Display Week is the Society for Information Display’s premier international event for the electronic display industry. It’s a great opportunity to discover new and exciting technological trends, as well as a chance to stay connected with a large cross section of Synapse suppliers and partners in the industry. I first attended Display Week in 2015, and this year’s event was my third visit. It was great catch up with some of our suppliers and check out the newest technological advances.
Staying in tune with industry trends helps prepare us to solve the unique technology challenges we often encounter
Synapse is often engaged with projects that push the technological limits of displays and sensing technologies. Staying in tune with industry trends helps prepare us to solve the unique technology challenges we often encounter - be it custom or novel display geometries and sizes, ultra low power wearable displays, touch surfaces for challenging and harsh environments, or unique materials, light guides, and optical films.
This year at Display Week I saw two standouts in new display technologies: transparent color displays and foldable OLED displays.
A mobile display company, JDI, showcased their new transparent color display. Using new technology to eliminate the need for color filters and polarizers, JDI has succeeded in manufacturing a prototype that achieves a groundbreaking 80% light transmittance. High transmittance allows the display to appear truly transparent to a user, where images can be displayed in concert with an unobscured background. This technology could enable a richer Augmented Reality product experience with potential applications in many industries, including consumer, industrial, and automotive.
Two manufacturers, BOE and AUO, exhibited their foldable OLED displays. The use of plastic substrates allow the displays to be dynamically folded while in use - a key differentiator from the curved displays already seen in some smartphones. Foldable display technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about wearable and mobile devices… imagine foldable tablets, jewelry or clothing with integrated display, or a modern redux of the flip phone! BOE has reportedly already started low volume pilot production of these foldable displays, and AUO estimates they will be in full production of their foldable OLED in 2018.
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Connected devices are leveraging rapid developments in voice control and machine vision to enable more seamless user experiences known as natural user interfaces (UI) or zero UI. But “seamless” and “natural” to whom? And in what context? Combining physical and digital interfaces so that a product can support various modes of interaction results in the most accessible products and intuitive experiences.
Consumers are seeking out Natural User Interfaces (NUIs)—technology that can be controlled by whatever method is most convenient in that moment, therefore blending seamlessly into our surroundings. Today’s smart devices attempt to achieve this by combining physical control interfaces with layers of digital innovation, from voice commands and gesture recognition to gaze tracking and machine vision. But is this a guaranteed improvement? Not without deliberate design.
We believe that connecting products to the Internet and otherwise adding digital “smarts” to them can enable powerful new functionality and make products much more useful to their users. That being said, we care deeply about the user experience of physical products. We feel strongly that the industrial design and user experience of a product should be constricted as little as possible by the addition of digital technology. That’s why we started exploring the concept of reactive physical control interfaces (RPCIs)—physical controls that self-actuate in response to secondary digital control.
Synapse is a product development firm. We work with the best companies in the world to drive innovation and introduce cutting-edge devices that positively impact our lives. Fueled by a desire to solve complex engineering challenges, we develop products that transform brands and accelerate advances in technology.