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Thursday
Dec172015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.17.2015

Image via Cineplex Digital Solutions

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How art and interactivity are painting a new digital signage experience ""People are accustomed to being presented with information and data and often have expectations about how it is delivered," said Matt Arnold, lead engineer for Second Story, part of SapientNitro. "Displays which employ an unusual or even artistic approach to displaying information can have an emotional effect on viewers, resulting in a more impactful and lasting experience." In some creative use-cases, Arnold said, information can be delivered to viewers in an ambient way that "envelops" them without their explicit awareness. "If you want to engage an audience through displays, you first must recognize that the display canvass is only a small part of a wider context of information that they are witnessing. When they are idle, the displays which blend into the environment and provide an ambient layer of story and information have more impact than those that are 'always on,'" he said. "When content reacts to the presence of viewers or adjusts with the context of their surroundings, it becomes more relevant to viewers. Displays that show the same messaging regardless of their environment can become background 'noise' and ignored by your audience." The human brain, which makes up only 3 percent of body weight but eats up to 20 percent of body energy, is hardwired to conserve energy wherever possible, said Ed King, vice president of strategy at MaxMedia, and that means it usually takes the path of least resistance. "When confronted with words, numbers or icons/graphics, the brain always looks for the 'quick answer.' By creatively visualizing data, wayfinding and other digital signage, retailers stand a better chance of communicating their message more efficiently and effectively to customers," he said." via Digital Signage Today

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Has All The Display Screens "Mercedes-Benz gave everyone a look inside its new 2017 E-Class by virtue of a video (watch Video) released last week, and it’s covered in digital displays. As for the exterior, the manufacturer hasn’t shown us what it looks like just yet—but might have accidentally given a hint. ...As far as what’s officially inside of the new car, the E-Class features more video displays and less actual buttons. It’ll even mark the first time that a car has touch-sensitive control buttons on the steering wheel, which respond to finger swipes—similar to the functions on a smartphone—to control the car’s infotainment system. If the driver doesn’t want to swipe, he or she can switch the car over to respond to voice commands. Even for a person who likes options, this car has a ton of options." via Jalopnik

Will Apple Cause the Death of LCD Displays? "If Apple does leap, the broader choice of suppliers will be one factor influencing its choice. While Samsung, its arch-rival in smartphones, controlled the OLED field, it had a real incentive to stay away from that technology, rather than increase the amount of business it gives to the Korean firm (which already manufactures many of its processors and is a major memory vendor). So Apple used its power to support other companies in pushing LCD technology to its limits in terms of screen resolution, color intensity, performance and so on. If it moves to OLED – as it has already for the Apple Watch – it will hit a whole supply chain. One of the Japanese firms which saw its value fall on the reports was Minebea, which makes backlights for LCDs, while another was Nitto Denko, a supplier of film. In general, LCD displays use more components than OLEDs, because they need color filters and backlights, so the industry shift away from them, as the OLED market gets more competitive and affordable, will be a negative for many of these specialized technologies." via Rethink Research

Toshiba Will End TV Production "Toshiba’s retreat from TV manufacturing highlights the company’s growing focus on nuclear power infrastructure and other business-to-business operations and a shift away from its consumer businesses. It also marks the increasing relapse of Japanese manufacturers in the global home electronics market, losing ground to overseas competition. Toshiba in 1959 became the first company in Japan to produce a color television. The TV business has since been a centerpiece of its operations, best known in recent years for the Regza series of liquid crystal displays introduced in 2006. But the division has been bleeding money since 2011 in the face of intensifying competition from South Korean and Chinese manufacturers." via The Japan Times

