies rely on optical tricks, such as stereoscopy and reflective prisms, to give the illusion of depth. However, holograms can record, and display, all the information of the original light field using optical interference so that there is no visible difference between the optical information in the displayed image and the real-world scene. Hence the display is a true 3D view into the world (see Figure 1).1 Such an ideal 3D holographic display requires an array of multifunctional, highly dense pixels working in unison to encode phase, amplitude, wavelength, and polarization information yet with dimensions similar to visible wavelengths." via SPIE

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Are quantum dots ‘ready for prime time’? Analyst says yes "Until OLEDs are ready, says Yole, “QD-LCD technology will have a unique window of opportunity to try to close enough of the performance gap such that the majority of consumers will not be able to perceive the difference between the two technologies so price would become the driving factor in the purchasing decision.” Under this scenario, the analyst believes that QD-LCD could establish itself as the dominant technology while struggling OLEDs “would be cornered into the high end of the market.” Yole acknowledges that OLED-based displays potentially offer more opportunities for differentiation but the analyst notes, “OLED proponents need to invest massively and still have to resolve manufacturing yield issues. For tier-2 LCD panel makers who cannot invest in OLED, Quantum Dots offer an opportunity to boost LCD performance without imposing additional CAPEX on their fabs.” At this year’s Consumer Electronics show, as optics.org reported, no fewer than seven leading TV OEMs including Samsung and LG demonstrated QD-LCD TVs." via Optics.org

The impact of consumer demand for cutting-edge display technology on the gases market "Currently about 20% of smartphones – the ones with lower resolution displays – use a-Si display process. Higher resolution devices and new effects such as curved displays require higher performance transistors and improvements in electron mobility. This can be achieved by switching from amorphous silicon (a-Si) transistors to low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) or metal oxide (MO), also known as transparent amorphous oxide semiconductor (TAOS). LTPS is used in about 44% of high-end LCD smart- phone displays as it has the highest performance. Due to its higher costs and scalability limitations, LTPS is less suited for large screen displays. Small displays with very high pixel resolution are produced with LTPS. High-definition large displays can be made using MO. Metal oxide semiconductors can remain in an active state longer than traditional LCD and can cut power consumption by up to 90%, which is a huge benefit." via Solid State Technology

Huge 8K panels shipping from China this year "The new screens are rocking Advanced Super Dimension Shift (ADSDS) panel technology, which sounds like some serious quantum physics kinda extra-dimensional voodoo, but is actually another liquid crystal tech allowing the wee molecules to be rotated in a more efficient way. The advantages of this technology is it's capable of dealing with incredibly high resolutions (lucky as we're talking about 7680x4320 here…) with low levels of power consumption. Another bonus of ADSDS - and why it's part of these big screens - is that it has a seriously wide viewing angle of 178º. OLED on the other hand is still sat at a slightly more limited 160º viewing angle." via TechRadar

Laser-projected mouse melds trackpad, touchscreen "ODiN is the world's first laser projection mouse, claims its creator, Taiwanese company Serafim Technologies. The device was shown off on Monday, a day before the Computex trade show in Taipei. Users who buy the product will receive a small projector that can sit on top of a table, and connects to a PC via its USB port. It works by displaying a virtual trackpad on a hard surface like a table. For users, this means they'll essentially see a small box, made out of red light, with the right and left click buttons projected at the top of the trackpad. To read the gestures, the projector has built-in sensors that can track a user's finger movements over the trackpad. The company created the product as a way to meld mouse and touchscreen functions, said Serafim's CEO GZ Chen." via Computerworld

Austrian Company Invents a Touch Screen for the Visually Impaired "Here's the gist of it: the tablet is just like an e-reader but instead of a traditional LCD display, it has one that's made out of a smart liquid that forms bubbles on the surface. When the software recognizes text from either a USB drive or webpage, it converts them into Braille letters. "We call the materials 'tixels' from 'tactile pixels' because we do not use any mechanical elements to trigger the dots," Kristina Tsvetanova, Blitab's founder, says. (Video)" via Fast Company

