2009 is the first year that we’re really seeing all of the display types mentioned here—LED LCD, OLED, E-Ink, and legacy CFL LCD, plasma and others—all coexist in the market and establish themselves in their respective niches.
LCD-backlit LED has so far brought incremental advances to the mobile-computing space, the place where it’s poised to have the most dramatic impact is in televisions. A high-end LCD HDTV has a contrast ratio of about 30,000:1, whereas LED LCDs have contrast ratios between 1,000,000:1 and 2,000,000:1. Power consumption and weight savings of LED-backlit LCDs are between 30 and 50 percent, and these savings translate into very attractive form factors—the latest LED LCD TVs from Sharp and others are only a little over 1 inch thick, despite their large (46 inch and up) screen sizes. iSuppli predicts the percentage of these LED-backlit TVs will grow from 3 percent of TV sales in 2009 to 39 percent in 2013.
The smaller end of the screen size spectrum will soon belong to organic LED (OLED). OLED needs no backlighting because the pixel grid itself is an array of colored lights. Such “active-matrix” OLED displays are also brighter than active-matrix LCD technology. OLED screens have every other screen technology beat in the contrast and brightness departments and they’re also thinner. Sony’s 11-inch XEL-1 is currently the only commercially available OLED TV, and it boasts a thickness of 3 millimeters. LG has announced a 15-inch OLED TV that will be a scant 0.85 millimeters thick, which will launch Korea at the end of this year.
Once credit loosens up and those fabs come online, OLED will finally be able to break out of its small-screen niche. Ultimately, OLED has potential applications far beyond HDTV. OLED displays can be printed on a flexible plastic substrate, and foldable screens with the thickness of a credit card have already been demonstrated at CES 2009. Clear OLED screens will also eventually be possible, so that a window in your house could double as a TV screen.
E-Ink’s ultra-low power usage and daylight readability make it an ideal replacement for printing in another application: signs. Signs in grocery stores for displaying product prices and specials were among the earliest commercial uses for E-Ink, and as the technology gets cheaper and gains new features like color and faster refresh times, it will see more widespread use in such signage applications
Retinal Imaging Displays (RID)
Microvision released the Nomad Expert Technician System in 2004. (It cost $4,000 a unit and only projected images in red; Honda ordered some for their training centers, but the NETS never caught on, and was discontinued by 2006.)
Brother announced last year (2008) that it was hoping to make their retinal imaging display device commercially available sometime in 2010.
Conceptual image of the visual field seen through the RID
Asus plans Cheap E-book and Foldable E-book
Asus plans a cheap E-book and a Foldable E-book.
With dual screens, the new Eee e-reader could give readers a user experience similar to paper books. The device could also offer readers the option of using the second screen to browse a web page. The best part about the device, though, would be the price tag, says the Times report. The cheapest version of the Asus Eee reader could lost about £100, equivalent to $165.
Asus popularized inexpensive and simple netbooks. Asus should unveil the device either in December of 2009 or January of 2010.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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