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Which Is the Better Display? Quantum Dot vs OLED "QDs are currently reliant on a backlight, the deep black accuracy and contrast ratio will still suffer from similar drawbacks as existing LCD displays. Therefore, OLED should still win out when it comes to contrast and high dynamic range imagery, as it can switch off pixels for a pure black dot, but QD displays will still see a boost in brightness over traditional LCD. This leads us onto viewing angles, an area that OLED again boasts superiority over LCD displays and this is unlikely to change much with the introduction of Quantum Dot displays. Because backlight based displays require a filter layer rather than producing light directly on the surface, some light is blocked when you don’t look at the display from head on. While perhaps not likely to be a major problem on your small mobile phone, Quantum Dot displays won’t match OLED’s viewing angles until designs come along that eliminate the need for a backlight." via Android Authority

New Material Could Make Touchscreens More Affordable "ITO is a transparent conductor used in more than 90 percent of the display market and has been the dominant material for the past 60 years, said researchers from Pennsylvania State University. In the last decade, the price of indium has increased dramatically, and displays and touchscreen modules have become a main cost driver in smartphones and tablets, making up close to 40 percent of the cost. In other words, while memory chips and processors get cheaper, displays get more expensive from generation to generation. The Penn State team has reported a design strategy using 10-nm-thick films of an unusual class of materials called correlated metals. In most conventional metals, such as copper, gold, aluminum or silver, electrons flow like a gas. In correlated metals, such as strontium vanadate and calcium vanadate, they move more like a liquid. The electron flow produces high optical transparency along with high metal-like conductivity, the researchers said. " via Photonics.com

New 360-Degree 3D Hologram Imaging Technology "Korean scientists developed a hologram display technology that can realize holograms in 360-degree three-dimensional (3D) color image, which often appears in science fiction films such as Star Wars and Minority Report. It will be used as a core technology that allows users to watch hologram images in smartphones or ushers an age of hologram TV. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on Dec. 2 that it developed a “tabletop holographic display” technology that reproduces 360-degree 3D hologram at a size of 3 inches. A Hologram produces 3D photographs by using interference and diffraction properties of light waves. At present, commercialization is not possible due to technical limits. Only MIT in the U.S. and Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have demonstrated hologram technologies that enable users to view images from within an angle of 20 degrees. The ETRI said that real hologram technology uses diffraction of light waves, unlike fake hologram that is used in hologram shows." via BusinessKorea

India's First 'Display Variant' Debit Card "Axis Bank today said it has launched a 'display variant' debit card which does away with the hassles of generating one time password (OTP) over SMS while transacting. The card, which is being made available for high-value NRE customers, has an embedded EMV chip, a display screen and a touch-sensitive button which helps generating the OTP on the card itself. "This OTP, in conjunction with the user ID and password, allows the customer to transact on internet banking without having to wait for OTP delivery via SMS or email," a bank statement said, adding that it is the first lender in the country to offer the facility." via Business Standard

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How Can Industrial Digital Signage Lead to Increased Productivity? "But what about signage in the industrial space? How can these communication devices enhance the quality of operations at plants, warehouses and other similar sites? What advice should you be giving industrial customers on how to make best use of digital signage? Typically, hundreds or thousands of employees work at industrial plants, so communicating to everyone across the board is a tall order. Netpresenter, a Netherlands-based signage provider with locations in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, says its multichannel solutions improve safety, enhance internal communications, and foster employee engagement. Here are several ways that can happen: 1) Put key performance indicators (KPIs) front-and-center near production lines - Industrial plants can go a long way toward helping workers keep tabs on actual, and target production numbers by posting them in real time on digital displays. Signs can also feature output data, as well as comparisons against a set target or previous period to keep workers motivated to do their jobs." via Channelnomics

HP Inc. Is Bringing Its Giant Virtual Reality Display Into Healthcare "HP’s VR machine, called Zvr, isn’t your typical VR hardware like the Oculus Rift headset. Rather, it’s a 23.6-inch display connected to four cameras that track its user’s head movements. A set of glasses turns images into 3D, and a stylus allows the user to move 3D objects around and poke at them. Now HP hopes to bring the Zvr into the medical world in collaboration with medical software upstart EchoPixel. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup makes 3D medical visualization software that turns diagnostic scans into 3D models. Those 3D projections of, say, an organ, can then be studied in VR. The hardware-software partnership is intended to be used to diagnose ailments or assist in planning operations. Typically, EchoPixel CEO Ron Schilling explained, a doctor sits in front of a computer looking at multiple medical imaging scans and tries to make sense of them in 2D. EchoPixel’s pitch is that turning these scans into 3D models will help doctors identify overlooked issues. For example, 3D scans could make it easier to identify a polyp, abnormal tissue growth, in an organ." via Forbes

