Display Week 2007: The View from the Beach


When I traveled to California in mid-January to take part in the paper-selection process for the Display Week 2007 Symposium, I was amazed by the 700-plus abstracts submitted for consideration. About 70% of those papers were eventually accepted for publication, and more than 250 will be presented orally at the upcoming meeting, which will take place May 20–25 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California, U.S.A. These papers come from all over the world and represent virtually every facet of the display industry. The depth and variety of technical research presented at the Symposium – by those who actually do the work – is unequaled at any other display event in the world. The papers are organized into 12 major technology tracks covering everything from innovations in specific devices to human vision and measurement. Virtually no stone has been left unturned in this year's Symposium program.

One aspect of the Symposium I particularly enjoy is the Poster Session (in 2007, the Poster Session will take place Tuesday, May 22 at 4 p.m.), where I can zero in on a particular topic of interest and can ask questions and interact directly with a given paper's author and listen in on other people's observations as well. I can always read the papers on my own time, but bringing the papers to life through the oral presentations and the less-structured Poster Session interactions is one of the most important opportunities Display Week provides for me.

The papers are also a great way to develop a deeper appreciation for the wealth of incredible innovations being shown at the Exhibition. As dazzling as the exhibits can be, they mean much more to me when I can hear the actual designers present their results and explain the details behind the innovations. To do this, however, requires the discipline to drag myself away from the exhibit floor long enough to attend the Symposium sessions, something I have found particularly challenging the past few years. In fact, it is so easy to get caught up in the attention that the Exhibition deservedly receives that you can forget that Display Week is actually a 6-day marathon of information and education made up of eight distinct events. In addition to the Exhibition, Display Week also includes the Symposium, Business Conference, Investors Conference, Sunday Short Courses, Display Technology Seminars, Application Tutorials, and Exhibitors Forum. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, you will not find a display event anywhere else in the world with a stronger array of resources and education opportunities in one place.

As you plan your week in Long Beach, please make every effort to attend as many of these events as you can, and give yourself the extra time to branch into the subjects on which you do not normally focus. For example, even if your focus is primarily science and engineering, the Business Conference is a great place to see what the overall industry looks like and what you may need to be thinking about later in your career. If you are more applications- or business-focused, make an effort to attend some of the Display Technology Seminars or technology tracks at the Symposium and get a feel for what the leading edge looks like and how the technology we take for granted evolves from sometimes pretty rough beginnings. No matter what field you are in, some exposure to applied vision and metrology can help a great deal in assessing the strengths and limitations of future display technology innovations.

Needless to say, the Exhibition is where it all happens. And while the exhibits tend to showcase the evolution of display devices for the next 3–5 years, I have seen more and more current products and peripheral innovations being shown at Display Week in recent years than ever before. Last year, a number of exhibitors showed new touch-screen technologies and other input device innovations, as well as systems that wrap around the new display technologies. There is no way to even predict what will be the most exciting elements this year, so we will all just have to be there to see.

Speaking of "being there," we are announcing a very exciting addition to Information Display magazine, a new Web site where readers can browse back issues of the magazine, read enhanced current news items from the display industry, and, for the first time, be able to get live daily updates on all the activities of Display Week with just a click of the mouse. If you cannot attend this year's event, this will be your go-to resource to find out what you are missing, and even if you are in Long Beach, it will allow you to note what you have not yet seen or won't be able to – because it is impossible to see everything at Display Week! You can "be there" by visiting www.InformationDisplay.org.

The Web site is a great way to read the monthly features online as well as learn more about the upcoming editorial calendar, advertising opportunities, and the most up-to-date display-industry news and, of course, it gives you a way to contact us with your feedback. One of the most important reasons I wanted to see the Web site developed was to have a searchable archive of the hundreds of technical articles published in Information Display through the years. Until now, if you wanted to catch up on some area of display technology, you had to look back through your old library or contact someone who could tell you when a relevant article was published. Now, as we get the back issues into the database, you can search electronically for any display-related topic and see the entire library of published information. I think this will become a very valuable tool for our members and the industry overall.

So, I hope to see everyone at Display Week 2007, and I hope you find the new Web site exciting as well. Check it out and let us know what you think.