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Thursday
Sep012016

Display Technology News Roundup 9.1.2016

Image via Mashable

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

Playing 'Fruit Ninja' and surfing the web on a kitchen table is awesome " Sony introduced the Xperia Projector at Mobile World Congress in February, but only showed off its proprietary software. At IFA 2016, Sony revealed it could also project Android apps — any Android app. The projector is capable of beaming touchable projection up to 21-inches in size onto any surface and has a built-in camera for video conferencing. " via Mashable

Cadillac Escala concept car uses super-bright OLED displays " Of interest to the technically inclined is the instrument panel and dashboard displays: They’re big (as is the rest of the car) and they’re made of curved OLED panels. " via ExtremeTech

Philips' new OLED TV has built-in, super colorful ambient lighting " If you've been waiting your whole life for a TV that offers a 4K resolution, an OLED panel and Philips' funky Ambilight technology, you're going to love TP Vision's newest 55-inch set. The company is well-known for making Philips-branded TVs, and has gone a step further for its first model by integrating the ambient color-changing technology into the set too. " via Engadget

What the Tech: Apple Being Sued Over 'Touchscreen disease' " What good is a phone if the touchscreen doesn't work? That's the question many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners are asking as their touchscreens stopped working, turning their expensive iPhones into nothing more than a paperweight. Dubbed "touchscreen disease", the issue has prompted a class action lawsuit that demands Apple replace damaged devices at no cost to the owners. " via TexomasHomepage

LESS PHONE, MORE TOUCHSCREEN! " What’s better than a phone with a curved screen? A phone with screens everywhere! What’s better than having to wear a fitness tracking device to check your medical stats? Having a phone who’s camera can perform a pretty decent bio-scan to check up on your health! " via Yanko Design

Samsung brings quantum dots to its curved gaming monitors " Samsung has announced a trio of high-end curved gaming monitors that brings its quantum dot technology to the masses. There are two devices, the CFG70, which is available in 24-and-27-inch sizes, as well as a super premium CF791 that packs a 34-inch, 3,440 x 1,400 display. " via Engadget

You can buy a laptop with an OLED screen now, but should you? " The technology in your laptop’s display hasn’t changed over the last several decades. With the exception of a few very early models from the 1980s, they’ve generally relied on LCD panels. That was to their benefit for many years, but it’s recently become a drag. The problem? LCDs need a backlight, and it can't be turned off completely. " via Digital Trends

Samsung Display teams up with Chinese firms on curved panels " Samsung Display Co. said Wednesday that it has formed an alliance with its sister company Samsung Electronics, and Chinese TV and panel manufacturers to further cooperate on expanding the curved panel industry. The agreement was made at a forum held by Samsung Display and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Beijing on Tuesday, the company said." via Korea Herald

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

Friday
Aug122016

Display Technology News Roundup 8.12.2016

Image via Tech Crunch

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

Machine learning and “molecular Tinder” may change the game for OLED screens " To say there are a lot of molecules out there is kind of an understatement. So searching for one or two in particular is like looking for a needle in a galaxy-spanning haystack. Fortunately, the science of machine learning and the irrepressible need for humans to swipe left and right on things make the search a lot easier, as Harvard and MIT researchers have found. " via Tech Crunch

This Is JDI’s New LCD Panel With Ultra Thin Bezels " Japan Display Inc., or JDI, announced yesterday that is has developed a “Full Active” display that combines a number fo new techniques in order to slim down the bezel around the panel. The first product in the new Full Active LCD panel portfolio is a 5.5-inch, Full HD (or 1080p, 1,080 by 1,920 pixel resolution) screen with as slim a bezel design all of the way around. " via Android Headlines

AUO inaugurates 6G LTPS TFT-LCD factory in China " AU Optronics (AUO) on August 9 unveiled its 6G LTPS TFT-LCD factory in Kunshan City, eastern China, with volume production to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the company. " via Digitimes

Planar Large Format 4K LCD Displays Earn Prestigious Crestron 4K Certification " Planar, a Leyard company and global leader in display and digital signage technology and Leyard, a global leader in visualization products, today announced that its portfolio of large format 4K LCD displays, including the Planar® UltraRes™ Series and Planar® EP Series, has obtained the highly sought after 4K certification from Crestron Electronics. " via Business Wire

Apple Has BIG Plans For 2017's iPhone: ALL-GLASS Design, New OLED Display Tech & No Home Button " It's well established that phone manufacturers plan multiple iterations of their flagship smartphones well in advance. And that's why it's not entirely surprising that, according to new information, Apple seems to already be making plans as far ahead as 2018, just as the rumour mill is obsessing over the intricacies of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus/Pro. " via Know Your Mobile