Apple reportedly opens ‘secret’ display laboratory in Taiwan "Apple has opened a “secret laboratory” in Taiwan to develop new display technologies, according to a new report, citing sources who are familiar with the company’s plans. The facility employs “at least” 50 engineers who are working to build better displays for iPhone and iPad. “Apple has recruited from local display maker AU Optronics Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., which used to own the building, the people said,” reports Bloomberg. “Apple began operating the lab this year as it aims to make products thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy-efficient.” Apple is thought to be working on more advanced LCD displays, as well as OLED displays that are thinner and do not require a backlight. Recent rumors have claimed the company is interested in bringing OLED displays to iPhone in the coming years." via TechnoBuffalo

Converting Stereoscopic 3-D Video Content For Use In Glasses-Less 3-D Displays ""Glasses-less" 3-D displays now commercially available dispense with the need for cumbersome glasses, but existing 3-D stereoscopic content will not work in these new devices, which project several views of a scene simultaneously. To solve this problem, Disney Research and ETH Zurich have developed a system that can transform stereoscopic content into multiview content in real-time. ..."The full potential of this new 3-D technology won't be achieved simply by eliminating the need for glasses," said Markus Gross, vice president of research at Disney Research. "We also need content, which is largely nonexistent in this new format and often impractical to transmit, even when it does exist. It's critical that the systems necessary for generating that content be so efficient and so mobile that they can be used in any device, anywhere." Multiview autostereoscopic displays, or MADs, enable a 3-D experience by simultaneously projecting several views of a scene, rather than just the two views of conventional, stereoscopic 3-D content. Researchers therefore have begun to develop a number of multiview synthesis (MVS) methods to bridge this gap. One approach has been depth image-based rendering, or DIBR, which uses the original views to build a depth map that describes the distance of each pixel to the scene. But building depth maps is difficult and less-than-perfect depth maps can result in poor quality images." via ECN Magazine

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Force-sensing Touchscreens to Address Industrial Applications "With recent Apple product announcements raising consumer awareness and interest in force-sensing touchscreens, a supplier of projected capacitive touchscreens figures the time is ripe to bring similar capabilities to the factory floor and other environmentally challenging environments. ...Developed specifically for industrial and similarly challenging applications, TouchNetix' pressScreen is designed to enable mouse-type functionality with the use of a single finger on the touchscreen. It uses capacitive measurement technology and a new sensor structure and geometry to detect very small front lens displacements. TouchNetix expects this interface to allow entirely new use cases to be developed. Possible applications the company envisions include: In systems requiring high integrity, confirming that a touch is intentional; emulating mouse clicks by pressing the surface. (As use case examples, TouchNetix offers a video demonstration of a prototype “press-to-zoom” application, and another, demonstrating a paint application in which finger pressure modulates line width.)" via IHS Electronics360

Does How You Record Ideas Impact Creativity? "A tech VC recently asked me, "Do you even use your iPad anymore? I think they are over." To which, I replied—perhaps a bit too loudly—"Yes!" There is nothing over when it comes to the potential of touch. Apple’s investment in the iPad Pro and Pencil only reinforces this. Designers need tools that disinhibit the brain to allow room for creativity to happen. In this sense, the touch screen is one of the device revolution’s most important gifts to creatives. Touch can make the sought-after "ah ha" come easier. While still a new frontier, neuroscientists such as Rex Jung, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, have looked closely into brain structure and function to better understand creativity—as opposed to intelligence. If you think of the brain as a series of pathways—where intelligence is like the speed and accuracy with which one makes connections along the paths—creativity occurs when the brain makes unexpected or new intersections." via Fast Company

