Digital Signage Is a Quiet Giant of the Display Industry

By Gary Feather
The digital signage (DS) sessions at Display Week opened with discussions of the market aspects of the technology, then followed with implementations of the displays. Conclusions were that display innovations will grow the DS market over a billion dollars annually in just two years.  The target markets now and in the future are overwhelming. Business and technology solutions worldwide discussed at Display Week included: Sports venues and public arenasVegas and gaming (sports books and entertainment)Transportation (trains and planes)Government (command, control, communications, and information)Retail and digital out of home (DOOH)Corporate and conferencingInteractive and AR entertainment performers in the AR environment with huge audiencesCinema (to replace DLP projection) The current billions of sales in DS display solutions are largely unknown to many in the industry. Signage includes the special (and often artistic) implementation of LCD panels, LCD tiled walls of hu…

AR/VR: Reality is Not for the Faint of Heart

By Gary Feather
The word on the street in Los Angeles was that AR/VR was everywhere at Display Week 2017.  True! AR/VR was a topic in keynotes, seminars, symposium presentations, and certainly in conversations everywhere. The available perspectives on this subject were one-of-a-kind, including those from the biggest (Samsung, Google, and Intel) and the brightest (Stanford, Lumus, and LEIA), with visionaries all around making this engagement a unique opportunity for attendees. 
However the R or “reality” of AR/VR is not for the faint of heart. 
Digging a little deeper and looking at more of the total environment, there is an unexpected juxtaposition of the rush of optimistic euphoria attenuated by the intense existence of dysphoria. From visionaries to researchers, from product developers to marketing experts, there was a community expressing both focus and frustration.  Words of encouragement in every session were coupled with warnings of past failures.
Welcome to the display indus…

Pixels, pixels, pixels …

By Achin Bhowmik
“How many pixels are really needed for immersive visual experiences with a virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD)?” This is one of the most popular questions that I got during and after the short course I taught at this year’s Display Week.
So I thought I would reflect over this a bit, and point to some recent developments and trends in the display industry as gleaned from the presentations and demonstrations at this year’s event. First, let’s consider some basic, back-of-an-envelope, math and calculations. Here are some facts related to the human visual system. An ideal human eye has an angular resolution of about 1/60th of a degree at the central vision. Each eye has a horizontal field-of-view (FOV) of ~160° and a vertical FOV of ~175°. The two eyes work together for stereoscopic depth perception over ~120° wide and ~135° high FOV.
Since the current manufacturing processes for both the liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light-emitting diode display…

HDR is Highly Dynamic

By Tom Fiske

Judging from the papers presented at Display Week this year, no one technology or company has a lock on high dynamic range (HDR) displays, the HDR ecosystem, or even on how to describe HDR performance.  The main technology contenders are OLED displays, dual-modulation LCDs, and dual-modulated projection light-valve systems. The ecosystem includes Dolby Vision and ACES encoding and delivery schemes, among others. The measurement protocols and standards for HDR are still in development.
OLED displays are still fairly new (and therefore expensive), but deliver a superb HDR experience. The black levels are amazing and almost unmeasurably low. The peak luminance can be up to several hundred cd/m2, but is limited by average picture level (APL). The dual-modulation techniques for LCDs require a directly illuminated local dimming backlight to achieve enough backlight “resolution” for good HDR performance. Depending on implementation, halo artifacts can be a problem. A second LCD …

I-Zone: Innovation in Light and Sound

By Ken Werner
The Innovation Zone (I-Zone) at SID Display Week 2017 in Los Angeles had approximately 50 exhibitors, more than double the average of years past.  Among the genuine innovations on display at the I-Zone was the high-resolution automobile headlamp 30,000-pixel LCD shutter shown by the University of Stuttgart and automotive lighting company Hella. The light pattern of the headlamp can be controlled with great flexibility, and can be integrated with the car's GPS and situational awareness systems.
Another genuine innovation was presented by the gaming headphone maker Turtle Bay. Its Hypersound transparent, flat-panel loudspeakers (see photo) work on a different principle than the old NXT speakers, whose technology has been adapted by LG and Sony in their current high-end OLED TVs. 

Turtle Bay's speakers are capacitive, and the vibrating layer is driven at 100kHz and at 100kHz, plus the audible side-band signal. The result, as explained by Turtle Bay's rep, is that t…

All the “Realities"

By Achin Bhowmik
“What is real?” asks Morpheus in the much-acclaimed 1999 movie, The Matrix.
Then he rhetorically repeats, “How do you define 'real'?”
Morpheus goes on to answer his own question. “If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
Well… this is a profound definition of reality. One that engineers would readily like! If we can understand the electrical signals that zip around the neurons in the cerebral cortex of our brain as we sense and perceive the world, then we may be able to artificially stimulate the neurons in someone’s brain with similar signals. This would create the illusion of seeing something, or being somewhere, that is completely different from the “actual” reality.
That, precisely, is the goal that virtual reality engineers around the world are striving to achieve. But, wait… is it “virtual” reality or “augmented” reality? H…

Keynotes Inspire With Display Technology, Virtual Reality, and Autonomous Autos

By Tom Fiske The SID Symposium and Exhibition part of Display Week opened this morning with a strong set of keynote presentations. Paul Peng, Chairman and CEO of AU Optronics Corp., started off the keynote session with AUO’s view of past, present, and future display technology directions. He used Chinese history as an analog of the progression of the display industry, with periodic new “kingdoms” forming and merging, dominating, breaking up, and re-aligning. His focus, understandably, was TFT LCD technology, since this represents the majority of AUO’s portfolio. He gave an overview of AUO’s TV and automotive applications and the advantages, from a “green” perspective, of the TFT LCD manufacturing process over that of OLED displays. In fact, he seemed a bit dismissive of OLED technology in general, consigning it to the “niche” applications of mobile, wearable, and eyepiece displays.

The second keynote was given by Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality at Google. His presentation was polish…