Vuereal Demos Super-Bright MicroLED Display On Glass, With 85% Transparency
June 17, 2021 by Dave Haynes
Microled.info has a short post up about a demonstration by the Canadian start-up Vuereal of a transparent microLED display that does more than 3,000 nits on brightness measures – enough to cut through bright sunlight.
The Waterloo, ON start-up’s prototype display is only smartphone-sized and the use-case for this sort of thing is applications like head’s-up displays built into vehicle dashboards and windshields.
But with 85% transparency – possible because the microLED die are so small there is a substantial gap between each – this is the sort of thing that could find its way, with time, to applications with larger screens, possibly building glass.
For microLED video walls, like Samsung’s The Wall and Sony’s Crystal LED, that gap is a sea of black on the substrate of the display modules, which produces great contrast levels. On glass, the gap allows that high level of transparency, but contrast is sacrificed.
The company has a small production line and is focused on making displays for small form factor use-cases like wearables and automotive displays. But it lists monitors and TVs as potential products.
The costs of microLED, in the short term, angle the market much more towards smaller displays and applications – like in-vehicle displays – that get built-in by manufacturers. It would, I suspect, be easier to sell General Motors on a $10 million order of head’s-up displays for a new Electric Vehicle than it would to sell GM on a $1 million microLED video wall in the head office lobby.
But with time, as costs drop and production flaws get minimized, it is reasonable to think microLED embedded in things like window and divider glass for signage applications will be feasible, and maybe even common. The counter-argument would be that if LED light emitters fail on a conventional display, it can be repaired or small tile can be swapped. If LEDs fail in a big window on the 45th floor, repair and/or replacement would be a BIG job.
Kitchener-Waterloo, where the company is based, is often likened to Silicon Valley in terms of the high number of technology companies. Christie also has its R&D and production in K-W, and a pile of other companies – including Google and Shopify – have offices that cherry-pick grads from the University of Waterloo’s celebrated computer sciences program.