Do Computers Need Pressure-Sensing Screens? "So we’re only just beginning to see what pressure-sensitive screens will mean for how people use phones. And a lot of that is because developers are still figuring out what to do with the technology. “Anyone who’s a repeat early adopter of new iPhones shouldn’t be surprised that support for the 6S’s flagship feature [3D Touch] remains scattered close to three months in,” wrote Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge. “It was the exact same way at this point when apps had to update for the iPhone 6’s larger screen—it took Starbucks an entire year—and apps lagged behind on adding Touch ID support, too. 3D Touch is going to be even harder.” ...For Magic Piano, figuring out what to do with 3D Touch was obvious. “For the original version of Magic Piano on the original iPhone, as soon as you touch your finger on the screen, it registers the touch and it plays the note,” said Yar Woo, the vice president of engineering at Smule, the company that makes Magic Piano. “But for 3D Touch it’s a little different. It’s more of a curve, not a single point of impact.” 3D Touch relies on 96 sensors beneath the phone’s screen. Magic Piano developers ended up introducing a small latency—just enough of a pause after the moment someone touched the screen, to be able to tell whether they’d end up pressing harder. “Just that tiny fraction of a second to know that the user is pressing hard versus pressing soft,” Woo told me. “We delay it 30 milliseconds. You can’t really notice it when you’re actually playing.”" via The Atlantic

Sharp set to spin off LCD unit in deal with Japan Display "Sharp Corp. is closer to spinning off its struggling liquid crystal display business and integrating the unit into rival Japan Display Inc. in a state-backed deal, sources said Tuesday. ...Both Sharp and Japan Display, suppliers for Apple Inc.’s iPhones, have faced intense price competition from Asian rivals." via Japan Times

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Tuesday
Mar172015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 3.17.2015

Image via Saarland University

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday
Apr092014

Display Technology News Roundup 4.9.2014

Image via Spike Aerospace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Feb092014

Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2014

Image via Macworld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Dec222013

Display Technology News Roundup 12.23.2013

Image via Atmel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Oct302012

The Display Industry News Roundup For 10.30.2012

Image via Android Headlines

AUO Presents World's Narrowest Border on 4.46-inch Panel Integration Technology "AUO's proprietary super narrow border technology and low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) method are applied to reduce the border width to just 1mm when touch panel is placed on the module surface, allowing the screen to appear in its largest at the cell phone's display area. In addition, AMOLED, IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) and AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle) technologies are being developed by AUO to constantly drive the trends for ultra high resolution, ultra wide viewing angle and super narrow border technologies." via AUO

Flat Panel Display Equipment Market Expected to Recover Substantially in 2013 ""The majority of FPD equipment spending in 2013 will be used for new low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) fabs or conversion of a-Si (amorphous silicon) capacity to LTPS for use in both TFT LCD and AMOLED (active matrix OLED) production," according to Charles Annis, Vice President of Manufacturing Research at NPD DisplaySearch." via DisplaySearch

AUO technology leads China rivals by two generations "There are two roads for panel makers: one leading to the severe price competition in the low-end market, and the other to profitability through development of high-end products, Peng said. AUO is taking the latter one, which is the only one leading to sustaintable development, Peng said." via DigiTimes

Intel: It Will Be Hard to Sell Notebooks without Touchscreens. "There are a number of things that prevent touchscreen-based notebook devices from becoming widespread: one is manufacturing cost, another is heat produced by components of electronic devices (which makes touch-screens uncomfortable to use). The pricing of touchscreens is something Intel intends to take care of this year, but touch-sensing panels will still be pretty hard to implement while maintaining very thin screens that are used on today’s mobile PCs." via Xbit Laboratories

Do you need display panels? Email jason@displayalliance.com to source with Mass Integrated, Inc.

