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June 26, 2012: Electronic Design
This year's Society for Information (SID) Display Week conference, held in Boston, focused on four key areas—3D, flexible electronics and printed displays, green technologies, and touch & interactivity. Many companies rolled out innovative products and technologies.
For example, Stantum and Nissha Printing Co. Ltd. introduced FineTouch Z, a disruptive, pressure-based transparent touch-panel technology that unifies the intuitiveness of multi-touch with the spontaneity of stylus input with a single sensor and no performance tradeoff.
SID dedicated a portion of the exhibition space to a new show feature called the I-Zone. According to SID, the I-Zone was created to provide researchers with space to demonstrate their prototypes or other hardware demo units. Participants included small companies, startups, universities, government labs, and independent research labs.
Tactonic Technologies, which provides pressure-sensing multi-touch and pressure-imaging components and products, was one of the I-Zone participants. According to the company, its pressure sensors act as surface video cameras for pressure. The sensors also work with any stylus. Tactonic said the technology breaks size and cost barriers, enabling the creation of touch and pressure imaging surfaces of any size by using its sensor tiles.
Tactus Technology, which develops next-generation tactile surfaces for touchscreen devices, demonstrated a technology that enables real, physical buttons to rise out of the surface of a touchscreen device on demand. Users can locate and push down on thèse buttons as they would with any physical button or keyboard. When the buttons are disabled, they recede into the screen, becoming invisible and leaving a smooth, sealess, flat touchscreen with maximum viewing area.
Kyushu University and Network Application Engineering Laboratories Ltd. demonstrated a wireless power-transfer system for mobile devices employing a capacitive coupling between receiving/transmitting devices. Kent State University introduced continuously tunable LC-based lenses that provide high image quality. And, the Taiwan-based Industrial Technology Research Institute, a non-profit R&D organization, showed an array of rewritable and reusable e-paper technologies.
Acquired by Qualcomm last December, Pixtronix was on hand to exhibit its eye-catching digital micro-shutter technology. The Perfect Light Display's high switching speed makes it suitable for applications ranging from full-speed video to e-reader operation in a single device.
Corning Glass Works showed off its Willow glass, which the company formulated for electronic components such as touch sensors. The glass also can serve as a seal for organic LED (OLED) displays and other moisture-sensitive and oxygen-sensitive technologies. Ideally suited for flat-panel display production, it can be rolled up on spools.
Many attendees were pleased that SID and the International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM) announced the Information Display Measurements Standard (IDMS). The IDMS, according to SID, ''is a much needed document that will provide standard measurement procedures to quantify electronic display characteristics and qualities.''
All in all, attendees certainly had a lot to digest at this year's SID Display Week. It will be interesting to see what's in store next year in Vancouver!
Return to: 2012 Feature Stories