Everything you can do with the Force Touch Display on Apple Watch "Force Touch adds a new dimension to the watch’s user interface, a necessary one given the device’s small screen. The Retina display’s electrodes can sense when you’re tapping the screen to select an option and when you’re forcefully pressing down to bring up a secondary menu. Apple calls Force Touch the “most significant new sensing capability since Multi-Touch,” the touchscreen tech that transformed the way we interact with phones (and everything else). Apple Watch and the trackpads on the new 12-inch MacBook and revamped 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro have the new Force Touch gesture baked in, and Apple is reportedly planning to add it to the next generation of iPhones." via Macworld

Google's new finger control technology is straight out of a science fiction movie "Google showcased an early prototype of the Soli technology on stage with impressive results. Google showed how precise, fine motor skills, such as pinching the thumb and index finger, or rubbing them together at different speeds, could be used to control all sorts of things without actually touching them. In one demo, the founder of Google's Project Soli, Ivan Poupyrev, kicked a virtual soccer ball by flicking at the screen. In another, he changed the hours on a clock by turning an imaginary dial with his fingers, and then changed the minutes by raising his hands further away from the screen and doing it again." via Business Insider

Most Colorful Color Display Yet Eliminates Need For Backlight "The new display is the latest version of Mirasol, an established commercial product from Qualcomm. Instead of emitting their own light, the Mirasol displays basically use a sophisticated mirror to selectively reflect light from the environment. Researchers report in a paper published in the journal Optica that they have solved many of the biggest problems that the technology has encountered so far, decreasing the display's power demands and making it easy on the eyes in bright environments. "No more squinting at a hard-to-read display outdoors where we spend much of our time," lead author John Hong, a researcher with Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc., said in a statement. "We ultimately hope to create a paper-like viewing experience, which is probably the best display experience that one can expect, with only the light behind you shining on the page."" via Tech Times

Nanostructure design enables pixels to produce two different colors "The main challenge to overcome was the mixing of colors between polarizations, a phenomenon known as cross-talk. Goh and Yang trialed two aluminum nanostructures as pixel arrays: ellipses and two squares separated by a very small space (known as coupled nanosquare dimers). Each pixel arrangement had its own pros and cons. While the ellipses offered a broader color range and were easier to pattern than the nanosquare dimers, they also exhibited a slightly higher cross-talk. In contrast, the coupled nanosquare dimers had a lower cross-talk but suffered from a very narrow color range. Because of their lower cross-talk, the coupled nanosquare dimers were deemed better candidates for encoding two overlaid images on the same area that could be viewed by using different incident polarizations." via Phys.org

The Days of Squinting at Laptops in the Sun Are Almost Over "It’s a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day—before 2006, according to this fine historical document—laptops had those squishy LCD screens that would leave psychedelic trails when you’d run your finger over them. Beyond that trippy side effect, the screens had one big benefit: Matte that were seemingly resistant to glare. Those days are gone. Pick up any laptop and odds are it’s got a glossy screen. Apple dropped the matte screen option from the MacBook Pro in 2013, and people were none too pleased. But according to Dr. Raymond Soneira, founder and president of display-testing and -calibration company DisplayMate Technologies, matte screens have their own problems." via Wired

Fiber-like light-emitting diodes for wearable displays "Professor Kyung-Cheol Choi and his research team from the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST have developed fiber-like light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can be applied in wearable displays. The research findings were published online in the July 14th issue of Advanced Electronic Materials. Traditional wearable displays were manufactured on a hard substrate, which was later attached to the surface of clothes. This technique had limited applications for wearable displays because they were inflexible and ignored the characteristics of fabric. To solve this problem, the research team discarded the notion of creating light-emitting diode displays on a plane. Instead, they focused on fibers, a component of fabrics, and developed a fiber-like LED that shared the characteristics of both fabrics and displays." via Printed Electronics World