Apple lacks display aspect ratio consistency "Apple went from an aspect ratio of 3:2 to 16:9 and from a pixel format of 960×640 to 1136×640. 960×640 was itself unusual, surrounded by a world of smartphones with 800×480, 960×540, 1280×720. Those are unusual too, except for 1280×720. But 1136×640? That’s ridiculous; it’s good for nothing." via Display Blog

AUO Reveals 65-inch 4K by 2K IGZO TV Panel Technology "The indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology was adopted to achieve an ultra high definition of 3840x2160, which is four times the resolution of Full HD. Meanwhile, continuous technological advancements have brought panel sizes, image resolution and colors to new levels. AUO also endeavors to develop integrated display technologies with multiple functions and high added values to usher in a new era of ultra high resolution, narrow bezel, and diverse displays applications." via AUO

Japan Display Develops Low-power-consumption Reflective LCD Panel "Japan Display employed a low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT as a driver element. And it formed a memory circuit on each pixel to retain image data to be written in the aim of lowering power consumption. The memory formed on each pixel is SRAM. Moreover, the company realized natural display like paper by optimizing the optical design of the scattering layer." via Tech-On

Do you have news to submit to Display Alliance or want to be interviewed about your expertise in the display industry? Email jason@displayalliance.com.

Materials for touch screens in short supply "High demand for the touch screen material has now resulted in about a 30% shortage, which is also putting China-based touch panel makers at a loss. Recently, Truly Optoelectronics general manager Jian-hua Li arrived in Taiwan looking for additional suppliers of thin-film type touch screen materials." via DigiTimes

Transparent memory for head-up displays a step closer to reality "Researchers at Rice University are designing transparent, two-terminal, 3D computer memories on flexible sheets that show promise for head-up displays and electronics. The technique is based on the switching properties of silicon oxide (SiOx) and the use of indium tin oxide (ITO) or graphene as the electrodes." via Laser Focus World

Microfluidic Technology Enables New User Interface "The Tactus Tactile Layer™ panel was developed to provide a next-generation user interface with real physical buttons, guidelines, or shapes that rise from the surface of a touch screen on demand and can be employed without visual confirmation from the user. The Tactile Layer component is a completely flat, transparent, dynamic layer that sits on top of the touch sensor and display. The thin layer deforms and buttons or shapes of a specific height, size, and firmness emerge from the surface when triggered by software API, a proximity sensor, or an other event." via The Society for Information Display

The Society for Information Display October Edition Published "Novel Displays Issue, October 2012 Vol. 28, No. 10" via The Society for Information Display

Rockwell Collins begins flight testing of touch-screen primary flight display "Rockwell Collins has begun flight testing for its latest configuration of Pro Line Fusion, featuring the industry’s first touch-screen primary flight displays. The company is testing the system on its Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200GT." via Canadian Skies Magazine

Researchers create screens that can differentiate users "While normal capacitive screens might measure the draw of electricity at 1,000 Hz, this prototype measures the draw at many different frequencies — ranging from 1,000 to 3.5 million Hz. This creates a curve in real time representing the electrical properties of the person touching the screen." via The Tartan

Two Chinese Firms Plan to Buy Into Chimei-Innolux "Chimei-Innolux Corp., under Hon Hai Group, is reportedly in talks with China Electronics Panda Crystal Technology (CEC Xtall) and Hisense Group of mainland China for cooperation in the forms of investment or alliance, which, if materialized, will usher in a new era for Taiwan and mainland Chinese FPD (flat panel display) firms to join forces in coping with the competition of Korean rivals. " via CENS

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

Thursday
Oct042012

The Information Display News Roundup For 10.4.2012

Image via Tech Hive

Is Sharp showing high-res iPad mini screens? "The Japanese manufacturer, which has been mass producing the screens since August for an unnamed customer, is showing working tablet displays in 7-inch, 10-inch, and 13-inch form factors at its booth, though they are sealed off behind glass. IGZO technology, named after the indium gallium zinc oxide semiconductor on which it is based, can be used to make screens with smaller pixels that draw far less power than current models with more accurate touch sensitivity. Sharp is pushing the technology for smartphones and tablets." via Tech Hive

