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Thursday
Dec172015

Display Technology News Roundup 12.17.2015

Image via Cineplex Digital Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday
Sep012015

Display Technology News Roundup 9.1.2015

Image via Polyera Wove Band

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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Monday
May192014

Display Technology News Roundup 5.19.2014

Image via HMI Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Display Technology News Roundup 4.9.2014

Image via Spike Aerospace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday
Jun152013

Display Technology News Roundup 6.15.2013

Image via Discovery News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Thursday
Mar072013

Display Technology News Roundup 3.7.2013

Image via Jinha Lee / NBC News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday
Dec272012

The Display Technology News Roundup For 12.27.2012

Image via MIT Technology Review

A Display That Makes Interactive 3-D Seem Mind-Bogglingly Real "The “Z Space” display, developed by Californian company Infinite Z, tracks a user’s eye and hand movements and adjusts the 3-D image that he or she sees in real-time. The resulting effect is stunning. Unlike the 3-D video seen in a movie theater or on a 3-D TV, you can move your head around an object—to look it from the side or from below, for instance—and the Z Space display will adapt and show you the correct perspective. " via MIT Technology Review

Iljin Display expected to become number one touch screen supplier in Korea by the end of 2012 "The expected increase will push Iljin ahead of other Korea-based touch panel makers Melfas, Electro Luminescence Korea (ELK) and Smart Mobile Application Company (SMAC) in touch screen panel revenues during 2012, all of which used to hold top spot positions in Korea from 2009-2011 in terms of revenues generated, added Digitimes Research." via DigiTimes

Big Change in 2013 LCD TV Panel Supply "So, while the end market might prefer 32” which is comparatively cheaper, panel makers may have to cut 32” panel allocation in order to produce 39”, which has a higher panel price and in better production efficiency." via DisplaySearch Blog

Gesture Recognition Technology with Potential "Plessey Semiconductors, Ltd in the UK has announced a contactless gesture recognition technology named imPart which they will demonstrate at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The imPart reference design to be shown at CES 2013 utilizes Plessey’s EPIC sensors to detect changes in electric potential and translates these changes to gesture input for their imPart tablet-style device" via Display Central

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Innolux, AU Optronics Tumble on LCD Order Report "“Inventories started rising so the industry needs to cut prices severely which will hurt profitability throughout the supply chain,” Vincent Yu, a Taipei-based analyst at Jih Sun Financial Holdings Co., wrote in a note today. “In China, the problem is with an excess of 32-inch TV panels as the market is switching to larger sizes, and we see this order cut as being a special one-off event.”" via Bloomberg

Apple Reveals Two Retina Display Technologies "The second patent relates to LCDs that include a panel having an array of metal oxide TFTs, which may be configured to reduce visual artifacts by providing reduced RC loading and parasitic capacitance, thus improving overall image quality." via Patently Apple

How the Kindle Paperwhite Works "The Kindle Paperwhite uses a unique lighting system to illuminate its electronic ink display. Rather than using a backlight as on LCD-based tablets, the Paperwhite uses a transparent light guide that directs light from four edge-mounted LEDs down toward the surface of the display." via The New York Times

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Penn team making waves with liquid crystals "Despite their name, such defects are highly desirable. If the location of the defects can be controlled, the change in pattern or orientation can be put to use. In the case of a liquid crystal display, for example, the crystals’ orientation in different regions determines which parts of the screen are illuminated." via Penn Current

Touchscreen offers new opportunity for PC brands: An interview with Acer president "Acer's internal research points out that a consumer, after controlling a touchscreen product for more than 20 minutes, would want to use his or her fingers to touch any display he or she sees. This indicates that touchscreen control is an irreversible trend. Acer believes touchscreen control will be a strong selling point, but it still needs more time to take off." via DigiTimes

Prismaflex launches self-powered outdoor displays "Prismaflex, the international outdoor media specialist, has created the first out of home advertising display that is entirely energy self-sufficient, with the launch of its solar-powered Autonomous Scroller displays. The breakthrough has been enabled using a transparent photovoltaic film that taps the sun's energy to power both the scrolling mechanism and the LED lighting used by the Autonomous Scroller display." via PrintWeek

Steve Wozniak's IT predictions for 2013 flexible displays ""Eventually, maybe not within 2013, flexible displays will become less expensive, installed everywhere and anywhere, and change the way we interact with mobile devices and share experiences," Wozniak forecasts. "I honestly believe mobile devices will increasingly become our remote controls to the world. We’ll carry our software on our mobile devices, but display it on these communal screens – including those installed in conference rooms. Device manufacturers will continue to develop mobile devices with various screen sizes, but software will also be designed to display on any size."" via Macworld

