Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bright Efficient Light – In Colour

Bright screens eat power and this is no more relevant than on the smaller devices such as mobiles. We now read in the New York Times that a number of companies are developing battery conserving technologies in an attempt to save the drain on their limited battery life.

Pixtronix, uses LED bulbs to create their ‘PerfectLight’ image with thousands of tiny shutters. They demonstrated their first prototypes late last year and claim a 75% power consumption saving over a liquid crystal display. It effectively obviates the polarizer impact and colour filters that dramatically reduce LCD and therefore require extra compensating power. Pixtronix expects to now license their technology to display manufacturers.

Qualcomm, MEMS (microelectro-mechanical systems) technology uses the reflective qualities of ambient light. Their new display technology called mirasol is fabricated not on silicon but on glass. They claim the screen works perfectly in full sun and is as low as a milliwat in its consumption. Mirasol will be used in a new waterproof MP3 player from Freestyle Audio and a screen of an MP3 player integrated into a headphone to be sold by Skullcandy.

The E Ink Corporation who supply many of the current black and white family of ereaders is also working on a colour screen that uses ambient light.

We recently wrote about the LG screen developments for notebooks and laptops.

Last year we wrote several times on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen technology which uses organic, or carbon-containing, compounds that emit light when electricity is applied. Sony have launched the world's first OLED TV which is 3 mm thick and consumes 40% percent less power than a comparable LCD, has faster response time, bright colours and a wide viewing angle, but is restricted to a 11” screen.

So many are trying to capture what is a significant market and it will be interesting to watch which get adopted and the key issues that decide who wins and who loses.

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