What Is the Society for Information Display For? "What sort of information should be presented and how can we prevent human overload? These and many more questions seem relevant to the Society for Information Display. SID should not just be about displays, but about display-based solutions." via Display Central

Sharp tackles reflected light with 'moth eye' LCD "Sharp applied an anti-reflecting coating to its LCD panels based on technology similar to the nanostructure of a moth’s eyes. Scientists have long understood that moth eyes have a special property that eliminates reflection. The surface of a moth's eyes is covered with bumps and valleys that absorb oncoming light, enhancing night vision." via EE Times

Average Size of LCD TV Panels Increases by 2 Inches in 12 Months "Overcapacity in the TFT LCD industry remains an ongoing concern for panel makers. Capacity expansions have been slowing down, with few new investments in Korea, Taiwan and Japan. ...In addition to shrinking capacity, an important factor in bringing supply and demand into balance is area growth. One key trend to watch here is average screen size, especially for TV panels." via DisplaySearch Blog

Do you need display panels? Ask Jason. I'm the managing editor of Display Alliance but I also source panels for Mass Integrated, Inc. Just let me know what you need: jason@displayalliance.com

Reading on LCD vs e-Ink displays: effects on fatigue and visual strain "Since research has shown that, compared to reading on electronic displays, reading on paper is faster and requires fewer fixations per line, one would expect differential effects when comparing reading behaviour on e-Ink and LCD. In the present study we therefore compared experimentally how these two display types are suited for reading over an extended period of time." via NCBI

Hitachi Electronic Devices becomes KOE-Americas "“Hitachi has a long history of firsts in LCD technology” says Keith Brown, vice-president of operations and sales for KOE Americas. “From the first commercially available in-plane switching technology, to the first ultra-wide-temperature range displays, Hitachi has been an industry innovator for over three decades. KOE-Americas hopes to build on that legacy by partnering with product developers to utilize LCDs in new and innovative ways.”" via Electronic Products and Technology

CEATEC 2012: Docomo demos hands-free video-conferencing prototype with digitized avatar "Docomo came with something rather interesting in the shape of a pair of glasses that comes with 7 different 720p cameras. Not only these cameras will digitize your face, but will also capture in real time your surrounding environment and movements to your calling partner." via Akihabara News

HDTV buying guide: How to select the right set "Though the majority of LED sets you’ll find are edge-lit, meaning that the array of LED backlights behind the LCD panel are positioned around the edges of the set, more-expensive LED sets use full-array or backlit LED light sources. Backlit or full-array sets are more expensive to make (and buy), and they’re generally quite a bit thicker than edge-lit LED sets. Some of these higher-priced backlit LED sets feature a technology called local dimming." via TechHive

The future of brain-computer interfaces revealed ""A BCI is a system that enables interaction with a computer based on changing electrical signals that occur in the brain," Carmichael tells us. "The signals can be taken invasively or non-invasively either from inside the brain or from the scalp. Non-invasive BCI takes signals that are present at micro-volt levels on the scalp and then amplifies them using an EEG. These signals are then digitised so that they can be used by the computer."" via Tech Radar

Minority Report Touch Gestures A Terrible Idea, Says Top Industrial Designer "In the movie, Tom Cruise is doing a lot of object selection, sorting, and editing. Those things work best with small hand movements. We require more motor control for that kind of work. But there is an emerging field of computing that does take advantage of more ‘phatic’ interactions." via Sixteen:Nine

Want to submit news to Display Alliance or be interviewed? Get in touch with us: jason@displayalliance.com

New Technologies and Methods Push Imaging Capabilities "Imaging used to be simply defined as the representation of an object's external form. That definition no longer holds true as researchers now look for more than just an image. They look for more information within an image, such as fluorescent tags, mechanobiological parameters, internal structures, fabrication while imaging and the characterization of materials as yet undefined. " via Laboratory Equipment