Foxconn Developing Glass Casing and OLED Displays Ahead of Tenth-Anniversary iPhone " Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn is developing glass casings and OLED displays for smartphones in an attempt to secure orders for the tenth-anniversary iPhone next year, according to Japanese website Nikkei. The report claims Foxconn has been developing glass chassis for at least one year, and developing its own OLED display technologies through its Sharp acquisition. " via Mac Rumors

The Motorcycle Touchscreen Is Becoming More Popular " When Tesla decided to mount a giant 17″ touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard of its cars, it caused the demand for such devices to soar. Now the touchscreen craze has come to the world of motorcycles as well. Is that a good thing? " via GAS2

Touch Screens Change Behaviour " You can use a website with a keyboard and mouse, or you can work your way through the same site using your finger on a mobile device. However, you might not notice, but you use the same website in different ways, according to the way in which you access the site. " via Business 2 Community

Stretchable Touchpad Could Become Wearable Touchscreen " A new stretchable transparent touchpad can be used to write words and play electronic games, and may even one day be implanted inside the body, its inventors say. " via IEEE Spectrum

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

Thursday
Dec172015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.17.2015

Image via Cineplex Digital Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
Dec012015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.1.2015

Image via Oak Labs / Polo Ralph Lauren / Thomas Iannaccone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday
Nov192015

Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Sep012015

Display Technology News Roundup 9.1.2015

Image via Polyera Wove Band

Polyera's Wearable Flexible Display Can Roll Up "Polyera today introduced the Wove Band—a flexible display that can lay flat or wrap around a wrist, like a 1980s slap bracelet. Ten years in the making, Polyera Digital Fabric Technology and the Wove Band are expected to launch in mid-2016. Free developer units will be available to pre-order in September, before they ship to a select group of artists and developers in December. ...The Wove Band promises "a flexible, low-power touch display," which combines the company's Digital Fabric Technology with electronic ink film, allowing for an always-on display." via PC Magazine

Will the display screen of the future be a sort of 3D aquarium? "The screen of the future is not a flat panel, but rather a sort of aquarium. If you walk around it, from various sides and angles you will see a single luminous image formed inside something resembling an `aquarium,’ as if by cross-sections. Each is visible thanks to liquid crystals activated from a transparent to dissipative state of light by electric voltage (a movie screen sends out a constant stream of light). If all of the cross-sections are on and rendered visible with a frequency of over 25 frames per second, then moving objects can be observed in an `aquarium’ as a single whole. ...Igor Kompanets is head of the opto-electronics division at the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and an honorary director of the Russian branch of the International Society for Information Display (SID)." via Russia Beyond the Headlines

How Is LG Display Spending $8.5 Billion on Next-Gen Display Screen Technology? "LG Display Co., a supplier to Apple Inc., plans to invest about 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) over the next three years to develop next-generation screens to reverse slowing growth and gain an edge over competitors. LG Display will shift its investment focus to screens powered by tiny organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement Monday. The world’s largest maker of liquid crystal displays is betting on growth in demand for advanced displays, including foldable screens, for wearable devices, cars and televisions." via Bloomberg

AUO and 3M team up to bring quantum dot 4K UHD LCD panels to mass market "AU Optronics Corp., one of the world’s leading makers of LCD panels for various devices, and 3M this week announced a new technology alliance that can dramatically improve quality of TV-sets and displays. The two companies will offer turn-key solutions that will help suppliers of televisions to offer TV-sets with quantum dot (QD) technology that enables wide color gamut and high dynamic range for ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs. The QD display enhancement technology significantly improves quality of backlighting in LED LCD panels by integrating a special quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF) with trillions of semiconductor nanocrystals into an LCD panel stack. A quantum dot can emit (or, in the case of QDEF, filter) light at a very precise wavelength. The ability to control the spectral output of a quantum dot allows QDEF to create an ideal white backlight, something that allows to display more accurate red, green and blue colours, thus enhancing color gamut." via KitGuru

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Sharp May Consider LCD Joint Venture Rather Than Sale "Sharp Corp. is leaning toward spinning off its liquid-crystal display business into a joint venture with a third party, rather than selling the unit outright, people familiar with the matter said. Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. are the two leading candidates Sharp is considering for partnership, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. ...If Innovation Network, also known as INCJ, injects capital into the joint venture, it may combine the business with Japan Display Inc., a competitor the Japanese state-backed fund already supports, according to two of the people. There could be antitrust concerns in combining two operations." via Bloomberg

Finally, A Convincing 3D Display That Doesn't Require Glasses "At this year’s SIGGRAPH, a group of researchers presented a display that creates a 3D human in stunning detail using a cluster of 216 projectors. A team from USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies has built an automultiscopic 3D display which essentially makes a 3D model of the person with video. After capturing video of a person using 30 cameras in intensely bright light, the images are divided among the 216 projectors. The projectors are arranged in a semicircle around a large screen, so as viewers walk around the screen their eyes smoothly transition from one projection to the next. The result is feeling as if you can see crystal-clear depth and detail." via Gizmodo