Will This Samsung Innovation Leave Apple Out in the Cold? "As Hiner noted, “it’s when we get to the next big leap forward that the divergence between Apple and Samsung could really matter.” Samsung produces 90 percent of devices equipped with OLED, or organic light-emitting diodes, a technology thinner and lighter than LCD, and it is also the company closest to bringing flexible OLEDs to market." via Wall St. Cheat Sheet

The Anti Pinch To Zoom "In a preliminary hearing last week, a US court invalidated an Apple patent related to the famous ‘pinch to zoom’ maneuver. Pinch-to-zoom is one of the most easily recognizable of touch-screen commands, and in the days of the first smartphones, immediately demonstrated how useful a multi-touch screen could be. ...A team from the Human-Computer Interaction Design labs at the University of Washinton is working on a slightly different approach that requires even less digit work." via MIT Technology Review

2013 in view: Looking ahead at the digital signage year to come "Richard Ventura, director of sales - vertical solutions for digital signage solutions provider NEC Display Solutions of America: In 2013 we are going to see further integration of mobility and NFC with digital signage systems. This will also be the year that large displays will be integrated into digital signage applications. The video wall will continue to grow in vertical markets. We will actually even see larger than normal video walls with a focus on off shapes and sizes as well." via Digital Signage Today

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Wednesday
Dec122012

The Display Industry News Roundup For 12.12.2012

Image via CNET / Sean John / Macy's / Recom Group

Would you wear a video display on your sleeve? "The display comes from Recom Group and was discovered at geek heaven, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show. ...The concept is a bit geeky but intriguing. Right now, I can't imagine walking around with a glowing screen on my sleeve, but then again five years ago, I'd never imagine a cell phone as my most faithful palm companion." via St. Louis Post-Dispatch

New Touchscreen Capable of Working in Bright Light "The key innovation behind hybrid tracking is that instead of blocking the infrared light emitted by external sources, it embraces it. This is implemented by tracking shadows of the external infrared light and combining that information with reflections that the built-in infrared sensors 'see' through the LCD." via Digital Signage Connection

Continuously Falling Notebook PC Panel Prices "Tablet PCs continue to capture consumers’ favor, as those who care more about content consumption than creation value portability and convenience, and thus tablet PCs are taking share from traditional clamshell notebook PCs. At the same time, economic concerns have hampered enterprise IT spending, which hits notebook PCs in particular." via DisplaySearch Blog

Samsung to reveal some exciting new tech at CES 2013? "They may unveil the new display used in this phone - perhaps the rumored 5" Full-HD AMOLED panel. Some say that Samsung will unveil a flexible panel, but I think it's quite unlikely." via OLED-Info

How electronic parts distribution and the LCD industry are changing "The electronic parts industry boomed in the 1990s and early 2000s, but major industry changes are forcing companies to adapt. In those days, middlemen such as parts brokers thrived on wide profit margins for parts and direct access to manufacturers in Asia. It was a simple formula: find buyers and sellers of parts and turn part numbers into profits. But profit margins on electronic parts have eroded with improved manufacturing and lower costs." via Display Alliance

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Special Interest Group for Stereoscopic 3D in Education (SIG3D) "The new SIG3D group’s aim is to improve learning and teaching through communication and collaboration between its members, providing professional development and resources for the effective implementation of educational stereoscopic 3D technologies as well as showcasing high-quality applications, pertinent research and instructional best practices." via 3D Vision Blog

Holographic Television at the MIT Media Lab "Research since the early 1960s has attempted to build true holographic television, but until very recently the prospect has seemed distant. The authors' group has for several years concentrated on developing holographic displays suitable for consumer applications, adding constraints of mass manufacturability, low cost, and compatibility with mass-market computational resources such as might be found in PCs or game consoles. A resurgence of consumer interest in 3-D displays, combined with several relevant technological developments, makes this an opportune time to explore re-imagining holographic displays as part of a home in the near future rather than in fictional spacecraft in the far-off future." via The Society for Information Display

Apple Patent A Reminder That It’s Working On Google Glass-Style Wearable Tech, Too "Apple’s vision is still more focused on wearable media delivery, versus the AR-type features that Google is making the central feature of its Project Glass device, which is also where Microsoft seems to be headed according to its own recent patent filing. But all of these massive tech companies are clearly trying to plant their flags for the next stage of mobile tech, which begins to look increasingly like it’ll take the form of something we wear, not something we carry." via TechCrunch

