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Tuesday
Dec012015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.1.2015

Image via Oak Labs / Polo Ralph Lauren / Thomas Iannaccone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday
Nov192015

Display Technology News Roundup 11.19.2015

Image via Ultrahaptics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday
Oct162015

Display Technology News Roundup 10.16.2015

Image via GelTouch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday
Aug142015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 8.14.2015

Image via Google / Project Jacquard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Feb282015

Display Industry Technology News Roundup 2.28.2015

Image via Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft unveils computer with ‘holographic’ display "Unlike competitors, Facebook-owned Occulus VR and Samsung, Microsoft aims not to immerse the user in an entirely virtual environment but instead to bring the virtual environment into the real world in the form of what it calls “interactive holograms”. HoloLens itself, an unassuming, futuristic-looking headset, will run the latest iteration of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Windows 10. It is one of the first computers to operate solely using voice and gesture based commands. ...The transparent lenses in front of each eye are made up of three layers of glass, each corrugated with tiny grooves to form diffraction gratings.Visible light is projected onto the lens by a so-dubbed “light engine”, and is diffracted and reflected between the layers of glass, using constructive and destructive interference of the light waves to create a virtual object in the user’s field of view." via Electronics Weekly

Apple Inc. Teams Up With Japan Display For LCD Production "Apple is reportedly in talks with Japan Display to help finance an LCD display factory in Ishikawa something next year. Japanese publication, Nikkan Kogyo, has reported that the deal is still in the works, and Apple is expected to invest around 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) into this strategic partnership. The factory would be responsible for manufacturing low-temperature polycrystalline silicon displays utilized in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Moreover, the Japanese publication states the factory will also be used to make OLED panels like the ones being used in the upcoming Apple Watch, slated for release in April." via Bidness Etc

Quantum dots: How nanocrystals can make LCD TVs better "Quantum dots are microscopic nanocrystals that glow a specific wavelength (i.e. color) when given energy. The exact color produced by the QD depends on its size: larger for longer wavelengths (redder colors), smaller for shorter wavelengths (bluer). That's a bit of an oversimplification, but that's the basic idea. Specific wavelengths of color is what we need to great an image on a television. Using the three primary colors of red, green, and blue, we can mix a full rainbow of teals, oranges, yellows, and more. Plasma and CRT televisions used phosphors to create red, green, and blue. All LCDs use color filters to do the same. There are multiple ways to use QDs in a display." via CNET

FlexEnable and Merck Take Major Step Forward in Plastic LCD Technology "A plastic LCD has been developed which is completely free of glass, instead using organic transistors on a plastic sheet, offering multiple benefits. Plastic LCDs have the potential of making products ten times thinner, more than ten times lighter and cheaper than conventional glass-based displays - all while delivering differentiating product benefits of being shatterproof and even conformal. The demonstrator was developed in a very short timeframe, and combines the key benefits of organic transistor technology (OTFT), including superior quality and yield. Ultimately, it shows a route to low-cost solutions for volume manufacturing with LCDs, the dominant display technology in the market today. FlexEnable has now demonstrated the world's first plastic LCD with active-matrix in-plane switching (IPS). It uses FlexEnable's OTFT array as well as liquid crystal (LC) and organic semiconductor materials from Merck. While the first demonstrator employs an IPS mode, this concept will be equally attractive for many other LC modes and applications such as e-readers, dynamic public signage and advertising. " via PR Newswire

Tech Time Machine: Screen and Display Technology History "'80s and '90s - Touchscreen Invades. IBM, Microsoft, Apple, HP and Atari are among just a few of the tech companies bringing touchscreen into the mainstream in this era. In 1992, IBM's Simon is the first phone with a touchscreen. FingerWorks, a gesture recognition company that is later acquired by Apple, produces a line of multi-touch products in 1998." via Mashable

Why are display makers looking to next-generation cars to drive growth? ""Previously, display makers saw little merit in auto displays because of their small volumes and slim margins ...but they are now revising their strategy as the market is growing," said Lee Byeong-hoon, a principal engineer at the South Korean unit of German auto parts giant Continental, the biggest buyer of automotive displays. Luxury cars already carry two or three displays and could have as many as nine in the near future, as safety and convenience features proliferate. Kia Motors' K9 sedan, for example, has five displays - an instrument panel, a centre information screen, two backseat displays and a "head-up" display projecting information onto the windshield. Future cars could add transparent side-window displays and replace rearview mirrors and side mirrors with screens, according to LG Display, the biggest liquid crystal display (LCD) maker." via The Star

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How does rewritable paper print with light rather than ink "A new type of paper can be used and reused up to 20 times. What’s more, it doesn’t require any ink. Its designers think that this new technology could cut down on tons of waste — and save people tons of money. A special dye embedded in the paper makes it printable and rewritable. The dye goes from dark to clear and back when chemical reactions move electrons around. (Electrons are the subatomic particles that orbit in the outer regions of an atom.) The paper’s color-change chemical undergoes what are known as redox reactions. Redox is short for reduction and oxidation." via Student Science

Xerox licenses Thinfilm printed storage tech for smart labels "The Norwegian printed electronics firm Thinfilm has formed a strategic partnership with Xerox around printed storage. Xerox will license Thinfilm’s proprietary technology and make Thinfilm Memory labels, which have some very interesting characteristics. Each label, costing a few pennies, is a plastic tag that’s based on ferroelectric capacitors and allows for power-free archival storage in the 10-15-year range. This isn’t some data center technology though; we’re only talking 10-36 bits. They are however very rewriteable – the data can be rewritten 100,000 times. This means the labels are perfect for continually storing and refreshing the output of sensors." via Gigaom

Pixel QI is Officially out of Business "Pixel Qi first first established in 2008 by Mary Lou Jepson and her husband John Ryan took over the reigns as CEO in November 2012. Mary left the company in March of 2013 to become Head of Display Division at Google X. John followed her in September to become the Director Program Management at Google X. With a non-existent executive team and no display prospects for the future, for all sense and purposes, Pixel Qi is out of business. The company designs liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be largely manufactured using the existing manufacturing infrastructure for conventional LCDs. The advantage of Pixel Qi displays over conventional LCDs is mainly that they can be set to operate under transflective mode and reflective mode, improving eye-comfort, power usage, and visibility under bright ambient light." via Good e-Reader