Merck unveils future display technologies at 2015 Touch Taiwan "Pursuing the goal of "The Perfect Pixel" material innovation, Merck has teamed up with local panel makers as a key strategic partner and to provide them with the crucial materials for creating better visual experiences and enjoyment. ...As panel resolution increases, four times of pixels are required to put into the same area, so the number of metal wires that connect pixels is also on the rise. Therefore, it's important to reduce the effects of cross talk that are caused by the increase of wiring density. Merck has acquired AZ Electronic Materials, which is a leading company that specializes in providing high tech materials that enables a high precision manufacturing process for LCD's. Merck's product line is now expanded to include high contrast photoresist that can be used to accurately align the sophisticated wires in lithography process. Also, by using ultralow-K SOG (Spin on Glass) material, light transmission can be effectively increased to improve the yield rate for 4K 2Kpanel manufacturing and cost control." via DigiTimes

Why are LEDs for wearable devices due for a comeback? "OLED devices, especially those on flexible polymer substrates, are thin enough, but suffer from lifetime problems. Neither is as power efficient as would be desired. The solution is to develop and enable a new class of display that uses micro inorganic light emitting diodes (μLEDs) that will be more energy efficient, longer lifetime, and thinner than incumbent display technologies. These won’t be limited to monochrome red, but be full color, sporting a color gamut wider than LCD and rivaling OLED. Given that the number of color primaries is only limited by the number of source wafers, these displays may be multiprimary for greater energy efficiency and wider color gamut. They will be very high resolution, certainly greater than 600ppi. Just as with LCD and OLED displays today, they will be subpixel rendered for better performance and lower manufacturing cost." via DisplayDaily

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Virtual Reality project is like The Matrix built inside a holodeck "The University of Michigan has hosted a 10-foot-by-10-foot virtual reality testing environment covered with projection walls since 1997. Now they’ve reprogrammed the system to be run by the powerful Unreal Engine videogame software, which can be used to create extremely detailed and ambitious environments. Dubbed MIDEN (Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus), the virtual-reality system uses stereoscopic glasses and a gaming controller for motion and perspective. By using the controller, users can manipulate objects in the environment, and potentially move through a virtual world of limitless size. The Unreal Engine allows for the creation of realistic water, foliage or glass, and effects like fire and transitions in the time of day — which go a long way in building the illusion. (Video)" via blastr

How Kyocera is giving touchscreens a real button feeling "Kyocera has introduced a newly patented technology in Europe for real touch feeling and force feedback in display screens. The development of a real button sensation is expected to create a new type of user interface. It can be used in touch panel or touch pad products for a broad range of applications such as automotive and industrial equipment or in the field of information and communications. ...The technical principle of creating this sensation works as follows: the button impression is composed of pressure feeling (a button response feeling with micro-movement only), which is perceived by the finger while pushing the button at first, and a subsequent stroke-down impression (a button response feeling caused by movement). Kyocera’s new technology called ‘Haptivity’ evokes these impulses towards the nerve of the finger and creates the sensation of a real button operation by both pressure detection and specified frequency vibration output features. (Ex. Patent No. EP2461233B1 effective until 2030)." via Electropages

McDonald’s introduces touchscreen ordering and customisation in the UK "Customers visiting the fast food giant can now place and pay for their orders using the screens, which also offer options to help them get their food just the way they like it. ...McDonald’s is looking to an improved customer experience to fight off competition from rival burger chains in the UK including Byron and Five Guys. It recently trialled a table service to provide a more personal experience in Manchester, which also incorporated the placing of orders through digital kiosks." via Business Reporter

Microsoft's prototype keyboard cover has an e-ink touchscreen "Looking to further bridge the gap between slate and laptop, Microsoft Applied Sciences built a prototype device it calls the DisplayCover: a keyboard cover that houses an e-ink touchscreen display. The 1,280 x 305 resolution panel not only provides access to app shortcuts, but it can also handle touch gestures for navigation and accept stylus input. The stylus feature seems to make things like signing documents and scribbling notes a breeze, based on the demo video. (Video)" via Engadget

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How Is LG Making the Capital Investment Gamble? "With falling TV panel demand and high fixed operation cost, Sharp accumulated drastic losses, pushing the company to the edge of bankruptcy. For the first time a larger substrate size did not automatically translate into business success. A valuable reminder that it is not only important what you do, but also when you do it. Today, several companies are talking about Gen 10 and Gen 10.5 LCD Fabs to gain a cost advantage in the display panel business. So it came as somewhat of a surprise when Digitimes quoted the Korea Money Today newspaper as a source saying that LG is thinking about the investment in a Gen 9 LCD Fab instead of a Gen 10, to compete with Chinese and Japanese competitors. While there is no way to verify this report, as LG is just not commenting on this speculation, it may just be an idea from the analyst instead of actual LG insider information. Or is it actually possible that LG would do such a thing?" via DisplayDaily