Forever 21's 'Thread Screen' displays Instagram pics using fabric "Most companies seek out the latest displays for high-tech billboards, but Forever 21 has decided to take a different route for this particular Instagram project. For the past year-and-a-half, the folks at connected hardware maker Breakfast New York have been building a "Thread Screen" for the company. It's called that, because well, it's literally a screen made of 6,400 mechanical spools of multicolored threaded fabric. Those spools have five-and-a-half feet of fabric each, divided into 36 colors that transition every inch-and-a-half. They move like a conveyor belt, stopping at the right hue based on what picture they're displaying -- an infrared even scans the finished product to make sure each spool is displaying the correct color." via Engadget

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Sunday
Jan042015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 1.4.2015

Image via Cicret Bracelet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday
Jul262014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.26.2014

Image via LG Display

Could New Vision-Correcting Display Free Users From Their Glasses? "The technology uses algorithms to alter an image based on a person’s glasses prescription together with a light filter set in front of the display. The algorithm alters the light from each individual pixel so that, when fed through a tiny hole in the plastic filter, rays of light reach the retina in a way that re-creates a sharp image. Researchers say the idea is to anticipate how your eyes will naturally distort whatever’s onscreen — something glasses or contacts typically correct — and adjust it beforehand so that what you see appears clear. Brian A. Barsky, a University of California, Berkeley, computer science professor and affiliate professor of optometry and vision science who coauthored the paper, says it’s like undoing what the optics in your eyes are about to do. The technology is being developed in collaboration with researchers at MIT and Microsoft." via Mashable

Will AMOLED display panels be cheaper than LCD within 2 years? "According to the NPD DisplaySearch OLED Technology Report, manufacturing costs for AMOLED panels are currently 10 to 20 percent higher than for TFT-LCD displays; however, considering the rapid improvement in AMOLED panel production yields, the manufacturing costs for AMOLED mobile phone panels are expected fall below costs for LCD mobile phone panels within the next two years. ...Early on, AMOLED panels were expected to cost less than LCD panels, because they do not require backlighting. Instead, production challenges kept AMOLED yields low, and thus costs remained higher than for equivalent LCDs. AMOLED became a high-end product, due to its high color gamut, good contrast, and slimness. Recent production yield improvements are expected to help AMOLED penetrate more broadly into smartphone panels." via LEDs Magazine

How Strong Is Your Industrial LCD/LED User-Interface IQ? "Both LEDs and LCDs provide significant benefits to industrial control applications. In addition to well-documented benefits – such as a 70 to 80 percent reduction in energy requirements, enhanced durability/shock/vibration resistance and extended lifetime – recent technological advances have generated additional, particularly beneficial features. New extended temperature ranges for both LCD and LED displays, nonbulky heaters and cost-effective custom solutions have revolutionized user-interface displays for industrial control applications. Identifying a supplier with expertise in both LED and LCD technologies, as well as in integrated solutions, is key. Combining this with value-added services allows design engineers to develop user interfaces that provide cost savings, reliability and enhanced visual performance in even the most challenging of industrial environments." via Industrial Photonics

Watch LG’s large bendable and transparent displays in action "The video above shows LG Display’s 18-inch polyamide-based rollable display with a curvature radius of 30R. In practice, that means you can bend the panel back and forth without damaging it, but we’re still a few years away from panels you can roll up like a sheet of paper and carry in a tube. Also, the current model is just 1200 x 810, a resolution that is in no way suitable for commercialization. But LG Display is confident it can iron out the technical kinks and bring a 60-inch panel of 4K resolution that can be rolled up in a 3 centimeters tube by 2017. (Video)" via Android Authority

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

Japan Display Begins to Mass Produce IPS-NEO Displays "Liquid crystal panel manufacturing requires an orientation process that aligns liquid crystal molecules in a uniform direction. Generally, the rubbing method, as portrayed in the diagram below, is employed. In this process, an orientation membrane is rubbed in a fixed direction with a rubbing roller with cloth wound on it. With this method, unevenness of the circuit pattern formed on the glass substrate could impede proper orientation and the involvement of foreign particles in the rubbing process may affect the production yield. Adopting JDI’s photo alignment method, IPS-NEO is free from these issues and achieves a higher contrast, superior viewing angle characteristics and an improved production yield." via Xbit Laboratories