How Quantum Dots Are Taking a Quantum Leap "Outside his career as a noted nanochemist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Paul Alivisatos is an avid photographer. To show off his photos, his preferred device is a Kindle Fire HDX tablet because “the color display is a whole lot better than other tablets,” he says. What he may neglect to mention to the viewer is that not only did he take the photograph, he also helped invent the nanotechnology allowing the viewer to see those brilliant greens, rich reds, and bold blues, all while using significantly less energy. In fact, the Kindle display utilizes a technology manufactured by Nanosys, a startup Alivisatos cofounded in 2001 to commercialize quantum dots. ...Since then, Berkeley Lab’s quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now Alivisatos’ lab is exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications." via Controlled Environments

Japan Display unveils low-power screen for smartwatches "Japan Display’s new screen could reduce power consumption dramatically since it’s designed to show color text and graphics without a backlight. Not only does that mean the screens use less power than traditional LCD displays, but they’re also easier to view in direct sunlight. Japan Display says its screens also feature memory built into the pixels of the display, allowing a watch to display a static image without using much electricity." via Liliputing

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Glasses-free 3D could revolutionise advertising and cinema "In 2013, the young start-up company TriLite Technologies had the idea to develop this new kind of display, which sends beams of light directly to the viewers' eyes, andhas been working with the Vienna University of Technology to create the first prototype. Currently it only has a modest resolution of five pixels by three, but it clearly shows that the system works. 'We are creating a second prototype, which will display colour pictures with a higher resolution. But the crucial point is that the individual laser pixels work. Scaling it up to a display with many pixels is not a problem', says Jörg Reitterer (TriLite Technologies and PhD-student in the team of Professor Ulrich Schmid at the Vienna University of Technology)." via Daily Mail

Startup developing full-color holographic display for mobile devices images and video. "Fattal’s company, appropriately named Leia, will demonstrate a prototype of its new 3-D display next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Later this year it plans to release a small display module capable of producing full-color 3-D images and videos that are visible—with no special glasses—from 64 different viewpoints.Key to Leia’s technology is an invention by Fattal that takes advantage of advances in the ability to control the paths light takes at the nanoscale. He first revealed the concept, which Leia calls a “multiview backlight,” in a Nature paper published two years ago. At the time, Fattal was a researcher at HP Labs and his work applied to optical interconnects, which allow computers to exchange information encoded in light. But he realized that the idea could also be used to display holographic images, and he left Hewlett-Packard to pursue that idea." via MIT Technology Review

New Technology Will Make Fonts Look Great on Small Screens "Monotype debuted Spark, a technology that consumers can’t even buy. In fact, a measure of Spark’s success down the line might be how few, not how many, people notice it. That’s because Spark is a new software program from Monotype meant to make fonts on tiny screens, like on smartwatches and digital dashboards in cars, as intuitive and legible as the ones on your computer. The problem with fonts on small screens has to do with bitmap fonts, which get pre-coded into devices because they require less computational power. Unfortunately, those bitmap fonts are pixelated, so they won’t allow for the beauty and flexibility of rendered fonts—like Times New Roman or Helvetica—which scale more easily and can be found on bigger computer screens with plenty of power. That poses a problem for manufacturers peddling luxury goods, because a crappy screen display could easily cheapen even the most beautiful of devices. This where Monotype’s new software comes in." via Wired

Tackling the "achilles' heel" of OLED displays "Kateeva aims to “fix the last ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the OLED-display industry — which is manufacturing,” says Kateeva co-founder and scientific advisor Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology, who co-invented the technology. Called YIELDjet, Kateeva’s technology platform is a massive version of an inkjet printer. Large glass or plastic substrate sheets are placed on a long, wide platform. A component with custom nozzles moves rapidly, back and forth, across the substrate, coating it with OLED and other materials — much as a printer drops ink onto paper. An OLED production line consists of many processes, but Kateeva has developed tools for two specific areas — each using the YIELDjet platform. The first tool, called YIELDjet FLEX, was engineered to enable thin-film encapsulation (TFE). TFE is the process that gives thinness and flexibility to OLED devices; Kateeva hopes flexible displays produced by YIELDjet FLEX will hit the shelves by the end of the year." via R&D Magazine

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Magic Leap CEO says Stereoscopic 3D may cause permanent brain damage "Recently the CEO of a Google backed start up Magic Leap has claimed Microsoft's HoloLens could cause permanent brain damage and to no one's surprise Magic Leap has a 'better' and 'safer' competing product. Without giving any details Rony Abovitz, the CEO of Magic Leap, says consumers should avoid HoloLens when it comes out and stick to products made with superior technology. "There are a class of devices (see-through and non-see-through) called stereoscopic 3D. We at Magic Leap believe these inputs into the eye-brain system are incorrect -- and can cause a spectrum of temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits." - Abovitz" via WinBeta

Intel snaps up Swiss eyewear startup "Just as Google has stepped back from making networked eyewear, Intel is stepping into the gap with the purchase of Swiss startup Composyt Light Labs for an undisclosed amount. ...Most of the near-eye display technologies behind smart glasses involve some sort of trade-off. They either, like Google Glass, only show information in a small area over the eye, or are often too bulky to be practical. Composyt's smart glasses feature a patented see-through display architecture that shows images over a field of vision of 40 degrees on normal eyewear. The startup says the fact that its product works with standard and prescription glasses, has a large image size, and very high transparency will appeal to enterprises, where practicality is more important than designer style." via ZDNet