Why does digital signage have friction in buying and supply? "The goals of different business units that may be involved add complexity. Purchasing wants to minimize the capital outlay, information technologies want a solution that is RAS-able (reliable, available and scalable), facilities seek digital signage that will deliver improved performance of the location and a better visitor experience, and marketing wants better branding and merchandising at lower ongoing communications cost. The biases of the department that is taking the lead on the project can minimize the goals of other stakeholders, and coordinating this range of interests can be like herding cats. The sourcing agent (IT, facilities, purchasing, etc.) often see their role as concluding at vendor selection and contracting, whereas the end-user department (e.g., marketing, human resources, student communications) must live with the solution and vendor that are selected. Digital signage can deliver a wide range of benefits, but too often end-users do themselves a disservice in not defining the benefits they seek, in particular over the life of the investment where their growing application of the media can change as they become more familiar with its use." via Digital Signage Today

Planar Acquired by Leyard "Portland, OR-based Planar was to be acquired by a U.S. affiliate of the Chinese company Leyard (for a purchase price of $6.58 per share, or approximately $156.8 million). ...The direct-view LED video market is rife with competition from low-cost companies mostly based in Shenzhen, China. As I wrote earlier this year after the news broke of Samsung acquiring Yesco, smaller local companies such as YESCO have been particularly hit by such competition, while premium brands such as Daktronics, Barco, and Mitsubishi have been able to maintain revenues due to their reputation in the market. Samsung provides YESCO and its customers the credibility of a global multinational brand, after that acquisition. And now Planar, a sophisticated engineering company with well above average 4K LCD flat panels and other digital signage offerings, should do well with the deeper pockets and R&D of a larger company like Leyard– and the “synergies” we hear about in every acquisition press release are real here, and should make for intriguing developments from this new pacific rim entity." via AVNetwork

How Does UX Design for Very Large Touchscreens Differ from Mobile Screens? "Dorothy Shamonsky shares other findings based on her research experience with very large touch screens, "A large touchscreen can look beautiful and is enjoyable to interact with! At the same time, a large display will magnify a poor user experience. If you don’t like the way an interface looks at a small size, on a large screen it will be more offensive. Everything about the user experience is exaggerated at the large size—the beauty and the fun, as well as the effort and the frustration. Attempting to use touch on sites and apps that are were not designed for touch is, if nothing else, boring. Creating compelling touch interaction requires an understanding of the familiar gestures and how to use them appropriately. Use simple and clear visual and aural feedback to create a sense of tactile feedback. Tune into the joy of a good user experience."" via Nielsen Norman Group

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Sunday
Jan042015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 1.4.2015

Image via Cicret Bracelet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday
Dec012014

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 12.1.2014

Image via Cobia Boats / Florida Sportsman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Sep302014

Display Technology News Roundup 9.30.2014

Image via Flickr / That Hartford Guy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Jul262014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.26.2014

Image via LG Display

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday
May192014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.19.2014

Image via HMI Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Display Technology News Roundup 4.9.2014

Image via Spike Aerospace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Feb092014

Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2014

Image via Macworld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Dec222013

Display Technology News Roundup 12.23.2013

Image via Atmel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Nov262013

Display Technology News Roundup 11.26.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

IGZO display tech finally makes it to mass market "Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) is another alternative to a-Si that has higher electron mobility and thus excellent image quality, but LTPS is difficult and expensive to manufacture. One of the best examples of LTPS is the new Kindle Fire HDX, which is probably the only device on the market that has a better display than the iPad Air. According to Raymond Soneira at DisplayMate, the iPad Air’s use of IGZO reduces the display’s power consumption by 57% over last year’s iPad 4 — a huge reduction for a single generation." via ExtremeTech

How to build a "stealth" computer display "Brusspup specializes in optical illusion. He noticed that if you completely remove polarizer P1, an LCD display shows essentially uniform illumination with a varying pattern of polarization over the screen. However, as the human eye is not very sensitive to the polarization of light with which it sees the world, an LCD display from which the final polarizing film has been removed appears to be bright and featureless." via Gizmag

Are PC Displays Still Needed? "From the success of crowdfunding for cheap displays, there is clearly a need on the market for low-cost digital screens. The fact that prices for this equipment continue to drop will provide a stimulus to new and innovative uses for displays by businesses, especially by small and midsize companies where budgets are tight. Displays may eventually become a cost-saving commerce solution for advertising and marketing departments." via Midsize Insider

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

How MIT Invented A Screen That Lets You Reach Through And Touch Things "They call it inFORM. Unveiled this week, the device employs 900 plastic pegs on a square grid that can be raised or lowered to form shapes. A depth camera tracks the shape and movement of the input (your hand, your dog... whatever) and displays it with the pegs." via International Science Times