MediaTek Unveils First Mobile 120Hz Display Technology "Key to this breakthrough is MediaTek's Response Time Enhancement Technology, which significantly decreases the display's response time and reduces motion blur experienced on 60Hz display by up to 50%, bringing everything on the screen to life with crisp and smooth motion. In addition to the Response Time Enhancement Technology, MediaTek ClearMotion(TM) featured in the SoCs ensures full utilization of the 120Hz display with automatic frame rate conversion for content that is standard 24fps and 30fps videos and displays them in 120fps, putting the best and smoothest viewing experience in the hands of consumers around the world. These advancements are a demonstration of MediaTek's commitment to developing high-quality solutions that foster limitless creativity and innovation." via IndiaTimes

What kind of display does wearable tech need? "There are also challenges with smartwatch displays. "On one hand you have Pebble. On the other side you have awesome looking high-resolution color displays that are completely not readable in daylight and that use more power. This is your choice today. There is no magic pill. You have to pick one. For the next two years, wearables will suffer from this problem," Joire said. Joire said Pebble chose a monochrome E-paper screen so that it would be visible in daylight and preserve battery life. "Most of the time for a smartwatch at least, you're not using it when you're indoors because you have your phone. You generally use it when you're walking somewhere outdoors. So we picked that side of the fence. But nothing stops us from making two watches," Joire said." via TechRepublic

InkCase Plus Adds A Second, Standalone E-ink Screen To Your Android Phone "Meet InkCase Plus: a second companion screen for your Android smartphone that’s designed to slot into a case so you can stack one pane atop the other, sandwich style. Currently it’s just a Kickstarter prototype, with its makers looking for $100,000 in crowdfunding to get the device to market. ...Now it’s worth saying we’ve seen this idea before. In fact Russian startup YotaPhone makes a dual-screen smartphone that incorporates an e-ink screen onto the rear of the phone — which is especially neat (not least because it’s not so chunky). However G-Jay Yong, CEO of Oaxis, the company behind the InkCase Plus, reckons the standalone Yota-concept-clone has advantages over a single combined device — since you can view your two mobile screens side by side if you like. In other words, it doesn’t have to be one or the other." via TechCrunch

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Are flexible organic TFTs closer with new breakthrough? "In Japan, the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (or MANA for short) has announced another step forward for display technology, in the form on a new Nano Ink that can be used in the printing of flexible organic thin film transistors (OTFT) at room temperature. TFTs are an essential technology used in display backplanes, and are responsible for controlling the light parts, be that LCD or OLED, of the visible display. Although printed circuitry has been in development in various forms for a little while, MANA claims to have developed a new technique which overcomes the high temperature annealing processes typically associated with printed electronics. This means that its technique can be used to print more complex components onto plastic substrates, which is perfect for flexible electronics and display products." via Android Authority

Does Google Glass have potential as a medical display? "Karandeep Singh believes Glass can successfully improve clinical efficiency and physician-patient interaction if introduced in the right way. “In a medical setting, it will be perceived differently than in a public setting,” he said. “When you’re with a patient, that’s a different social contract. And if you’re viewing private patient information, what better way to display it to you than in a way that only you can see it?” One of the functionalities Singh has engineered is for Glass to connect to patients’ electronic health records. Though designed to improve efficiency, clicking and scrolling on a computer leads a physician to spend a significant amount of time turned away from a patient. And some physicians find it hard to synthesize disparate pieces of data as they click through. “The big mistake many people make is that they assume that the Glass is replacing static desktop displays,” said Paul Lukowicz, a professor in computer science at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany who consults for the companyWearable Technologies. He sees great value in “precise cross referencing” that goes beyond the normal desktop interface." via Nextgov