Displio Is A Tiny E-Ink Display That Runs Programmable Widgets "The Displio is the latest in a line of Internet-connected ‘displays’ designed to sit on a desk, or perhaps on a shop counter, and exhibit various online information, such as Facebook ‘Likes’, weather, number of unread email, and so on. However, although similar to the LaMetric, a fully-programmable but simple, ticker-style Internet-connected display, the Displio is considerably smaller, housing a 2.7 inch e-ink screen. Not only does this change the aesthetics considerably, and allows for a greater amount of information to be displayed, but e-ink’s lower power consumption — requiring power upon refresh only — means the Displio claims to be able to run on a single charge for up to a month." via TechCrunch

'Phorm' Case Adds Morphing Tactile Keyboard to iPad Mini "For the last several years, Tactus Technology has been working on displays that take advantage of microfluidic technology, with buttons that raise up and disappear on demand for a superior touchscreen typing experience. ...Here's how it works: there are a series of small channels filled with fluid behind an elastomeric panel (aka the screen protector portion of the case) and when activated by the slider, pressure is introduced, causing the fluid to come up through the channels and into holes, where it presses against the elastomer, physically changing and morphing the display portion of the case to create buttons. In the opposite slider position, the pressure is released and the buttons disappear as the liquid is dispersed back into the channels. (Video)" via MacRumors

Glyph head-mounted display shoots DLP images directly into your eyeballs "Rather than use an OLED display to provide an image, the Glyph uses a pair of small DLP arrays to bounce light directly onto the wearer’s retinas. This results in a very clear, very bright pixel-free image with an extremely high effective refresh rate. According to founder and chief strategy officer Edward Tang, Avegant started out with the intention of marketing its MEMS-based DLP display technology to the military, before the sudden explosion in the consumer market (driven, as Tang says, in no small part by Oculus) led him to retarget the technology at consumers. This has taken the form of a pair of chunky, oversized headphones, with the DLP components hidden in the connecting band. The idea is that you could wear the final production version of the Glyph (mostly) unobtrusively, and then perhaps flip the band down over your eyes when you’re on the train or something similar and want to watch a movie." via Ars Technica

See how different touchscreens were back in 1982 "While modern touchscreen displays use either a resistive or capacitive display to sense what your finger is touching, touchscreens in 1982 actually used a grid of intersecting infared light beams. When your finger touched the glass of the display, it would interrupt the horizontal and vertical infared light beams, sending a coordinate of where your finger was to the TV. (Video)" via Business Insider

DARPA developing neural display interface connected to your spine "The US military’s advanced research division – DARPA – has revealed details of its ‘cortial modem’ which wants to turn the inside of the human eye into an advanced display powered by the spine. Revealing details of its plans at an event called Biology is Technology (BiT) in the US, the organisation and its director Dr Arati Prabhakar said that their eventual goal is to an internal display system that would look as if you were wearing a Google Glass-style headset, but without any external technology. According to H+, DARPA’s short term goals are to begin by creating a small device that would cost no more than US$10 of showing a basic digital display, similar to a digital clockface, through a direct interface with the visual cortex." via Silicon Republic

Top 5 problems with HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) "Backlit villains - When choosing a HMI, parameters such as display life, picture quality, and display brightness all need to be factored into the process in correspondence to the application. There's no need to get a super bright and or high quality interface if it's only used rarely or for menial tasks. Brightness often means heat. What you have to remember is that heat seriously affects the life of a backlight and, although some HMI manufacturers try to make bulbs easy to replace, it is more common for the entire unit to be replaced instead. This is obviously more costly and so efforts to reduce overheating and overuse should be made." via Process and Control Today

Sapphire Glass: Engineering vs. Physics "This long intro is a preface to discussion of Apple's recent decision to spend $2 Billion to convert the GTAT facility into a data center. Clearly Apple is giving up on sapphire, otherwise GTAT or some restructured version of it might be useful going forward. This would tend to show that Apple ran into a Physics Problem in converting from glass to sapphire, not: cost or yield issues, design issues, tooling or such. Sapphire actually had to physics issues fundamental to the nature of the material. As described in "Big Surprise," although sapphire was harder and more scratch resistant than glass, with that hardness came brittleness. Secondly, and more importantly, sapphire has a higher index of refraction meaning that screens made with a sapphire overlay would have much higher surface reflections than glass." 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
Jul012014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.1.2014

Image via Worry Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday
May062014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.6.2014

Image via Cypress Semiconductor / Electronics Weekly

What are the design considerations for large-area touchscreens? "As screen sizes increase, the main challenge for capacitive touch is maintaining the same performance users have come to expect from a mobile phone but over a larger screen. This means scanning more intersections, over more surface area, in the same amount of time. ...It is challenging for large screens to maintain fast refresh rates because the touch controller needs to sweep greater surface area, gather data from all intersections, and process that data." via Electronics Weekly

Why Are Mobile Display Revenues Overtaking TV Displays? "With larger display area and comparatively higher unit prices, LCD TV panels have generated a majority of FPD revenues since 2006, but over the past three years, the market for mobile devices has expanded. The recent trend toward higher resolutions, slimmer and more lightweight specifications, wider viewing angle, lower power consumption, and the emergence of LTPS and OLED displays are causing mobile display revenues to soar." via PCB007

Why Did Apple Just Buy A Tiny Display Company And What Could It Mean? "Apple used to push display technology with its products, most notably when it brought the Retina Display to the iPhone. But that hasn’t been the case lately, which makes its recent acquisition of tiny LuxVue Technology all the more interesting. But LuxVue’s technology has fascinating implications around low power and high brightness and could eventually mean Apple will manufacture its own displays for the first time. It could also allow the company to gain technological leadership again, as it has with its own in-house chipmaking, which was also made possible by an acquisition that didn’t seem especially all that important at the time. In a scoop over at TechCrunch, Apple responded with its typical non-comment about what it intends to do with LuxVue and to say the company is little known would be a case in understatement." via Forbes

How Can Quantum Dots (QDs) Increase Display Color and Brightness with Less Power? "The optical and electrical properties of the manufactured crystals can vary markedly according to their size and shape: The bigger the dot, the larger its bandgap and the longer the wavelength it emits. The smaller the dot, the smaller its bandgap – which means a shorter wavelength due to the quantum confinement of electrons and holes in these nanomaterials. Quantum dots offer marked advantages over fixed-spectrum conventional phosphor technologies because QDs are tunable, so they can be induced to emit at a very narrow wavelength. Improvements to the technology in recent years are also making them more attractive." via Photonics