Why Smartphone Makers Are Racing to Build Flexible Screens "Just as liquid-crystal displays supplanted cathode ray tubes years ago in televisions, Korean display makers are now concentrating their efforts in organic light-emitting diode screens, which offer more vivid colors and can be made even thinner than liquid-crystal displays, since they don't require a backlight. Display makers in Japan and Taiwan have also been experimenting with different types of flexible screens though they haven't been able to reach mass production." via The Wall Street Journal

What is the future of displays? Qualcomm's Toq Smartwatch Displays "The Toq uses MEMS to produce the IMOD effect. Interferometric Modulation creates colors in a different way than LCDS or OLEDS. Essentially, the MEMS that comprise the display have two elements: coated glass on top and reflective membranes on bottom. An air pocket between the two layers is what creates colors depending on what type of electrical charge is applied to the pixel." via ReadWrite

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New liquid crystal structure reported by Kent State researchers "A research group at Kent State University has described and documented the structure of a new type of liquid crystal that had been predicted theoretically, but never seen. The new "twist-bend nematic" liquid crystal, one with a spiral twist, was observed by a Kent State research group led by Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Ph.D., D.Sc., trustees research professor of chemical physics and former director of the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State. The new type of liquid crystal, akin to a new species in biology, might enable new technologies, ranging from faster-switching display devices to biological sensors, Lavrentovich said." via Record-Courier

Is Ink-Jet Printing the Key to Next-Generation OLED Displays? "Kateeva’s setup—available as of today to display makers—features a movable platform that precisely positions glass panels or plastic sheets large enough for six 55-inch displays beneath custom print heads. Each head contains hundreds of nozzles tuned to deposit picoliter-scale droplets in exact locations to build up the pixels of a display. The company says the tool can be incorporated fairly easily into existing display production lines. Kateeva cofounder and president Conor Madigan says the system, based on the same technology in consumer ink-jet printers, eliminates the need for a step in the conventional manufacturing scheme that increases the risk of defects in the displays." via MIT Technology Review

New chip can detect gestures in front of tiny wearable displays "A fledgling company, Chirp Microsystems is developing a gesture-based operating system to work with a new chip that uses sound, rather than vision, to track the user’s movements. ...Inspired by medical technology, the system uses ultrasound, rather than light, to detect hand gestures within a range of about a meter. The system can sense gestures that don’t occur directly in front of its display, and it uses far less battery power than existing gesture camera-based interfaces: It runs up to 30 hours continuously on a tiny battery." via Singularity Hub

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Touchscreen display coating market to see major shift in technology "Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) now has a 95 percent market share for touch-screen transparent conductive coatings. At the same time, shipments of non-ITO films are forecast by IHS to increase 320 percent this year. By the end of 2017, shipments of alternative technologies--such as silver nanowire, copper mesh, silver mesh, silver halide and silver nano particle--will account for 34 percent of the market, reducing ITO's share to 66 percent." via FierceMobileIT

Could Biological Semiconductors Transform Tech Industry? "The semiconductors are known as quantum dots and are made from naturally occurring organic compounds called peptides, short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. ...In a demonstration, Mr. Rosenman shone a blue light (the backlight in an LCD TV is blue) onto tubes containing different solutions of quantum dots. The tubes lit up in red, green and blue—the constituents of any display. “There is a cost saving of about 10 times compared to other displays,” said Mr. Myersdorf. “The manufacturing process is the same as for making OLEDs.” An OLED is an organic light-emitting diode, commonly found in some smartphones and TVs." via The Wall Street Journal

New Twists On Autofocus, Multitouch, And Energy Harvesting "Qeexo has not built a new MEMS device; rather, it’s using information from the accelerometers already built into smartphones and tablets in a new way. ...Qeexo’s software analyzes the vibration generated when you touch the screen and determines whether you’re using your fingertip, knuckle, fingernail, or a stylus. Apps can then use that information to allow different types of touches to perform different function—a knuckle swipe, for example, could highlight text instead of scroll down the page; a fingernail could bring up a menu. It seems simple, but it’s not so easy to implement: Schwarz said she’s met with manufacturers who aren’t interested at first, then come back and tell her that they tried and failed to replicate the technology and are now ready to talk." via IEEE Spectrum

How To Add a Touch Interface to your Hardware with Touch Board "Want to create an interactive design with touch interface? Well, the Touch Board may be just what you are looking for. Arduino compatible, the Touch Board comes with 12 capacitive touch channels and will respond to anything conductive that is connected to one of the channels. You can turn on a light, ring a doorbell, or even play midi music, all from your very own Touch Board." via Engineering.com

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Wednesday
Sep252013

Display Technology News Roundup 9.25.2013

Image via Bot & Dolly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday
Aug112013

Display Technology News Roundup 8.11.2013

Image via Christian Holz / Fiberio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Jun152013

