Looking at the news this week, and catching up with the technology news especially, I realised that the display industry is starting to get really interesting again. Since I started in the business, there was promise of flat panels and then a battle between LCD and all the ‘pretenders’ to the crown of top display. This was clearly won by ‘the LCD monster’ and I got the feeling that things were going to get boring as LCD dominated.
Now, though, there are some really interesting developments. On the economics front, the potential is for the momentum in the LCD business to start to swing solidly towards China and away from Korea. That means that the Korean makers have to find new ways to stay ahead and clearly OLED is the technology of choice. OLED, after being mainly of academic interest over the last fifteen years, is going to become very interesting indeed. There are developments in quantum dots (QD) that could help extend LCD’s dominance by improving backlights, but could also turn into a competitive technology to OLED.
Transparent displays will open up new concepts and designs (especially if OLEDs and QDs develop as some hope). Flexible displays will arrive and there will be a battle for the most dominant zero(ish) power display between E Ink, Qualcomm’s Mirasol and perhaps the LiquaVista technology now bought by Samsung.
Even in LCDs, there is the battle between Samsung and LG over 3D and between VA and IPS (which IPS seems to be winning at the moment). Can LCDs move to direct-lit backlights or to RGB backlights?
At the systems level, Apple’s success with the Retina display and the appreciation of the importance of the user interface by Microsoft and others, will mean more attention to display and touch technology. New form factors and the developments of Android will drive real systems innovation. And then there are all the possibilities of the cloud and what it means for display architectures….
How could it not be exciting??