Just like the transit of Venus crossing between the Sun and Earth this week we also saw the crossing from the old displays to the new this week. Display week is one of the most important venues for getting a first look at what consumers will be clamoring to buy in the months and years ahead. It’s the show where you can get a comprehensive look at all the display technologies shaping our future.
The Plenary session speakers set the stage for the drool factor of products that are 2, 6, and more years away. For example, Dr. Sung Tae Shin, Sr. V.P. LCD Research and Development at Samsung Electronics talked briefly about three waves of display evolution that have been responsible for the continuous growth of the LCD market — notebook PCs in 2001, monitors in 2005, and LCD TVs in 2008. However, during the past few years, the display industry has become saturated due to stagnation in market growth, low panel prices as a result of oversupply, and stagnant investment after Gen 8 production, even though new applications, such as 3D, smart TVs, and tablets, have entered the marketplace. We need new momentum to revive the market, and Shin thinks multi-purpose use of displays, such as smart windows, smart e-Boards, and digital art displays will deliver the various online content and services for the what he called a smart society. He sees no boundaries between work and entertainment with the office being anywhere you are (it’s somewhat like that now for some of us). We will see high-resolution, flexible tablets and smart TVs with 500 pixels/inch, at 480 Hz and have 21:9 ratio for 70-inch TV screens, and will be switchable between 2-D and 3-D.
The next plenary talk was presented by Dr. Ramash Raskar, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and the Co-Director at the Center for Future Storytelling, MIT Media Lab. He talked about the development of novel displays that respond to ambient illumination (lighting-sensitive displays), and ones that support intuitive multi-touch and gestural interaction (interactive displays) and eliminate the need for 3D glasses. These all sound like they are for entertainment but Raskar pointed out some uses for mobile eye scans or even look for cataracts. He also described a new type of I/O device that possesses the ability to both capture images and display images; and an optical system that responds to changes in viewpoint as well as changes in back-lit transmitted illumination.
The final plenary session given by Dr. Byung Chu Ahn Sr VP and head of the OLED development center at LG Display (and presented by James Lee of LG Display) talked about OLEDs. We saw the first 11-in. OLED screen in 2007, a 15-in. in ’09, and a 31-in. in 2010. They expect to see a 55-in. next year. For OLED TVs the biggest challenge is cost but it will come down soon and precipitously but only if we have an agreement and collaboration among and between the device, material, and equipment providers. Sounds challenging.