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Samsung To Introduce Unbreakable Display For Next Gen Galaxy S IV "According to Reuters, Samsung is a frontrunner in developing unbreakable screens. That's because Samsung has a big interest in OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays, and a feature of OLED panels is that plastic material can replace glass substrate." via Hot Hardware

Video: Fraunhofer's COMEDD OLED program "The Fraunhofer's COMEDD published a new video explaining all about COMEDD and its activities and the OLED production process." via OLED-Info

China FPD Conference "SEMI today announced that the 2013 China FPD Conference and ASID will be held concurrently in Shanghai for the first time. ...According to NPD DisplaySearch spending on manufacturing equipment for flat panel displays is forecast to rise 121 percent from $3.8 billion in 2012 to $8.3 billion in 2013. ...DisplaySearch forecasts that the majority of FPD equipment spending in 2013 will be used for new low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) fabs and fab processes for use in both TFT LCD and AMOLED (active matrix OLED) displays. FPD China will bring together the leading buyers, specifiers, engineers, suppliers and other key players to discuss and plan the next stage of China's display industry growth." via Solid State Technology

In pixel wars, LCD has staying power, refuses to die ""OLED still has a long way to go to become a mainstream display, as it has to become bigger and improve picture quality," said Chung Won-seok, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities. "The use of OLEDs will continue to be confined to small displays at least for the next 2-3 years. Its usage as a mainstream TV panel is only likely in 2014, but even then there's a possibility of intense competition with LCD TVs as that technology keeps improving."" via Hindustan Times

OLED TV Prices May Be Lowered By New Polymer Development "For years, indium has always been viewed as the most ideal material for anodes, due to its conductive and transparent properties. But times have changed, and with the material become increasingly more expensive and difficult to obtain, researchers have been forced to try and come up with an alternative. ...Scientists working together at Iowa State University’s Microelectronics Research Center and the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory believe they have finally hit on to something: a 15-year old polymer poly (3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene):poly (styrene sulfonate), known more simply as PEDOT:PSS." via HDTVtest

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Touch screens go optical "The capacitive touch screen, which works by changing the local capacitance of metallic layers in the screen, reacts to very light touches and is durable but expensive to manufacture. Resistive touch screens, where conducting layers are separated by a flexible material that is compressed locally on touch, are cheaper but delicate to fabricate, especially for larger sizes. ...We devised a touch screen where light is confined in a waveguide that reacts to touch." via SPIE

Why would someone repair an LCD rather than buy a new panel? "On the other hand repairing the LCD panels is very useful for the manufacturers, because they usually get a shorter warranty period for the LCD panel than they provide to the end customer. Thus, they carry the expenses resulting from this discrepancy. The price of the repair of an LCD panel in Elsin is about 20-50% of the price of a new panel. Therefore, the total saving at mass production level is significant." via Display Alliance

USPTO may invalidate another of Apple's key multitouch patents "US Patent #7,479,949, claiming a "[t]ouch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics," essentially covers iOS's ability to respond when a user is trying to scroll vertically in a document, or trying to move around within the document in multiple directions. It also covers iOS's ability to discern the difference between swiping among images in a gallery, or panning or zooming within the image. The patent is sometimes referred to as the "Steve Jobs patent," as Jobs' name is listed first among the many Apple engineers cited as inventors of the patented claims." via Ars Technica

One step closer to telepathy with BCI technology "...brain-computer interface technology (BCI) has brought us one step closer to making direct brain-to-brain communication a reality. ...What Professor James has done is record the activation pattern in the visual cortex of one individual, use a computer to convert this activation pattern into flashing LED lights of different frequencies and transmit these light patterns to the brain of another person. The result is that the second individual “sees” what the first was imagining." via Neuro Gadget

Digital Display Technology: An Introduction to Digital Signage "What kind of display will best meet the deployment needs: plasma or LCD? What are the pros and cons of each? How will digital technology change in the next five, 10 or 20 years? What about terminology — what is the language of digital technology?" via Self Service World