Samsung’s Head-Up display Will Switch Between Virtual And Real Reality "Samsung‘s VR efforts are one leaky ship lately, with a report today echoing earlier rumors that the company would be partnering with Oculus VR for its own headset. Now, a leaked pre-release version of the Samsung VR software has made its way into the hands of SamMobile, apparently revealing some of the early functionality the head-mounted display will have, and detailing some of its workings. Based on the leaked app screens, the Samsung Gear VR device will indeed mount a Galaxy smartphone in front of your face, likely similar to the way that Google Cardboard works with Android devices. But Samsung’s device will predictably be limited to its own smartphones, at lest according to rumors. It’ll also plug into VR via USB 3.0, which is only supported on current Galaxy devices including the S5 and Note 3, likely because of the increased bandwidth for data made available through use of that connector." via TechCrunch

Advances in capacitive touch and passive capacitive pens "Whatever the technical issues may be, we've now reached a point where customers pretty much expect capacitive multi-touch even for industrial and vertical market tablets. The tap / pan / pinch / zoom functionality of consumer tablets has just become too pervasive to ignore. So we've been seeing more and more rugged and semi-rugged tablets (as well as handhelds) using capacitive touch. That's no problem with Android-based tablets since Android was designed for capacitive touch but, unlike in the consumer market where iOS and Android dominate, but enterprise customers continue to demand Windows on their tablets. Which means a precise pen or stylus is pretty much mandatory. Now what about capacitive pens? They have been around since the early days of the iPad, using a broad rubber tip on a stylus to provide operation a bit more precise than is possible with a finger. How much more precise? That depends. Even slender index finger tips measure more than 10 mm whereas those capacitive styli have tips in the 7-8 mm range. That seems improvement enough for several manufacturers of rugged tablets to include capacitive styli with their products. The tips of those styli are narrower than those of earlier versions, but still in the 5 mm range, and they still have soft, yielding tips. They work a bit better than older ones, but in no way as well as a mouse or an active pen. Not much that can be done, or can it?" via RuggedPCReview

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What Advantage Do Curved LCD TVs Have? "One of the main weaknesses of many LED-lit LCD TVs is a relatively limited optimal viewing angle, as compared to plasma and OLED. TVs that use VA (vertically aligned) LCD panels often have deep blacks when viewed head-on, but they quickly lose contrast when viewed from an angle. Even when you sit centered facing a flat screen, you view the edges of that screen at an angle. Depending on how close you sit, that can lead to a loss of picture quality toward the edges of the screen. Now, consider UHD/4K resolution: It requires the viewer to get close to the screen to see all the detail. When viewing a curved screen close up and centered, the viewing angle at a screen's edges stays closer to perpendicular than it does with a flat screen. For one solitary viewer who sits in the right position, a curved LCD screen provides the very tangible benefit of keeping the entire panel aimed at the viewer, which can result in higher contrast and greater uniformity across the entire screen." via AVS Forum

What are Touchscreens of the Future? "Carnegie Mellon's Chris Harrison demonstrates TouchTools and TapSense, tablet apps he built to explore new ways of that people might interact with screens in the future. (Video)" via IEEE Spectrum

How does a transparent display reimagine the ruler? "Glassified is a modified ruler with a transparent display to supplement physical strokes made on paper with virtual graphics. Because the display is transparent, both the physical strokes and the virtual graphics are visible in the same plane. A digitizer captures the pen strokes in order to update the graphical overlay, fusing the traditional function of a ruler with the added advantages of a digital, display-based system. We describe use-cases of Glassified in the areas of math and physics and discuss its advantages over traditional systems. (Video)" via Vimeo

Why are OLED TVs being shunned by the world, but LG is embracing them? "Currently, Samsung and LG use different approaches to OLED panel engineering. As Soneira explains, "Samsung uses an expensive Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS backplane for their R,G,B OLED TVs, while LG uses an IGZO backplane with all white OLEDs with R,G,B,W color filters, so their costs are lower." All that tech-speak means is that there is more than one way to skin an OLED cat, and Samsung’s is more involved and costly. Having spoken to Samsung extensively about its OLED methods, we know that the company very much prefers its approach, and is not willing to sacrifice what it feels is superior quality for the sake of cranking out a product that not a lot of people are in a position to purchase anyway." via Digital Trends

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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