Why is smartphone component production causing LCD display shortages and hurting the display industry? "In recent months, there has been growing demand for a number of high-value components for smartphones and tablets, including fingerprint sensors, CPUs, cameras and touch controllers, along with 4K television timing controllers. According to NPD DisplaySearch large-area displays analyst Peter Su, semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan have increasingly been prioritising the manufacturing of these higher-value components over timing controllers [T-cons] for LCD displays. In a statement, Su warns the prioritising of higher margin components is leading to a shortage of T-cons." via Smart Company

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

Sharp improves TN LCD panels with clever light scattering optical film "Adding a film to a TN panel isn’t a new concept, but Sharp’s film promises to do a much better job of improving angled viewing. Typically, existing films only improve viewing horizontally, not vertically. Sharp’s new optical film improves both by scattering light and being able to control which direction that light is scattered in." via Geek

How have avionic displays entered the future? "Analog gauges, often referred to as “steam gauges,” ruled the instrument panels of all aircraft for nearly 80 years. But with the advent of powerful and inexpensive semiconductors, and the clarity of liquid crystal diode displays, it became easier to combine many instruments onto space-efficient, yet easy to read, glass screens called multi-function displays (MFDs). Along with advancements of glass display screen came synthetic vision systems (SVS). Loosely defined as real-time, 3D color imagery, SVS makes paper navigation products nearly obsolete. Instead, it uses a preloaded, internal database to create a pilot’s-eye view of the terrain the aircraft is passing over at that time." via Aviation Today

What are the challenges of designing automotive heads-up displays? "HUDs work by projecting an image, usually from a liquid crystal display (LCD), onto the windshield or a piece of glass above the instrument cluster. ...Designing a good HUD presents many challenges. It needs to have a very wide contrast ratio. It must display an image bright enough to be clearly seen on a sunny day, but also dim the image so that it does not obscure the driver’s vision at night." via EDN

How did Apple and Samsung get into a smartphone war? "The first products known to have been the focus of one of Samsung’s major price-fixing conspiracies were cathode-ray tubes (C.R.T.’s), which were once the technological standard for televisions and computer monitors. According to investigators in the U.S. and Europe, the scheme was quite structured: competitors secretly got together in what they called “Glass Meetings” at hotels and resorts around the world—in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and at least eight other countries. Some of the meetings involved the most senior executives, while others were for lower-level operational managers. The executives sometimes held what they called “Green Meetings,” characterized by rounds of golf, during which the co-conspirators agreed to raise prices and cut production to receive higher profits than would have been possible had they actually competed with one another. The scheme was eventually exposed, and over the course of 2011 and 2012, Samsung was fined $32 million in the U.S., $21.5 million in South Korea, and $197 million by the European Commission." via Vanity Fair

How to Install a Heads-Up Display in a Fifth Gen Camaro "There’s just something about checking your speed, gas gauge, and tachometer without having to look down that makes driving a new Camaro quite enjoyable and, once you’ve experienced that luxury, it’s quite difficult to go back. Unfortunately, not every fifth-gen Camaro shipped from the factory with a HUD and if you’re in the market for a used 2010, or you’re an original owner who didn’t have the option available at the time of purchase, you might think you are out of luck. But fear not fans of the futuristic windshield gauge concept, Heads Up can be yours and it can even be installed in your own driveway with a couple of factory parts and a weekend worth of work, if you’re willing to put in the effort. That said, we should mention up front that this can be quite a daunting task if you’re easily intimidated by making a mess in your new Camaro and it certainly isn’t a modification for the faint of heart. You’re going to have to dig in deep and, at some point, wonder if you’ve made a major mistake." via GM High-Tech Performance

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Will virtual reality (VR) make flat panel displays obsolete? ""A traditional display, especially larger ones, they're very expensive to manufacture and ship... it's literally just a lot of plastic and a lot of glass in a big box that has to be shipped across the world," Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey continued. "Sometimes it breaks, then it has to sit on a giant store shelf until someone buys it. Once VR is commoditized, let's say 10 years from now, the tech from two years prior, you'll be able to buy a really good VR headset for $99, because there's not much material, once it's all commoditized..."" via Ars Technica

UK Developers Create Reach-Through Displays For Tabletops "Researchers from the University of Bristol have reportedly developed a new reach-through tabletop display with personal screens comprised of a curtain of mist, according to research scheduled to be presented later this month at an international conference on human-computer interaction. ...The device is known as MisTable and it is described as a tabletop system that combines a traditional interactive table with personal monitors built using fog between the user and the table’s surface." via redOrbit

New display brings the Internet to your wall "That's where Electric Objects, Jack Levine's new venture, comes in. He wants to take some of the more serene parts of the Internet out of that stress-inducing device sitting on your desk, and put them on your wall through a different kind of device. ...The product is still in the prototype phase. But the current unpriced model hacked together by Levine is bigger than an iPad and, at 23 inches, smaller than most TVs. A final, more polished version will include a screen designed to be on at all times, with sensors that detect if anyone is nearby, activating the screen. It will also have a tilt sensor to reorient itself in either landscape or portrait modes, and an ambient light sensor to keep the brightness low and subtle." via Fast Company

Why Some Doctors Like Google Glass So Much "At a recent event hosted by Google’s Cambridge branch, doctors from across the country came to show off how they’d thought of harnessing Glass for medicine. One presenter, Rafael Grossman, a surgeon based in Bangor, Maine, was the first person to use Glass during live surgery. He thinks the technique could help doctors teach new surgeons. But for the pilot at Beth Israel, video is off the table, at least for now. “We wanted to stay away from anything that could potentially be misconstrued as leaking patient information, so until we had a case study and a good foundation, we purposely stayed away from enabling the video feed,” says Horng." via MIT Technology Review

