SID Business Conference Identifies User Experience as Path to Profitability

At the 2015 SID Display Week conference here in San Jose, CA, the Business Conference organized by IHS was arranged around an appropriate theme: Increasing Profit in the Display Industry. Profit margins in the $100 billion plus annual market for displays have oftentimes been elusive for some tiers of the business for as long as I have been involved in the industry.

The one day long SID business conference offered several sets of speakers and panel discussions including one entitled, “Better Consumer Experience: Display Customers Point of View on Increasing Profitability”. The session included speakers from Intel, Dell, Sharp and Huawei.

Achin Bhowmik of Intel stated his thesis that while displays and display quality are great, the human machine interface is archaic; still based after 40 years on the mouse and keyboard. Bhowmik went on to admit that touch user interfaces have been a step forward although not without limitations including display occlusion. He held out the notion that display applications in wearables including watches, eyeglasses, etc. may drive user interface innovation but without real enthusiasm for this direction.

Dr. Bhowmik then pointed to the “anatomy of human sensing (concerning) interaction”, with reference to his book Interactive Displays: Natural Human-Interface Technologies published in the Wiley SID series in Display Technology. Bhowmik described A taxonomy of Sensing, Perception and Interaction involving Transduction, Recognition and Action, respectively, noting that the first is done in hardware the second in software and that the third, Interaction, is “Art”. Bhowmik described the Intel RealSense depth camera product line and SDK including the firm’s short range, long range applications and models their use cases. He provided examples of the use cases incorporated in the SDK and provided a long list of partnering relationships that supported his conclusion that Intel is gaining traction for its RealSense line.

Source: Zenith

However, Dr. Bhowmik’s most relevant commentary, concerning the topic of profitability for this SID Business Conference session, was to pose the simple question: “Will people pay for human interface” improvements? His example of proof that they do was interesting. He cited the 1956 Zenith Space command television remote control as one example, which he stated constituted 30 % of the cost consumers paid for the television set. Perhaps tellingly, he asked for a show of hands whether audience members had seen such a TV remote in a museum and I remarked that I had used one. Bhowmik concluded his talk with a call to action to the display industry audience asking them to “Collaborate to makes display and systems more interactive”. Perhaps his call to action can be one factor that will in future be a “Game Changer” in “Finding ways to Increase Profitability” as envisioned by the SID Business Conference organizers. – Phil Wright