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Display Technology News Roundup 9.10.2013

Image via Qualcomm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 8.25.2013

Image via TechSpot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 5.11.2013

Image via io9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 4.30.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 3.7.2013

Image via Jinha Lee / NBC News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 2.24.2013

Image via Electronics News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2013

Image via ubergizmo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Display Industry News Roundup For 10.23.2012

Image via Tech-On

Japan Display Develops LCD Panels With Its Latest Technologies "For automotive devices, Japan Display developed a 12.2-inch 1,920 x 720-pixel LCD panel featuring a semielliptical shape called "corner round cut." For its display mode, a new IPS technology was employed. The panel has a low power consumption and an embedded touch sensor function." via Tech-On

Samsung Confirms It Will Continue LCD Panel Supply To Apple "Samsung has debunked the report from last night that claimed to terminate their LCD supply contract with Apple. Samsung’s spokesperson confirmed to CNET that the deal is still on and will supply panels to the Cupertino giant for their iPhone and iPad devices." via Sammy Hub

LG and Samsung won't be able to ship OLED TVs in 2012 "The article actually says that DisplaySearch expects the companies to start producing TVs in 2012 - but only a handful. 500 units, in fact - that's hardly mass production. In July, DisplaySearch estimated that the two companies will sell 20,000 units in 2012 - which is also a very low amount." via OLED-Info

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Blue Phase LCD Are Coming "Polymer-stabilized blue-phase LCD promises to solve many of the problems that face large and small panel makers today. As Dr. Wu explained, clever mixtures of nematic host molecules, chiral dopants and stabilizing monomers can stretch the temperature range of double-twist blue phase LC operation to more than 70º C. More important, they’re fast: switching time can be less than a microsecond!" via Display Central

End-of-life notice "Sharp LQ050Q5DR01 has been discontinued. To source this end-of-life panel email" via Display Alliance

How it works: The technology of touch screens "According to touch industry expert Geoff Walker of Walker Mobile, there are 18 distinctly different touch technologies available. Some rely on visible or infrared light; some use sound waves and some use force sensors. They all have individual combinations of advantages and disadvantages, including size, accuracy, reliability, durability, number of touches sensed and -- of course -- cost." via Computer World

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Roll-to-roll plasma etch equipment project completed "The purpose of this FlexTech Alliance funded project was to create a plasma etching tool for dielectric films that offers a number of manufacturing advantages for flexible electronics. For example, plasma etching is cleaner than a wet etching manufacturing process due to the lack of chemicals to dispose after use. Additionally, incorporating the system into a roll-to-roll process allows large area and flexible products to be fabricated at low cost. " via Solid State Technology

Large-Sized LCD Panel Pricing Stabilizes in September After Strong August Panel Shipments "Overall, price stabilization and an improvement in demand for large-sized LCD panels are factors helping the industry recover after multiple quarters of financial loss. Prospects for the months ahead will depend on the prudence of panel suppliers against overproduction, as well as on the all-important consumer making those much-needed purchases for the upcoming holidays." via iSuppli

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The Display Industry News Roundup For 10.16.2012

Image via PC World

Fingerprints everywhere! Are we ready for 4 million dirty Windows 8 touchscreens? "Researchers pursue two strategies for making better oleophobic screens (oleophobic literally means “lacking affinity for oils”). Some scientists try to advance the chemical treatment approach now used by Apple and others, while others work on applying new physical textures on screen surfaces, textures that are unfriendly to oil and liquid." via PC World

3D displays: three centuries in the making (interview) "3D technology already existed in the 19th century. However it really took off in 2009. The reason for this was on the one hand the technological possibilities of digital processing / media, availability of content (Avatar), and display technology. It started in digital cinema where the difficulty to create a high-quality 3D image was presented. It then got to the TV market with high refresh rates making it possible to introduce active glasses, especially on Plasma." via Display Alliance

Display technology from AU Optronics stolen and given to Chinese firm, alleges investigation "The two former executives, surnamed Li and Wang, worked in developing panels and OLED technology for AU Optronics, but were lured away with new positions from TCL's China Star Optoelectronics Technology business unit, which also builds displays, according to MJIB. In exchange for supplying the technology, both Li and Wang were also compensated with annual salaries of over US$1 million. ...While China Star Optoelectronics has yet to reach the influence of international rivals AU Optronics, Samsung SDI and LG Display, the company is gradually building up the technology to compete on a wider-scale." via IT World