How tiny company Amorphyx is seeking to reshape the huge, mature business of manufacturing displays "Cowell and Amorphyx co-founder and chief executive John Brewer Jr. are preparing for a whirlwind, four-day trip to Taipei, Japan and South Korea, where they will meet with executives of major display manufacturing companies including Samsung and Sony. They hope to make progress toward an agreement to cooperate in testing and refining a process that would replace silicon-based transistors with amorphous metals-based resistors. Amorphyx has been doing this on a small scale in the lab, where it sprays two layers of metal compounds and an insulator onto wafers, then tests them for conductivity. Now it hopes to kick the process to a higher production volume. For the layperson, what this means is that displays built with Amorphyx's non-silicon process would consist of fewer layers than prevailing liquid-crystal manufacturing technologies, cost less and could be used on flexible surfaces." via Oregon Live

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Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons Head to Market "That technology was developed by startup Tactus Technology, which uses tiny fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make buttons rise up from a device’s screen and then disappear without trace when they’re no longer needed (see "Demo: A Shape-Shifting Smartphone Touch Screen"). Electronics manufacturing giant Wistron has now modified equipment at one of its factories in China to produce touch-screen panels with the shape-shifting technology inside. Wistron is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers; it’s made devices for brands including BlackBerry, Apple, and Acer. The company also recently became an investor in Tactus." via MIT Technology Review

A Joystick-Inspired Interface Could Solve Smartwatch Displays' Biggest Problem "Think of the way we used to use those small nubs located in the middle of an older laptop’s keyboard to move the cursor, and you’ll understand how this concept — created by Robert Xiao, Gierad Laput and Chris Harrison — works. Except that instead of a cursor, it’s navigating a mobile device’s UI that usually relies on taps and gestures. The problem is that your fingers are usually far too large to use all the same gestures you rely on with your smartphone on a watch’s tiny touchscreen. And you usually end up blocking the display in the process, making it even more difficult. So this concept reproduces most of that functionality with a watch display that can be subtly tilted side to side, up and down, rotated, and even pressed like a button." via Gizmodo

Should touchscreens be more intuitive? "Chris Harrison from CMU's Future Interfaces Group thinks modern, "flat" software doesn't profit from our dexterity with real-world tools like cameras, markers or erasers. To prove it, he created TouchTools, which lets you manipulate tools on the screen just as you would in real life. By touching the display with a grabbing motion, for example, a realistic-looking tape measure appears, and if you grab the "tape," you can unsheathe it like the real McCoy. " via engadget

Japan’s New Floating Touchscreen "The process is very fast paced, actually...allowing for highly responsive image manipulation. Hundreds of pictures are taken per second by stereo cameras. This allows the technology to precisely track a user’s hand and finger gestures as they relate to the floating images on the screen. These gestures are then translated into commands by computer software. Professor Ishikawa explains the advantage of gesture technology: “In hospitals and such during surgery, when one’s hands are dirty, it’s still possible to use this, or to use it in a variety of situations at a construction site.”" via Trefis

Atmel Announces Next-Gen Touchscreen Controllers "Atmel is well-known in the context of MCUs and FPGAs -- but it is also a major player with regard to touchscreen technology, especially in the large format screen space. ...The mXT1066T2 and mXT1068T2 controllers support both mutual-capacitance and self-capacitance sensing. By intelligently switching back and forth between the two and using a hybrid approach, designers can achieve optimal power consumption and noise immunity, even in high humidity and moisture environments, while supporting bare finger and gloved operation. Additionally, mXT1068T2 controllers supports hover operation in which the user's finger can be up to 20mm above the touch surface." via EE Times

Touchscreen Interface Based on Little Mobile Robots "Thumbles features tiny little omnidirectional robots that live on top of a projected screen. By grabbing them and dragging them around as they try to drive around, you can experience a completely new type of physical interactivity. What makes Thumbles unique is that the robots can move by themselves. They can provide force feedback, or dynamically form different kinds of physical controls, or act as virtual representations of things like molecules or mechanical structures. (Video)" via IEEE Spectrum

Could 'Star Wars' holographic displays become a reality? "HP Labs spinout Leia believes it is. Using a clever system of diffraction gratings, its small displays produce 64 different versions of each image, allowing a viewer to move around an object or person shown on the display as if it was right in the room with them. CEO David Fattal spoke to an eager crowd of imaging researchers at Stanford University about his company’s progress since it separated from HP. While the concepts behind Leia are the same as when the team’s work at HP was first published in Nature last year, the new company now has full color prototypes with improved resolution as it prepares for a product launch. Key to Leia’s technology is the use of fairly simple diffraction gratings at each pixel to redirect the backlight in different directions. " via ExtremeTech

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Sunday
Apr142013

Display Technology News Roundup 4.15.2013

Image via Tony Law for Bloomberg Businessweek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Sunday
Feb242013

Display Technology News Roundup 2.24.2013

Image via Electronics News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Feb092013

Display Technology News Roundup 2.9.2013

Image via ubergizmo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday
Jan312013

Display Technology News Roundup 1.31.2013

Image via ExtremeTech

Add OLED screens to your fingernails with NailDisplay "It's only a prototype right now, but a group of engineers at the National Taiwan University in Taipei think that using fingernail-mounted OLED screens could solve a number of UI problems plaguing today's gadgets. For instance, if a person is typing on a touchscreen smartphone, the NailDisplay could show what virtual key your thumb is on (and obscuring), essentially making your typing experience a "transparent" one." via DVICE

Jaguar Land Rover engineer discusses HMI display technology "The key differentiator that is holding back displays in the automobile is that of the environment. The harshness and variety of environmental extremes means that standard consumer display's can't be used, therefore specific development projects need to take place. I expect that the increased resolution trend will eventually migrate across to cars, but this must not be done at the expense of performance and in particular brightness - which in a fixed position system is critical to ensure performance in all ambient lighting conditions, this is something that consumer devices are not particularly good at." via Display Alliance

Penetration rate of touch screen technology used in LCD monitors expected to increase in 2013 "The global penetration rate of touch screen technology used in LCD monitors is expected to increase to 8-10% in 2013 largely due to the release of Windows 8, according to sources at ViewSonic. The penetration rate is expected to reach the percentage by the end of the year after climbing from 3-5% in the first quarter 2013 largely due to LCD vendors' plans to continue releasing products that are Windows 8 compatible, said the sources." via DigiTimes