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

Thursday
Sep202012

The Information Display News Roundup For 9.20.2012

Image via NextWindow / Flat Panels HD

Haptography and the science of touchscreen texture (interview) "The modeling approach relies on data recorded from dragging a specially sensorized tool across real textured surfaces. The tool measures the induced vibrations as well as the speed and force the person used. From this data I am able to make mathematical models to represent the feel of the surface for reproduction on the tablet. We've coined this method of data recording and modeling as haptography (haptic photography) because it allows a person to record the feel of an interesting interaction in much the same way that traditional photography allows a person to visually record an interesting scene or object." via Display Alliance

Sony's HMZ-T2 Personal 3D Viewer "On the plus side, the dual 720p OLED displays were bright and contrasty, which really works for gaming. ...it’s an impressive piece of technology, and after a few more iterations (and some significant price drops), could possibly become a realistic alternative to a conventional 3D display." via The Verge

Panel makers speed up glasses free 3D 4Kx2K panel production "While production for glasses-free 3D 4Kx2K TV panels is reportedly increasing, there are still issues with the panels maintaining high resolutions, said the sources." via DigiTimes

Touch technology in smartphones explained "Capacitive touch is the norm today and is pretty much used in every smartphone or tablet available. This article is therefore focused on capacitive touch technology and the new variants that are about to change the industry. " via Flat Panels HD

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

What determines TV Sizes "LCDs are made, several at a time on larger sheets of glass (called a mother-glass) and “cookie cut” into smaller displays. Determining how many LCDs to cut from a mother-glass is a balance of pricing and geometry." via Flat Panel Display Blog

Video - Augmented reality coming to surgery "Augmented reality technology is frequently associated with next-generation gaming consoles and visualization tools. But, increasingly, researchers are looking for ways to apply “AR” to new disciplines where improving depth perception could yield big gains." via EE Times

SATA airlines launches ad campaign with interactive paper display "SATA Airlines is set to launch a new ad campaign that was designed by Ynvisible, and uses their "interactive paper" solutions (based on their electrochromics transparent flexible display technology). The campaign includes a printed ad (placed in the September issue of Marketeer magazine) that has a boarding-pass like insert that can show a promotion flight price with the touch of a button." via E-Ink-Info.com

LG patents a mobile UI that uses a bendable display "LG's patented device uses two display - the top one is bendable while the bottom one is a rigid touch display. The user can bend or fold the top display to react with the device. This seems to be a rather weird design.CNT-TFT Made With Flexographic Printing Technology" via OLED-Info

CNT-TFT Made With Flexographic Printing Technology "A Japanese research group made a carbon nanotube (CNT)-based TFT for flexible displays, etc with a flexographic printing technology and achieved a carrier mobility as high as 112cm2/Vs." via Tech-On

Want to be interviewed for Display Alliance or submit your own content? Get in touch with me: jason@displayalliance.com

Single-Axis Flat Panel Design Offers New Angle On CPV Technology "This is where concentrating photovoltaic — or CPV — technology comes in. Typically, CPV technology collects a large amount of sunlight, “bundles” it through lenses or curved mirrors and directs it onto a small area of solar cells to generate electricity. ...The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Chutung, Taiwan, however, has developed an entirely new type of CPV design that functions much like a LCD display, only in reverse." via Solar Novus Today

World's biggest touchscreen "Made up of 24 55-inch MultiTaction Cell displays the idea is that you'll have an entire bank of the screens measuring some 10m x 3m allowing you to touch and stroke our way through your workload. ...Unlike similar devices, MultiTaction Cells, claim the company, can track multiple concurrent interaction methods including hands, optical markers and real life objects." via Pocket-lint

Tactile Touchscreens: Tech’s Next Big Thing? "“In the technology industry, a lot of products are created because the elements are available, not necessarily because there is a need,” says Paul Krumrich, the president of Spyeglass, a Minneapolis-based integrated design company that produces digital displays and signs. “I think for [tactile] touchscreens to be successful they need to make the process of getting to an end result easier, increase efficiency or enhance an experience. [Designers] need to avoid over-saturating a person with technology if they’re just looking to find something quickly. People will become frustrated if they need to wait for a screen on their phone or a kiosk if to feel like a special material.”" via Business 2 Community

Panel Manufacturers Vow to Reduce Production for Profit "Senior executives of Samsung, LG, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO, NYSE: AUO) all stated during the FPD International China 2012/Beijing Summit that profitability would become their primary management objectives in the future." via MENAFN.com

The evolution of video walls "Video walls in the early 1980s were built by mounting cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions (TVs) in a grid formation. These were typically 711-mm (28-in.) screens, with large gaps between sections. With each display hard-wired to a single content source, display options were limited." via Kenilworth