SID’s Display Nerd Fest This Week Includes Much Brighter OLEDs, Auto Dashboards As Displays

May 15, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The Society for Information Display’s annual Display Week symposium and exhibition is on right now in San Jose – attracting the very technical side of the digital signage and pro AV community, as well as all kinds of engineers working in everything from automobile dashboard designs to military systems.

I’ve been to this event, which gives attendees a glimpse at what’s emerging from R&D labs and could at some point go mainstream with respect to displays – from smart wearable products all the way up to big video walls.

What I found was having an electrical engineering degree would be handy, and I have a community college diploma in communications. So I found myself only kinda sorta grasping the details, differences and importance of what I saw. I entertained the notion of going this year, but that would have meant this week in west coast US and next week in Germany. My body would be very unhappy with me.

So … this week, I am looking from a distance and relying on press releases to try to pick out interesting developments.

LG is showing and talking up several things, the most relevant to pro AV some large format OLED display products that make them FAR brighter than earlier generations. LG Display’ says its META Technology 2.0 “delivers 42% brighter images than conventional OLEDs. With brightness representing one of the key elements of picture quality, META Technology 2.0 realizes 3,000 nits, the brightest level among existing OLED TV panels.”

“META Technology 2.0’s performance is underpinned by the META Multi-Booster and Detail Enhancer display enhancement algorithms in combination with MLA+, made up of 42.4 billion micro lenses. Together, they make it possible to clearly and vividly express abundant natural colors and brightness in any environment as if seen with real eyes.”

LG Display’s exhibit also has a demo of Transparent OLEDs that have the actual transparency bumped from 45% to 60% by “optimizing their pixel structure and operating parts.”

Korean rival Samsung is showing what it touts as the industry’s first quantum dot light-emitting diode display. The new technology implements RGB pixels with only ultra-fine semiconductor particles called quantum dots. While current QD-OLEDs emit light through a QD emitting layer as blue OLED light passes through, the QD-LED panel directly emits light from the QD RBG pixels, without OLED.

Taiwan’s Innolux (directly related to Foxconn, aka Hon Hai Precision Industry or Foxconn) is showcasing a 106-inch Color Conversion AM-MicroLED Free Tiling Display. “This pioneering display boasts the four major advantages of ultra-high-definition image quality, high color saturation, unparalleled ambient light contrast, and free-tiling. By creating extremely small pixel pitch, ensuring ultra-high-definition and detailed imaging quality across the entire image. The focus of its applications will be on niche markets, particularly the market for high-definition immersive experiences in large spaces and digital art. By breaking free of the limitation on traditional display border, customized display sizes ranging from 26.4 inches to 220 inches can be provided based on requirements to create new possibilities for digital art and mesmerizing visual entertainment.”

I am thinking this means smaller tile-like cabinets that stack and tile together to build a display that can be as small as a big pizza box, or 220-inches. LED video walls are inherently about tiling and stacking to reach a target size and shape, so that doesn’t seem all that “pioneering.”

Another big Taiwan company, display manufacturer AUO, is showing numerous R&D products.

The most relevant is a color e-paper display positioned as a paper poster killer.

AUO introduces its ChLC Outdoor Full-color Display with ultra-low power consumption, designed for smart mobility applications in outdoor environments. ChLC technology boasts energy efficiency, vivid color saturation, and eco-friendliness through its bistable nature, showcasing images by reflecting ambient light. Even in direct sunlight, it upholds remarkable color vibrancy and endures diverse extreme lighting and temperature conditions outdoors. Operating reliably across a wide temperature range from -30 degrees Celsius to 85 degrees Celsius, this display seamlessly integrates hardware and software solutions into a single system, manageable through a cloud platform. Additionally, it can be powered by solar energy systems, making it an optimal choice for outdoor information dissemination, transportation displays, and various other applications. 

It also has what it calls “the world’s largest  single screen size, 31-inch Large Size Micro LED display. This display incorporates advanced driving technology and A.R.T. (Advanced Reflectionless Technology), featuring specialized surface treatments that minimize glare from ambient light, accurately rendering images both indoors and outdoors. Its bezel-less design offers a super-wide viewing angle, liberates displays from size constraints, seamless tiling into an infinitely large screen for breathtaking visual effects. Additionally, its applications can be extended to the medical management field.

The most interesting thing, though, may be something that is aimed at the auto market – but you could imagine being extended into other products. It is technology that turns furnishings into subtle displays -n this case a wood-grain dashboard in a high-end car.

For cockpit applications in smart mobility, AUO’s AmLED technology utilizes proprietary adaptive control features and delivers high brightness and contrast ratios for vivid colors. Incorporating inorganic materials enhances both the reliability and energy-saving benefits of the displays. The globally unrivaled 80 percent transparency of the wood grain display, unveiled for the first time at the SID Display Week, enhances color fidelity without bias, presenting a seamlessly integrated wood grain cover that blends harmoniously with the dashboard. This display offers high visibility and brightness during operation, transforming into a sleek decorative panel when idle, merging energy efficiency with sophisticated aesthetics. Furthermore, the display can be customized with various styles, such as carbon fiber patterns, hairline finishes, adding versatility to interior vehicle designs and increasing demand flexibility for in-vehicle decorations.

Chinese flat panel display giant BOE is, for reasons that escape me, showing a 110-inch 16K glasses-free 3D display, touted as the first of its kind in the world. It is an LCD with mini LED backlighting and has a self-developed 16K interleaved array algorithm that achieves a large viewing angle of 60 degrees. I have no hope of understanding and explaining “interleaved array algorithm” but it sounds impressive. The big challenge is use-case, as glasses-free displays have been around for at least 15 years and have never had much adoption. So I’m not sure why bigger is going to boost the interest.

This is what BOE was showing at ISE. They look way better than the old lenticular lens glasses-free 3D screens of may years back, but it remains an idea looking for a purpose.

More marketable, I think, is a 32-inch light field display monitor that BOE is showing, which features a  retina-grade resolution of 4K per eye. I had a sneak preview of this at ISE and it was pretty impressive.

There are dozens of exhibitors at Display Week, but not many have press releases out that get into what they’re showing. It is a show run by display nerds and populated by companies or the business units of large companies that are run by display nerds. I have found through the years that super-smart engineering people are rarely good at marketing. They admit it, but they don’t do much about it.

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