Flex-o-Fab: a new 3-year EU project that aims to help commercialize flexible OLEDs within six years "The Flex-o-Fab project will draw on technologies and expertise already used to produce glass-based OLEDs and flexible displays. It will look to migrate existing sheet-to-sheet processes to roll-to-roll (R2R) production to further reduce costs and enable high-volume production." via OLED-Info

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

Sharp IGZO to Transform Displays "The cascading effect of these two advantages over A-Si are stunning, and Sharp is taking full advantage, as evidenced in the CES booth. The big advantage in mobile displays comes in power savings, as the larger aperture ratio allows for far fewer LED backlights to achieve the same brightness levels. But beyond the obvious power savings from fewer backlights, the high electron mobility from Sharp IGZO also allows the display panel to modulate the on/off state (at about 100 Hz) and still maintain the image on the screen, according to Chris Frank of the Sharp Camas Labs in Washington State." via Display Central

Today's thinner LCDs can show uneven lighting, even in bright scenes "LCD screens have often shown some backlight non-uniformity (called mura), because an LCD panel can let the backlight leak through more in certain spots than in others. Normally, this appears as an uneven cloudiness that usually can be seen only when the screen image is dark or completely black. But as TVs get ever thinner, we've seen a new problem that can cause even more noticeable type of non-uniformity, which, at its worst, can be distracting even in bright scenes." via ConsumerReports.org

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Reduce Display Noise In Capacitive Touchscreens "There are several options to reduce display noise effects on the touchscreen controller: shielding (eliminating noise magnitude), avoid noise frequency, digital filters, touchscreen sensor design, and synchronization." via Mobile Dev & Design

Car Makers Seize New Display Technology "Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz is torn on whether to implement the head-up display technology in its models. Its revamped E-Class sedan, which debuted at the Detroit auto show this week, is chock-full of new safety technologies such as a pedestrian-detection system, but doesn't include a heads-up display function. "There is still an internal debate [within Daimler] about it at the moment," said Joachim Schmidt, Daimler's global sales chief." via The Wall Street Journal

High res displays revolutionize user interfaces "In the past, UI designers had to think about what would look good on a display. Now these designers just need to figure out what looks good. This small shift in design mentality has unlocked the creativity of many on what a modern interface should look like, and we have only seen the start of it." via The Retriever Weekly

Kent Displays Listed As Manufacturer “Of Note” 2013 "A pioneer in the liquid crystal display industry, Kent Displays has transformed itself from a research-based organization into a business-to-consumer company. Its plastic LCDs, manufactured under the trade name Reflex, are used in a variety of applications in growing markets such as writing tablets, electronics skins and credit card displays. Among Kent Display’s products is a line of e-writers — the Boogie Board tablets — which were introduced in 2010 by Improv Electronics, Kent Displays’ consumer product subsidiary. In its first year in production, Boogie Board tablet sales exceeded forecast by 10 times because of their successful entry to the Chinese marketplace. By 2011, Boogie Boards were being sold in India. Today, the company is exploring other global markets for expansion. Learn more at www.kentdisplays.com." via Smart Business

E Ink accused of asset-stripping Hydis "The chief bone of contention for Hydis workers is the suspicion that E Ink is asset-stripping the company by selling its core technology — more specifically, the license for Hydis' LCD technology which is considered to be just a few notches below top display makers such LG Display — to rival companies. The act itself may be legitimate, but in that case, Bae insists that the government must initiate legislation to prevent such transfers of technology in the future. ...This would not be the first time that Hydis suffered at the hands of a foreign owner. Prior to E Ink's acquisition in 2008, the display maker — formerly a unit under Hyundai Electronics, the precursor to Hynix Semiconductor that was acquired by SK Group — had been exploited by China-based BOE Display." via The China Post

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“Moth’s Eye” Approach Will Reduce Screen Reflections and Glares "Moth Eye technology will be far more advanced than Apple’s Retina display, which develops screens based on the highest threshold of human sight that can distinguish between the pixels on a screen. While Steve Jobs touted Retina display technology as the maximum threshold of human sight, a recent rumor has it that Samsung Electronics will use diamond-shaped pixels in its soon-to-be Galaxy S4 instead of the usual Pentile-Matrix pixel display (while also producing a pixel density of 440ppi, or pixels per inch)." via The Droid Guy

Samsung hits OLED screen milestone "While it took Samsung four and a half years to reach the initial 100 million production mark for OLED panels, the next 100 million units were produced in just eleven months, and the last 100 million units were produced in only seven months. Samsung held a ceremony to commemorate the 300 million production milestone at Samsung Display City located in Asan city, Chungcheongnam-do, in South Korea, which was attended by its president and more than 300 other employees." via itbusiness.ca

Design Touchscreen-Based Handheld Systems For Low Power Consumption "Designers can stretch the operating battery life of handheld devices through judicious management of the operational states. Touchscreens, which are now nearly ubiquitous, make a good example. The operating conditions for a portable device, with the variety of applications it can support, generally can vary from intensely busy to nearly idle in a moment’s time. By utilizing knowledge of how a device is being used, the power consumed by the touchscreen can be more efficiently managed." via Electronic Design

Toray’s touchscreen film self-repairs scratches, cuts down on fingerprints "What Toray has done is manage to apply the anti-fingerprint solution to their self repairing film. So now you can have a fingerprint free touchscreen that also recovers from any minor scratches. Toray also updated the anti-fingerprint technology to make it easier to remove any dirt that does build up, however, in doing so the film doesn’t work quite as well as last year’s wrinkled nanometer surface method." via geek.com