Display Technology News Roundup 6.15.2013

Image via Discovery News

Transparent Solar-Cell Screen Charges Phone "Startup Ubiquitous Energy, a spin off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is developing a technology that makes the solar cells themselves transparent by using materials that only absorb infrared and ultraviolet light and let visible light pass through. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are taking a similar approach, while researchers at the University of Cambridge are weaving solar cells into organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, where they can capture light leaked from the edges of the OLED elements as well as from outside the phone." via Discovery News

Society For Information Display Applauds Winners at Display Week 2013 "Display of the Year: Granted to a display with novel and outstanding features such as new physical or chemical effects, or a new addressing method. Gold Award: Sharp and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) for Sharp's IGZO LCD (as used in the AQUOS Phone Zeta SH-02E). Silver Award: Shenzhen China Star's 110-inch 4K x 2K 3D TFT-LCD TV" via PRNewswire

Worldwide Microdisplays Market "Microdisplays are small displays that require magnifying optics to use them. These displays are made of a CMOS chip that includes a two dimensional array of transistors. In combination with the liquid crystal material, a cover glass yields a reflective LCD. Microdisplays are generally used in head mounted displays, projectors, view finders, or in other lens view display systems. Continuous and rapid development in display technology has made the way for different types of displays in the commercial market in the past few years." via SBWire

Amazon Acquires Display Maker Liquavista "Liquavista uses a technology called electrowetting to develop color displays for e-readers and portable media players. The first commercially available electrowetting display panels are expected to arrive this year, according to the Digital Reader. ...Electrowetting produces displays with advantages in a couple of key areas—viewability in various lighting conditions and low-power video playback. Amazon, a leading maker of both ereaders and tablets, may be interested in Liquavista's technology for both device categories." via PCMag

New Quantum Dots Make Colors in LCD Even Brighter "In work that appears to tip the scales further for quantum dot-enabled LCDs, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have developed a method for doping quantum dots that will give LCDs a color vibrancy not seen before. In research published in the ACS journal Nano Letters ("Cluster-Seeded Synthesis of Doped CdSe:Cu4 Quantum Dots"), the UIC team reveal a method for introducing precisely four copper ions into each and every quantum dot. This doping with copper ions opens up the potential for fine-tuning the optical properties of the quantum dots and producing extraordinarily bright colors." via IEEE Spectrum

Japan Display expands manufacturing "Japan Display President Shuichi Otsuka announced yesterday that the company is boosting capacity of high-definition LCD manufacturing at its plant in Chiba as it has set its target sales this year at 800 billion yen (7.8 billion US dollars), almost double the 450 billion yen it earned last fiscal year. “Our business is now on track,” said Otsuka, who previously was CEO at Elpida Memory Inc. “Our technology is unique, so it won’t be easy for other companies to do the same.” By competitors, Otsuka means companies like Sharp Corp. also from Japan, South Korea’s LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan’s Innolux Corp., also big names in the display-making industry and sharing the market with Japan Display. Japan Display’s share of the global market for small- and mid-sized LCDs was 16.6 percent in 2012, Sharp Corp. held 14.8 percent, followed by LG Display Co.’s 13.5 percent and Innolux’s 10.2 percent." via Japan Daily Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
May012013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.30.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday
Mar222013

Display Technology News Roundup 3.22.2013

Image via BGR

How the industry shift from miniturization to display quality blindsided Motorola "The spectacular success of RAZR in 2005 was a cruel red herring. It convinced Motorola that focusing on making slimmer phones instead of improving display technology and user interface software was the way forward. The RAZR models featured a 30% thinner chassis than rival phones — and a nightmarishly messy, menu-based software system. The demand spike for RAZR models was the indian summer of the miniaturization obsession that dominated the phone industry in 1992-2002. It misled many leading phone vendors to ignore their profound software user experience problems just before Apple entered the phone market and devastated the old guard." via BGR

New 3-D Display Could Let Phones and Tablets Produce Holograms "The HP display uses nanopatterned grooves, which HP researcher David Fattal, who led the work, calls “directional pixels,” to send light off in different directions. This requires no new moving parts, and the patterns are built into an existing display component, the backlight. A conventional LCD uses a sheet of plastic or glass that’s covered in bumps that scatter white light and direct it through the display’s color filters, polarizers, and shutters to the viewer. The new 3-D display builds on optics research demonstrating how the path, color, and other properties of light can be manipulated by passing it through materials patterned at the nanoscale." via MIT Technology Review

Growth slowing for TFT LCD glass substrate capacity ""With TFT LCD business maturing and growth slowing, leading manufacturers have begun to mitigate their business risk by converting production from TFT LCD glass to aluminosilicate glass," according to Tadashi Uno, director of materials and components market research at DisplaySearch. "With Corning Gorilla glass now dominant in the aluminosilicate glass market, it is critical for other TFT glass makers to find ways to jump on the cover glass trend to gain additional market share."" via DigiTimes

