SID Shines in Hollywood


by Munisamy Anandan
President, Society for Information Display

On March 11, 2011, at 16:46 JST, an earthquake of magnitude 9 occurred in Japan, resulting in a powerful tsunami that caused massive destruction. The entire world was in shock and our prayers went out to the people of Japan. At SID, we immediately communicated with our members in that country and received the good news that they were unharmed. We were then concerned that our Japanese members would not be able to make it to Display Week this year, but attendance from Japan in 2011 was at the same level that it was in 2010. We thank these members for participating and supporting SID despite their economic and logistical challenges, and we wish a speedy recovery to the nation of Japan and its people.

Display Week 2011 was a success, and SID maintained its leadership in all areas of display technology. We are known as the No. 1 society in the world on display technology. In that role, we serve the public by providing education on displays, we serve members by helping them gain knowledge and growth, and we serve display and display-related companies through the promotion of their businesses. The Society supports its own growth through increases in membership. In order to keep growing and providing all our services, we obtain some of our income through activities related to the business of displays. Each year, Display Week includes events – such as the Market Focus, Business, and Investors Conferences – that emphasize the business of displays.

Technology Highlights from Display Week 2011

Display Week 2011 kicked-off with keynote speeches from the University of Santa Barbara's Shuji Nakamura, who discussed the development and exciting future of high-brightness LEDs; Keio University's Yasuhiro Koike, who described the future of highly realistic face-to-face communications through the use of 3-D and super-high-resolution 4K real-time video imaging; and Phil "Captain 3D" McNally from DreamWorks Animation, who explained his personal vision for 3-D media. It was exciting to see the overflow of attendees in the ballroom, all wearing 3-D glasses to view the imagery of DreamWorks Animation.

Our very successful technical conference focused on many hot topics in the display industry. For example, several papers described the progress of blue phase in LC technology. OLED advances could be seen in a paper on a 31-in. OLED 3-D TV. The subject of 3-D continues to draw significant attention. There were exciting technical papers on active glasses, passive glasses, and "glassless" viewing of 3-D images. Many participants could be heard discussing the future of 3-D TV without glasses. Numerous member companies of SID are actively involved in solving the problems that exist in developing autostereoscopic 3-D TV.

On the substrate side, what were once thought to be rigid and breakable glass substrates are becoming flexible and nearly unbreakable! We heard papers on "roll-to-roll" manufacturing employing flexible glass. Flexible glass or even bendable glass will find applications in displays using both OLED and LCD technology. It is exciting to see this technology becoming a reality.

Yet another hot topic of interest is oxide TFTs. Some member companies from around the world have been working on this technology. Papers presented at Display Week 2011 amply demonstrated that oxide TFTs are progressing from "lab to fab." For example, a 14-in.-diagonal AMOLED has been fabricated by using oxide TFTs in the backplane. We have also seen the progress in organic TFTs.

Papers presented at Display Week are also testimony to the fact that touch-interactive displays and displays that consume low power, and hence placing a lighter load on our environment, have made substantial progress. The progress toward e-paper displays becoming full color was also practically demonstrated.

The members of SID should be very proud of the fact that the promotion and growth of these technologies of the future will later appear as commercial products in other trade shows around the world. The Society for Information Display is truly the birthplace of display technology.

Show Specifics

On the business side, this year's exhibition saw continued increases in attendance, exhibit area, and revenue. We also introduced a new award, "Best in Show." Our Display of the Year Award committee, headed by Robert Melcher, worked hard to select the winners. This new award complements our prestigious Display of the Year Awards, giving exhibiting companies an opportunity to promote their products. In the words of one of the award winners, "… the award has been great for our company. Since and during SID, we've seen a tremendous amount of new interest from customers from around the world. Additionally, we've seen a large spike in social media/ web traffic and received interest from major international press. So not only was this recognition by our peers meaningful to us personally, it had a real impact on our business."

Publicity for Display Week continued to grow this year, with video coverage of all award-winning companies and other exhibitors. For social media, we had "Twitter Towers" operating on the exhibit floor for the first time, thanks to Palisades Convention Management, SID's main contractor for Display Week 2011. There were about 477 followers of tweets. It is significant to note that companies such as Tianma and Hanvon from China and Asahi Glass Company from Japan participated in the exhibition. Los Angeles's main local TV station, Channel 5 (KTLA), covered the technology highlights in both the morning and evening news. The Wall Street Journal carried the news on Display Week in its Technology Section on May 17.

In the words of Marie Labrie, CEO of MCA, the publicity company for SID, "Display Week 2011 once again brought out some of today's top-tier mainstream media, both print and broadcast, along with key electronics and display trades and leading market analysts – with numbers reaching approximately 140 from around the globe including all major countries in Asia, Europe, and even south of the border in Mexico. Coverage surrounding Display Week and its many exhibitors continues to pour in from all major outlets, offering further proof that we are the premier forum for showcasing the latest and greatest display innovations on the horizon. To this end, Display Week was featured in several prime-time broadcast segments among leading local LA and global news stations – but we also received marquee mentions in leading dailies, business, financial, and electronics print and online news sites."

All of us at SID whole-heartedly thank our members and member companies for continuing to support the Society and the future of display technology, even in a tight economic environment. We look forward to next year's show in Boston. •