Display Week 2012 Steams into Boston


by Munisamy Anandan
President, Society for Information Display

As I prepare my last President's Note, it is April and about a month away from our annual Display Week event in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Preparations for Display Week proceed in two areas: the exhibition and the technical symposium. Exhibition planning for the year commences immediately after each Display Week Exhibition in the spring. Preparation for the technical symposium and satellite conferences begins in earnest each January. For every Display Week Exhibition and Symposium, new features must be added in order to keep up with the changing needs of SID members and display-industry customers.

This year, on the technical symposium side, SID has added a one-day track for solid-state lighting. Interest in solid-state lighting has developed on a global scale, and displays offer an obvious hyperlink to this technology. In fact, the market demand for LEDs for LCD-TV backlighting took the lead over the market demand for LEDs in traditional lighting. Lighting is an integral part of displays; every display operates with lighting, whether ambient or built-in or self-emitting.

Solid-state lighting had penetrated only 11% of the global lighting market in 2011. But use of LED lighting is growing, and organic LEDs (OLEDs) also have great potential as lighting sources. SID has a strong background in both LED and OLED technology and, therefore, it is only logical for SID to exploit the technical and commercial aspects by focusing these technologies through a one-day new track at the symposium.

On the exhibit side, Display Week 2012 will have a new dedicated zone for exhibiting engineering/experimental prototypes of devices or systems that signal the future direction of displays. The I-Zone (Innovation Zone) is open to all universities, national laboratories, and small companies, and thus provides these institutions with a rare opportunity to demonstrate to the display community and the public what is on the horizon for display technology. SID volunteers have been working hard on this exciting new feature, and E Ink Corp., itself once a start-up with an important cutting-edge technology, is generously sponsoring the I-Zone.

My Station Is Coming Up

The train is approaching the station (my term as President of SID is almost up) and I am getting ready to step off, but I have a few words before I depart. The Society for Information Display (SID) is Number One in the world, attracting the best display technologists and showcasing the best in leading-edge research and development. I have made this statement at many gatherings because I truly believe in this institution, which has been built over the past 50 years by the hard work of volunteers and the SID leadership. My predecessors on the board, through their dedicated service, have led SID to this rank. Times are changing, and there is a definite need to add a business component to the society to augment our strong technical standing in the industry. We have been doing this in an incremental manner for our growth, being careful to preserve our fundamental mission while expanding our core reach into the industry at the same time.

Volunteers represent the backbone of SID. Volunteers with a "volunteering spirit" are the ones who create astounding progress. Volunteers without that spirit are not healthy for any organization. I am fortunate to have had volunteers with a great deal of volunteering spirit during my presidency. It is solely due to them that substantial progress has been made.

Some salient features of this progress are as follows:

1. SID has created new partnerships with SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment & Materials International) China and the Society for Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to further the growth of display science, display technology, and the display business.

2. SID has created five student branches. We all know that students are the future pillars of SID and that we need to invest in them. A regular SID Chapter forma-tion is also in progress in Turkey through Professor Herbert Smet's efforts.

3. In 2011, SID achieved a financial surplus in its global operation.

4. Webinars have commenced with archival capability.

5. A new Web site has been designed and made operational with financial savings. All the chapter Web sites are linked, with content, to the main SID Web site for the first time in 10 years.

6. A new business direction has been given to our publications by our Publications Committee Chair, Helge Seetzen, with a high potential for improving their visibility and impact.

7. We have added features such as the Market Focus Conferences, the Best of Show Award, and the I-Zone (dedicated area for exhibiting cutting-edge technologies) to Display Week.

8. We have created a focus for non-traditional subjects such as solid-state lighting in our main Symposium.

9. We have created a new three-tier sustaining membership

10. SID, with its long history of promoting display technology, including 3-D, has begun exploring Emmy nominations in the "technology" category.

The list goes on, but due to limited space, I am stopping here. Once again, the key to this substantial progress is working volunteers. Dedicated service comes from those who have an inherent volunteering spirit. Thanking these volunteers for the span of my entire life would still not be adequate.

One important goal that remains is membership growth. Our society is 6000 members strong. I wanted to make it 10,000 members strong. We have created a new policy of 'membership sign-up' at SID-sponsored and co-sponsored conferences, but we will need other growth avenues in order to reach our goal. I am still dreaming of the day when we will be consistently over 10,000 members strong.

My time is up; I'm almost at my station. My term as President will be ending on June 2, 2012. The incoming President is Brian Berkeley. In my 10 years of experience in the SID Executive Committee, I have not known a member of the Executive Committee who works as hard as Brian. I am confident that his continued hard work will result in substantial progress for SID. I welcome Brian and wish him well. Goodbye. •