The 8.5G LCD panel project of China Star Optoelectronics Technology reaches full capacity earlier than scheduled "China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co Ltd., a business union of TCL Corporation -- a world leader in consumer electronics industry, announced that its 8.5G LCD panel production line has reached full capacity three months ahead of the original schedule. ...The success of China Star Optoelectronics Technology is a realization of TCL's strategic goal to completely build its entire LCD display industry chain. Reaching full capacity is also a demonstration of Shenzhen's production speed and quality to the world." via Melodika

Fraunhofer and POG co-developed micrometer-coated OLED structures on glass "The advantage the new design is that the active luminous area is integrated directly into the glass substrate which results in a better field of view, and the whole system is much more simple - and hopefully will result in cheaper designs." via OLED-Info

AUO to take on tablet panel leaders "LG Display and AUO are the two major display suppliers for the iPad mini, the research company said. The mainstream in-plane switching technology was from LG Display, while the advanced hyper-viewing angle technology was from AUO, it added." via The China Post

Possible 2013 Tax Hike May Hit Digital Signage "The new Section 179 of the IRS tax code enables businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased during the tax year. Previously, depreciations were spread out over multiple years. ...In other words, it makes it easier for them cost-justify digital signage deployments. However, the law is set to expire at the end of 2012." via Digital Draw

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Micro Optics Display, The Screen In Your Glasses "The MOD (for Micro Optics Display) is straight from the future. It's a mini-screen that clips into your ski goggles and gives you real-time stats about your performance (speed, jump height...) in your field of view, as though it were 14 inches big and 5 feet away." via Digital Versus

Next-gen touchpads respond to pressure "Synaptics gave the forcepad to more than two dozen academic research groups, which were challenged to come up with novel uses for the device. It's like a touchpad, but in addition to the usual swiping gestures it can sense how much pressure is being applied, adding another dimension for control. ...Another project took a novel approach to puppetry, with a marionette controlled not by a puppeteer but by a forcepad." via PC World

The tech defining next-gen computing "Of the different autostereoscopic technologies we've seen, parallax barrier has the most traction, and can be found in the likes of the Nintendo 3DS and LG Optimus 3D. It uses an array of slits in front of the display that mean that each eye views a different set of pixels - a systems that works reasonably well with handheld devices, but is a little less convincing on larger displays like TVs." via Tech Radar

China pushes local adoption to support LCD industry expansion "One such factor that increased domestic panel consumption is the adjustment in the open-cell import tariff that China imposes on 32in and larger LCDs. From 3 percent, it was raised to 5 percent beginning April this year, hitting most panel suppliers as they ship their products in this configuration. This has benefited homegrown companies such as CSOT and BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. Both provide panels in this size, with BOE also offering 37in units." via Global Sources

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$3 million for Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State "The award will be used for development of new liquid crystal technologies at the Kent State University Liquid Crystal Institute in collaboration with regional businesses. The Liquid Crystal Institute was founded in 1965 and is a comprehensive research and educational center. Kent State will collaborate with four local companies: Kent Displays Inc., AlphaMicron Inc. and Crystal Diagnostics Inc., all of Kent, and Akron Polymer System Inc. of Akron. " via

Panasonic to Display Smart Solutions and Eco Innovations at GITEX 2012 "GITEX Technology Week 2012 takes place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 14-18 October. ...A key focus for Panasonic this GITEX is its projectors. Panasonic projectors are true multifaceted, multimedia tools, featuring breakthrough innovations such as daylight view technology, and easy-to-use LCD and DLP technology models. Plug-and-play projectors ideal for classrooms, conference rooms or bigger venues like auditoriums will also be on display." via Panasonic

Carl Zeiss Cinemizer 3D OLED Head Mounted Display Starts Shipping "Carl Zeiss explains: “Rich colors OLED displays create crisp images with very vibrant colors, true black and thus very good contrast. Wearing comfort Emphasis was given to a low weight and optimal wearing comfort during development of the cinemizer OLED..."" via Geeky Gadgets

Magic Finger turns any surface into a touchscreen "Created in collaboration with the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, the Magic Finger relies on a high resolution RGB micro camera and an optical sensor to allow contextual actions to be carried out based on the particular surface being touched. " via Eureka Magazine

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