Has Apple finally abandoned its sad claim to the 'Multi-Touch' trademark? "Apple's used "Multi-Touch" since literally the first minute Steve Jobs uttered the word, with a conspicuous pause between syllables and a handy slide behind him displaying the hyphenated form. The goal, as with any trademark, was to convince the public that "Multi-Touch" on Apple devices is a proprietary technology somehow distinct from all the other multitouch displays in the world. If you squint right and imagine you're a hotshot young attorney with a bad BMW habit, it sort of makes sense, in the same way that "E Ink" makes sense as a trademark. But it was always unfortunate: here's Apple, the leader in minimal design, allowing its lawyers to brutalize the perfectly functional word "multitouch" with two capital letters, a hyphen, and a superscript. Gross." via The Verge

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Friday
Jan252013

Display Technology News Roundup 1.25.2013

Image via Zebra Imaging

3D holograms assist battle preparation "Holographic maps developed by Zebra Imaging (Austin, TX) and sponsored by a US Army contract allow soldiers to view three-dimensional (3D) landscapes and cityscapes prior to entering a battle zone. The technology, which has other uses in both military and civilian applications, relies on software that converts light detection and ranging (lidar) data into an up to 24 × 36 sq-in. rollable laser-written holographic display that can be observed using a simple flashlight, without the need for special viewing glasses or goggles." via Laser Focus World

How an E-ink Screen is Made (video) "The following video shows the CMO of E-ink, Sriram Peruvemba, as he explains the steps involved in making an E-ink screen. " via The Digital Reader

Electrowetting displays: Brighter than LCD, lower-power, and daylight readable "In an electrowetting display, a small blob of black oil takes the place of liquid crystal. In its base state, the black oil is opaque and doesn’t let any light through. Apply some electricity, the electrowetting of the substrate increases, the oil becomes a tight bead — and voila, lots of light passes through. Repeat this for all three RGB subpixels and you have a computer display." via Extreme Tech

Texas Instruments wants LCDs out of cars "The LCD touch screen has become commonplace in cars, but the technology suffers from limited shaping. Texas Instruments used its Digital Light Processor (DLP) technology to come up with a display that could take a wide variety of shapes in the car, and allow touch control for people wearing gloves." via CNET

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Acer denies making touchscreen alliance "He said neither the company nor its chairman are involved in assembling a touchscreen industry alliance in Taiwan. The Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday that Acer chairman and chief executive officer Wang Jeng-tang was organizing the nation’s first touchscreen industry alliance to take on industry rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea."via Taipei Times

Touchscreen restaurant table forecasts the end of human interactions "Moneual has unveiled a design for a touchscreen cafe table that can display apps to help diners browse and order off the menu. ...Designed to feature touchscreen menus, order placement interface, and payment options, the Touch Table would be the one stop shop for cafe-goers to enjoy a Seamless-esque experience by interacting solely with computers and minimally with humans." via Digital Trends

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Touch Screens Moving Beyond Smartphones and Tablets "The current trend of using iPads or other multi-touch tablets with dedicated apps for certain specific purposes may be innovative, but it won't be sustainable or economically scalable beyond a point. It is here that the necessity for dedicated multi touch devices comes into the picture. There is massive potential in this arena, and companies like Sollensys are leading the way forwards. " via Huffington Post

PaperTabs electronic paper expected to replace computers "PaperTabs, created at Canada's Queen's University in partnership with Intel Labs and Plastic Logic, look similar to sheets of paper with black printing. But PaperTabs are actually flexible computers powered by the latest Intel chips with 10.7-inch touchscreens and the ability to interact with other pieces of electronic paper. Lay one PaperTab beside another and they can work together to display a larger image, for example. PaperTabs can also be used simply to read large documents, with users bending the PaperTab each time they wish to virtually flick to the next page." via Perth Now

Xbox display technology turns your room into a ‘holodeck’ of sorts "Microsoft gave a demonstration of a new research project called Illumiroom that fills a room with lights and images that coincide with what’s being shown on a TV screen. The experimental display tech uses Xbox Kinect — in conjunction with a projector — to scan the appearance and geometry of the room." via Venture Beat

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Cockpit display innovators to convene at Avionics Europe 2013 "“Few humans would disagree that of our five senses, sight and touch are perhaps the most important. Avionics displays embody sight and touch via an increasingly important role for pilots, crew, passengers, and maintenance personnel alike,” affirms Vance Hilderman, president of Atego HighRely. ...Avionics Europe 2013 will take place 20 and 21 Feb. 2013 in Munich." via Avionics Intelligence

Inventing DualView: Displaying two images at the same time "The technology’s origins lay in 3D – specifically glasses-free 3D, most recently seen in Nintendo’s 3DS and 3DS XL handheld games console. Much like the 3DS, DualView combines a normal LCD with parallax barrier technology, displaying two pictures simultaneously by separating the direction of light from each pixel into two directions. But unlike glasses-free 3D, which tricks the eyes into seeing a single three-dimensional image by layering two 2D images, DualView uses the tech to display two 2D images simultaneously." via Humans invent

£25M Graphene R&D Centre With Backing from Nokia, Plastic Logic & Others "Material scientists and nanotechnologists get very excited about the potential of graphene — a one-atom-thick sheet of bonded carbon atoms which is exceptionally strong, lightweight and flexible and is a better conductor than silicon – but they are not the only ones to see huge potential in it. Nokia, Plastic Logic, Philips, Dyson, and BaE systems are among more than 20 industry partners who have pledged £13 million worth of support for a new graphene R&D centre to be established at Cambridge University. ...The new Cambridge Graphene Centre aims to develop graphene from a material with a lot of raw potential — researchers have already been looking at how graphene could improve battery capacity, and exploring its water-repelling properties — to a point where it can “revolutionise flexible, wearable and transparent electronics”." via Tech Crunch

Will Samsung use diamond or hexagonal sub pixels in their new AMOLEDs? "Reportedly, Samsung are developing hexagon and diamond shaped pixels. This means that Samsung will increase the resolution but the picture will suffer due to jagged pixel artifacts and blurring. It's probably that at such high pixel density this won't actually be noticed, but still." via OLED-Info

