Display Week 2015 Review

I-Zone and Best-in-Show Winners

I-Zone and Best-in-Show Winners

The Society for Information Display honored six exhibiting companies at Display Week 2015 in San Jose last June.  These companies were Ubiquitous Energy for best prototype in the Innovation Zone and AUO, BOE, Fogale Sensation, Nanosys, and Nippon Electric Glass for Best-in-Show winners on the main exhibit floor.

Compiled by Jenny Donelan

EACH YEAR, a committee of experts travels the show floor at Display Week in search of the exhibits that most deserve SID’s Best-in-Show awards.  These awards honor the most significant advances in display technology and systems, products, prototypes, and manufacturing processes as presented by exhibitors.  Winners are chosen for their ability to generate excitement not only within the display industry, but among members of the general public as well as the global media and analyst communities.  The awards committee considers not only a product’s significance, but how effectively it is presented on the show floor.  This year’s five winners were selected from more than 200 exhibitors.

Also spotlighted in this article is the winner of the Best Prototype Award, bestowed by SID’s Innovation Zone (I-Zone) committee on the most outstanding product in the I-Zone, Display Week’s special exhibit area for early-stage technology.

I-Zone Best Prototype

This year’s winner of the I-Zone award for Best Prototype at Display Week was Ubiquitous Energy for its ClearView Power Energy Harvesting technology.  ClearView’s technology incorporates a transparent solar cell that can be used to coat any surface to harvest ambient light and generate electricity (Fig. 1).  The transparent film covers the display area of a range of products – including wearables, tablets, and digital signage – transmitting light visible to the human eye while selectively converting ultraviolet and near-infrared light into electricity to power the devices.  The company states that its mission is to eliminate the battery-life limitations of electronic devices with this technology.  Spun out of MIT, Ubiquitous Energy is a Silicon Valley company producing solar cells in its pilot-production facility in Redwood City, CA.

Fig. 1:  Ubiquitous Energy’s ClearView film product is a solar cell that captures UV and IR light to power electricity, while allowing visible light to travel to viewers’ eyes.

Best-in-Show Winners

Five companies – AUO, BOE, Fogale
Sensation, Nanosys, and Nippon Electric Glass – won Best-in-Show awards at Display Week 2015. These awards are presented in three categories of exhibit size: large, medium, and small.

Large-Exhibit Category:  BOE Technology Group won an award in the Large-Exhibit Category for its 82-in. 10K display (Fig. 2).  This is the second year in a row the company has won in the large exhibit category – last year BOE received the award for an 8K display.

Fig. 2:  BOE used imagery from a variety of European settings to show off the capabilities of its 10K LED-backlit display.

According to Information Display Contributing Editor Steve Sechrist, this year’s 10240 × 4320 pixel display (in 21:9 format) was a one-off created to demonstrate the cutting edge of high-resolution capabilities.  The panel uses a direct-LED-backlit scheme.  Pixel addressing is done from both top and bottom, using a standard a-Si backplane.  The end result, notes Sechrist, is stunning imagery.  BOE says work is on-going to modify the technology and prepare it for commercial release in the (not too distant) future.

Medium-Exhibit Category:  AUO won an award in the medium-exhibit category, also for the second year in a row, but this time for its 1.4-in. full-circle AMOLED (Fig. 3).  This ultra-slim and light display, which features a resolution of 400 × 400, wide color gamut, and low power consumption, was acknowledged for its ability to meet upcoming trends in wearable devices 

Fig. 3:  AUO’s 1.4-in. full-circle AMOLED display features a lightweight low-power design. 

AUO has successfully mass produced these circular displays, applying special cut and driver-IC designs to create a full circular shape.  To help meet demand for low power consumption in wearable devices, AUO is leveraging the self-emissive nature of AMOLED displays in combination with its self-developed driver circuit to achieve more than two times the duration of other smartwatches currently on the market.  AUO has also designed 1.5- and 1.6-in. square AMOLED displays as well as many other types of LCD products to meet ongoing wearable demands.

Also winning in the medium-exhibit category was Nippon Electric Glass (NEG) for its ultra-thin G-Leaf glass (Fig. 4).  G-Leaf is less than 0.2 mm (200 μm) thick.  It is created through overflow technology and maintains the advantages and reliability of glass but in a film state.  By reducing thickness and weight, NEG has created an environmentally friendly design option in terms of material conservation, smaller carbon footprint, and green processes.  This is a material with a great deal of potential for the next generation of applications including electronics, energy, medical supplies, and lighting.

Fig. 4:  Nippon Electric Glass’s G-Leaf glass is less than 0.2 mm thick and, as a result, is extremely flexible.

Small-Exhibit Category:  Fogale Sensation won an award in the small-exhibit category for its simultaneous touch and high-range hovering technology (Fig. 5).  This technology brings additional functionality to the human–machine interface by adding multi-hovering capabilities (detection of fingers above the screen) and edge interaction capabilities (detection of fingers on the side of devices) to state-of-the-art multi-touch technology, without the need for any extra sensor.  By combining the power of an integrated circuit with extremely accurate signal-processing software, the Sensation platform enables a new world of interactions, first with portable devices such as smartphones and tablets and soon with any connected surface. This z-dimension works up to 5 cm away (10 cm for hand gestures) from the touch screen or pad.

Fig. 5:  Fogale Sensation’s hovering technology allows accurate input without touch.

Nanosys also won an award in the small-exhibit category for its quantum-dot TVs.  Nanosys’s Display Week demonstration included three matched 65-in. UHD TVs (Fig. 6).  Each of the sets used the same color filters, underlying LEDs and direct-lit backlight structures.  They were also driven at the same settings from the same content.  The only difference was in the phosphor used to create white light in the backlight.  These were: conventional white LEDs, Nanosys’s Quantum-Dot-Enhancement Film, and Nanosys’ Cadmium-Free Quantum-Dot- Enhancement Film.  The differences in color performance without noticeable brightness loss were striking.  Rec.2020 color-gamut coverage ranged from <60% for the white LED set to ~75% for the set with cadmium-free quantum dots to >90% for the set with quantum dots.  This demonstration showed that cadmium-based quantum dots have a significant performance advantage over other phosphor materials and that Rec.2020 is achievable today. •

Fig. 6:  Nanosys featured a side-by-side comparison of televisions using (from left to right) white LEDs, cadmium-free quantum dots, and quantum dots.

Jenny Donelan is Managing Editor of Information Display Magazine.  She can be reached at jdonelan@pcm411.com.