Fraunhofer HHI Conducts 3D Surgical Study "Test using the glasses-free display were not top ranked. Surgeons said it was comparable to working with the 2D screen. Dr. Ulrich Leiner, head of the Interactive Media – Human Factors department at HHI, noted that this display is a two-view glasses-free type with eye tracking used to present the stereo images to the surgeon based on their head/eye position. “While the glasses-free technology still requires some fine-tuning, we believe improvements will increase the popularity of 3D systems in operating rooms,” said Leiner. “The study demonstrated that 3D has become an option for surgeons as well. This will revive the discussion among skeptics. And now there is a need for tests in other medical disciplines,” concluded Leiner." via Display Central

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

Warm 3D images using thermal displays "Stereoscopic or 3D displays—such as stereoscopic LED displays with polarized glasses or multi-layer 3D displays—allow a viewer to perceive the depth of an image to provide a richer viewing experience. Much research has been dedicated to determining how to offer blind people, or individuals without stereoscopic vision, the opportunity to experience this 3D effect. A possible solution is to use the sense of heat: employ three-dimensionally localized heat spots that provide a thermal sensation when an individual walks through the 3D image. Our research aimed to realize thermal and visual aerial signage, a technique that forms a 3D pattern composed of heat and light in the air, without any physical hardware at the position of the sign. These warm 3D images can be used, for example, to display advertisements alongside a footpath or side walk. In addition to seeing these signs, users can feel them when their faces touch the thermal images." via SPIE

LED LCD backlights explained "The so-called "blooming" that plagued early local-dimming LED LCDs has been greatly reduced. With the better TVs, there are few artifacts like these images. Instead, the processing errs on the side of safety, not allowing adjacent LEDs to get too different in brightness, so as not to have issues like you see here. The flip side of that is less "punch" in the image, as bright objects on an otherwise dark background don't appear as bright. " via CNET

LCDs and the lost art of photography "The immediacy of the LCD has changed the craft of photography. It’s made it so much easier to learn quickly, to grow and to take much greater chances and push the envelope much further. ...A little bit of the “magic” of photography -— has left us. There’s nothing quite like seeing a print come to life in the developer tray in the darkroom. Also, a certain type of discipline is instilled in you when you are faced with a 36-exposure roll and the cost associated with it, not to mention the cost of getting it processed and printed. These days I more often that not read 999 on the still camera’s LCD when a large CF Card is in place. Where’s the challenge in that? ...As the world continues to move faster and faster, as processors, resolutions, dynamic ranges, and terabytes keep increasing at an exponential rate, sometimes I think we could all do with a roll of 36 exposures." via Gizmodo

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Nintendo Found Guilty of Patent Infringement with Stereo-3D Tech on 3DS "The auto-stereoscopic 3D display used by Nintendo with its 3DS portable video game console relies on pretty simple and well-known method. The S3D display uses a parallax barrier system to display 3D images. This parallax barrier, which has a series of vertical slits, is incorporated into an ordinary LCD to control the path of light reaching the right and left eyes, thus creating a sense of depth. Another name of this technology is called lenticular lenses tech. Since initial parallax barrier-based S3D LCDs had issues with the right reproduction of colors, many companies, including Nintendo, LG, Sharp and others implemented various additional technologies to eliminate the drawback." via Xbit Laboratories

Tech start-up of the week: LCD recycler ALR Innovations "ALR Innovations has pioneered a LCD screen recycling technology that consists of a fully automated machine that processes waste LCDs to remove the potentially hazardous materials they contain. Materials such as the mercury-containing fluorescent tubes and the liquid crystal panel. The machine processes 80 LCDs per hour, which offers the recyclers a fast and efficient process that is compliant with mandatory EU legislation, O’Donoghue said." via siliconrepublic

What If Google Glass Flops? "Thus, it doesn't matter whether Google sells 10 pairs of Glass or 10 million. What matters is that Google's involvement is already popularizing this kind of technology. This can be seen in the plethora of patent filings that have recently been filed by the likes of Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Sony (SNE) and others. In short, if Google doesn't get it right, someone else will. In fact, smartphone glasses may not even be the first hit. For example, Microsoft also has its sights set on gaming goggles. This demonstrates that computerized eyewear is ready to cross the chasm." via Seeking Alpha

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Taiwan to hold touch panel display exhibition in August "The International Touch Panel and Optical Film Exhibition 2013 (Touch Taiwan 2013), one of the most important exhibitions for the display and touch panel industry in Asia, is scheduled to be held Aug. 28-30 in Taipei, the event organizers said Tuesday. Touch Taiwan 2013, to be held concurrently with the International Display Manufacturing Conference 2013 (IDMC 2013), will mainly showcase touch screens, panels, optical film, related equipment and materials." via Focus Taiwan

