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Saturday
Jul262014

Display Technology News Roundup 7.26.2014

Image via LG Display

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have content to share with Display Alliance? Anyone can post press releases, white papers, commentary, videos, and more in the open section.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have content to share with Display Alliance? Anyone can post press releases, white papers, commentary, videos, and more in the open section.

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

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

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

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