A Dual-Screen Smartphone "But it seems to me like the most clever, the most innovative, the most useful way to employ double screens is also the most obvious one: to turn your smartphone into a tablet. What I want–what everyone wants, I think–is the screen real estate of a tablet, with the convenience of a device that fits in your pocket. The trend right now is to try to find a middle ground with tablet-phone hybrids called “phablets” (see “Review: Galaxy Note”). The only problem: phablets are often awkward." via MIT Technology Review

Is Apple changing its mind on touch panel structures? "Calvin Hsieh, senior analyst at DisplaySearch, cites a report from China that Innolux has delivered "touch on display" samples for the iPhone, another China report that Innolux and AU Optronics have provided "one-glass solution" (OGS) samples for the iPad Mini, and his firm's own analysis that the iPhone 5 uses in-cell touch technology but the iPad mini uses a glass/film dual ITO (GF2, or DITO) structure. With both those processes struggling to attain good yields, could Apple end up changing its display technology adoption midstream?" via Solid State Technology

Plasmag Technology successfully develops TCP film "EDN quoted representatives of Plasmag as stating the technology has a simplified production process and low cost advantages over ITO films. EDN also quoted market observers stating they believe the technology will replace ITO film in the future for conductive touch screen materials, most notably for use in tablet products." via DigiTimes

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Tuesday
Oct302012

The Display Industry News Roundup For 10.30.2012

Image via Android Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday
Oct122012

The Display Industry News Roundup For 10.12.2012

Image via Sean Follmer / MIT Media Lab

What Comes After the Touch Screen? "One was a malleable interface that can be shaped somewhat the way clay can, developed by a team at MIT's Media Lab. Sean Follmer, a PhD student in the lab of Professor Hiroshi Ishii, demonstrated several versions, including a translucent bendable touch screen laid flat on a table." via MIT Technology Review

Nanotubes Presage Holographic Displays "Holographic displays came one step closer as researchers at Cambridge University’s Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics (CMMPE) used carbon nanotubes to produce the smallest ever scattering elements (pixels) to create a static holographic projection of the word CAMBRIDGE." via Display Central

Hands-on with the first IGZO panel smartphone, Sharp's SH-02E "In short, the world’s first phone with an IGZO-based display is a bit of a letdown. But on the plus side, the high-density IGZO displays that Sharp has been teasing us with are now that much closer to market — something that we can all look forward to." via The Verge

Disney Uses 3D Printed Optics for Displays "At the recent ACM conference on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’12), Disney Research (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ) and Carnegie Mellon University presented a paper on the production of optics for user interfaces and displays using 3D printing technology." via Display Central

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

Japan Electronics Emulates Detroit Autos Before Bankruptcy: Tech "Prices for 40-inch LCD panels fell from about $2,700 in the beginning of 2004 to $1,300 in 2005 and kept dropping until they reached $250 at the start of this year. Samsung steadily gained market share, moving to 29 percent in 2012 from 10 percent in 2004. ...“Japanese companies innovated primarily on hardware and the device and they were fantastic at that,” Kenevan said. “The problem is, the key engine of innovation in the world has shifted from hardware to software, to systems, to solutions.”" via Bloomberg Businessweek

Interactive system detects touch and gestures on any surface ""Imagine having giant iPads everywhere, on any wall in your house or office, every kitchen counter, without using expensive technology," said Niklas Elmqvist, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. "You can use any surface, even a dumb physical surface like wood. You don't need to install expensive LED displays and touch-sensitive screens."" via R&D Mag

Panel Makers Re-Adjust 4Kx2K Panel Plans "As LCD TV panel makers reshuffle their 4K panel plans, it is becoming clear that 4K is a necessity at certain sizes." via DisplaySearch Blog

Flat Panel Display Price Erosion and Performance Improvements Drive Increased Demand, Expediting Industry Recovery "However, with the exception of LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon, a form of microdisplay) all other display technologies, including plasma and passive matrix forms of LCD and OLED, are declining in 2012. In a sharp reversal, AMEPD (active matrix electrophoretic display), which is used in monochrome e-readers, swung from strong growth in 2011 to even stronger decline in 2012, due to competition from TFT LCD-based tablet PCs." via DisplaySearch

Touchscreens: How they work "Capacitive screens sense the tiny amount of electrical charge on your skin that is produced when your finger interacts with the screen's electrical field." via The Washington Post

AU Optronics reaches patent cross-licensing agreement with E-Ink, Hydis "The ten-year deal largely centers around LCD technologies, including Fringe Field Switching (FFS). AUO and E-Ink claimed in a statement that the agreement will “sharpen their competitive edge” in the industry." via TNW

Less business for Korean-based tablet panel makers? "Analysts predict that global tablet users will reach 124 million by 2014, and Apple currently holds nearly 70 percent of the tablet market share. Taiwan is a hotspot for PC OEMs, but the PC market is shrinking, hence, Apple’s move may give Taiwan the much needed boost in its tech sector." via VR-Zone

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Google 10-inch tablet would push display tech envelope "In fact, Samsung is the only company that successfully manufactures both high-volume advanced AMOLED and LCD screens. But the high-density PPI action is currently centered on LCDs -- not AMOLED. Sharp, for example, announced the start of production of a 5-inch 443 PPI display last week. But if Sharp is able to make those kinds of LCDs, you can bet Samsung probably can too -- and will." via CNET

Capacitive Touch Case Makes Your iPhone Very Sensitive "[Canopy] introduced the Sensus iPhone case with a capacitive touch back at the 2012 GDC (Game Developers Conference) on Wednesday. ...Touch-capacitive sensors are located on the back and right edges of the case. From the looks of the video on Canopy’s pre-order page, the company is clearly courting gamers and game developers. The case moves fingers off the front of the iPhone and out of the way of the action." via Wired

High-directionality backlight for head-up displays "A head-up display (HUD) shows signals, data, or messages in front of the windshield of a vehicle and allows the driver to keep their line of sight while looking at the display unit. HUD has been successfully adopted commercially1,2 and has the most potential for use as the human visual interface for vehicles.3 In addition to concerns related to reliability, particularly with HUDs with a large display size, there are two major issues with current HUD design. One is high power consumption. The other is the volume of the display unit." via SPIE