Do quantom dot displays pose challenges for OLED? "Quantum dots (QD) or semiconductor nanocrystals are a form of light emitting technology and consist of nano-scale crystals that can provide an alternative for applications such as display technology. This display technology differs from CRTs and LCDs, but it is similar to OLED displays, in that light is supplied on demand, which enables new, more efficient displays and allows for mobile devices with longer battery lives, according to recent reports from New Scientist. QD displays also consume lower power and have richer color than conventional OLED, claim some analysts. The analysts also state that the white light produced by quantum dots has high brightness and excellent color reproduction, raising its potential to replace the backlight unit (BLU) using the LED to form the "QLED." But has the technology proved itself in actuality?" via DigiTimes

Display as a Service receives Cebit Innovation Award "The software "Display as a Service" manages to display a movie on an unlimited number of screens so that it seems to be played on a big screen. "For this the monitors do not have to be connected by cables, nor do they need to have equal display diagonal, resolution and other technical parameters as is the case with common video walls," explains Alexander Löffler. He developed the method together with computer scientists from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The reverse case of programming screens would be possible as well. "Picture-input from various sources, like several laptops in a conference room, can be presented simultaneously on a virtual screen wall given by the software," says Löffler. ...Moreover, the researchers from Saarbrücken are already working together with screen manufacturers. Modern devices meet the technical requirements for Löffler's solution. "In the future it could be possible that neighboring football fans would build their own public viewing big screen for the football World Cup with their private monitors," says Löffler, whose doctoral thesis is also supported by the Intel Visual Computing Institute in Saarbrücken." via Phys.org

How to use imaging colorimeters to improve OLED Display Production Testing "Imaging colorimetry-based testing systems have demonstrated success in improving quality and reducing production costs for LCD displays and LED display screens. Radiant Zemax has extended these proven techniques to OLED display production testing. This new white paper from Radiant Zemax describes OLED manufacturing challenges and solutions that can improve quality and yields for OLED displays from smartphones to TVs." via Vision Systems Design

Top 5 Notable Digital Display Trends at DSE 2013 "It seems that touchscreens are becoming the norm, to be expected everywhere in all walks of life. Which leads us back to smaller signage. We talked to Iles Guran, founder and CEO of Armodilo, one of many providers of iPad- and other tablet-based kiosks that displayed their products at the show. Guran pointed out that consumers are already comfortable with iPads and other tablets. And at a lot of retail locations, customers prefer using a device that offers a little more privacy than a large videowall. ...However, he was also quick to point out that his company's solutions are not intended to replace giant videowalls, nor is there a "one size fits all" approach for every retailer. In other words, smaller signage seems to have carved out a niche in the industry based on its own merits, but it's a niche that's already shown signs of increasing growth." via Digital Signage Connection

What is PHOLED? "The true benefit from PHOLEDs comes from the fact that they can be up to four times as efficient as fluorescent variants, which would mean substantially longer battery life for smartphones which used PHOLED based displays. Convention fluorescent LEDs only emit about 25% of the excitonic energy as light, with the remaining 75% wasted as heat. But the clever engineers behind the PHOLED display developed a phosphorescent material which could convert up to 100% of the electron’s energy into light. As a result of this very efficient energy conversion process, PHOLED based displays will also output substantially less heat than other screens. ...Not only do lower temperature displays help improve the lifespan of the LEDs, but it will also lower the entire temperature of your device, prolonging the lifespan of all the components inside." via Android Authority

New Technology May Allow for High Resolution Endoscopes as Thin as Human Hair "A new kind of endoscope technology with a factor of four image improvement over any previous design has recently been demonstrated by researchers from Stanford University. It may lead to flexible endoscopes producing about 80,000 pixels at a resolution of three-tenths of a micron, as compared to 10,000 pixels at three micron resolution for current state of the art. To achieve this the researchers developed a technique that uses a multi-mode fiber (MMF) to image the field under controlled illumination delivered through a spatial light modulator (SLM). An SLM is basically a liquid crystal display which can be used to modulate different features like the intensity, phase, or polarization of the light that is passing through each of its pixels." via MedGadget

The Touch-Screen Generation "“The war is over. The natives won.” So says Marc Prensky, the education and technology writer, who has the most extreme parenting philosophy of anyone I encountered in my reporting. Prensky’s 7-year-old son has access to books, TV, Legos, Wii—and Prensky treats them all the same. He does not limit access to any of them. Sometimes his son plays with a new app for hours, but then, Prensky told me, he gets tired of it. He lets his son watch TV even when he personally thinks it’s a “stupid waste.” SpongeBob SquarePants, for example, seems like an annoying, pointless show, but Prensky says he used the relationship between SpongeBob and Patrick, his starfish sidekick, to teach his son a lesson about friendship. “We live in a screen age, and to say to a kid, ‘I’d love for you to look at a book but I hate it when you look at the screen’ is just bizarre. It reflects our own prejudices and comfort zone. It’s nothing but fear of change, of being left out.”" via The Atlantic

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