Only one more week before the Holiday Season 2010 reaches its height and everyone reflects on this interesting year of 2010. So we completed the first decade of the new millennium in style and with severe injuries to the World economy. But since we are writing about displays here on Display Daily, I leave solving the World problems to others and focus on the Display universe. Many will write articles on what was and what was not the pinnacle of the display industry in 2010. As we all will read these articles with a grain of salt and respectfully disagree with some of the ideas presented, I thought it would be more suited for Insight Media to address the future of our industry rather than the past. Here is my take on the ghosts of Display Daily Future:
The future for next year is already written, so to speak, as the hardware that will wow all of us at CES in January is already on its way to Las Vegas. CES is like raw meat for piranha analysts - we take what is revealed, add some extrapolation and analysis and voila, we present the future served on a silver platter. Sometimes, a surprise development, like the iPad in 2010, spoils the general consensus and allows the analysts to write many articles on things that nobody had ever seen before. In general, this approach of small steps serves the industry very well and allows for analyzing trends and developing market forecasts.
So let’s crown the most interesting display product of 2011 before it happens. The TV space will see the addition of passive glasses 3D solutions and Internet-connected LCDs will dominate sales. No surprise there. Going to smaller size displays, I expect some very interesting solutions to finally reach the product stage. Low power, full color and video rate reflective displays are slated to the see the light of day and this space will allow for the most interesting new products next year. Whether Tablet, EBR or Smartphone - the platform is almost irrelevant when it comes to the display technology. The winner will be chosen on a completely new set of parameters; production yield, cost and capacity. As always, new technology spawns new applications requiring refined technologies and so on. From my perspective, the key ingredient of these technologies is the outdoor usability, driving a whole new set of potential applications in the years to come.
Five years from now the 3D revolution is finally reaching the masses. Driven by a strong economy, consumers will shed those passive glasses and trade the old TV in for a brand new 70" auto-stereoscopic TV hanging on the wall. This will allow you to share the holidays with your grandkids in California and Maine via real live video conferencing without going to the airport (note to myself - don’t buy airline stock). And for the content issue, the on-line conversion programs produce very watchable entertainment even from old black and white movies. Avatar, the series is going in its second year and we expect some very interesting plots when Jake Sully meets his friends on Earth in his new body for a friendly game of football (not to think about the endless possibilities of Neytiri meeting Jake’s ex-girlfriends on Jerry Springer).
Well the second decade is coming to an end and displays are still a dominating part of our lives, just more so. Reflective technologies have developed into competitive technologies that serve almost all potential applications with very low power solutions. So my vote for product of the year goes to the Beach TV. This roll-up, full color TV with solar cell embedded contrast enhancement film will allow watching all games on the beach. It is not only dust and water resistant, but is has the speakers also embedded in the front layer and is almost indestructible - as long as you keep the kids away from it.
If man is still alive, I expect nothing less than a full blown holographic display in everyone’s living room. Not only will the new Holiday software decorate the holographic room for you in heart beat, no, you can even downhill ski with the Wii winter weather plug-in (some broken legs have been reported in the expert mode on Mount Everest).
After that my crystal ball is getting a little cloudy on the technical specs, but we have some time to figure that out anyway.