Make Your Plans for the Display Event of the Year

by Stephen Atwood

Hello and welcome to Boston for our 49th annual Display Week event. And if you are new to SID, a very special welcome to you! As a veteran of Display Week, I strongly encourage you to look beyond the world-class exhibition and consider all the other things going on during the week, including more than 400 paper presentations, as well as short courses, seminars, the business and investors conferences, the market focus conferences, the keynotes, the awards dinner, and the special event at the Museum of Science.

Getting the most out of Display Week involves some serious planning. I gather the maps and schedules, I mark off the things that are most important to me, I plan my days to minimize down time, and I coordinate with colleagues to make sure the stuff I miss is covered by someone else. Usually, there are a number of events I know I want to attend, but there are also many surprises that I can only discover if I explore as much as possible. You can make this issue of ID particularly useful for your planning by reviewing our Products on Display feature, which is assembled each year by our staff to help you get the most out of the exhibition.

This year marks the start of the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the founding of the Society for Information Display. Our Society was formed in September of 1962 by a small group of visionary people right on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles, CA. The next year, 1963, marked the first annual SID Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, which later became the massive and highly acclaimed Display Week. Forty-nine years later, it's amazing to see how much the Society has achieved and all that has happened in this time. Be sure to look around for special exhibits and celebration announcements as the week progresses.

This month, we also mark a 'changing of the guard' event with the retirement of our outgoing Society President, Dr. Munisamy Anandan, and the beginning of our new president's, Brian Berkeley, 2-year term. We're grateful for everything Dr. Anandan has achieved these last 2 years and are also excited to welcome Brian to the office. Please enjoy reading Brian's first President's Corner submission later in this issue.

Meanwhile, we continue this year with our very successful and highly coveted "Best in Show" awards. These awards will highlight the most significant new products and technologies shown on the exhibit floor during Display Week. Our independent panel of display experts will review those products, prototypes, and processes nominated for the awards on the show floor on the opening day (Tuesday for the exhibits). The winning exhibits, which will be named and honored in a lunch time presentation on Wednesday, will be selected for their ability to excite not only our panel but the general public and press as well. We will have complete coverage of the award winners in the August issue of Information Display.

Now, if you are one of the unfortunate ones who cannot make it to Display Week, don't despair because our crack team of freelance journalists will be hard at work covering everything they can. We'll have daily blog updates on the ID Web site and a full issue of post-show coverage in August. If you have a question about anything on the exhibit floor, just email us at and we'll get your question to the right reporter to see what we can find out.

This month we have a great lineup, starting with our cover story on the Display Industry Awards, which recognize the most innovative display products and technology from all of 2011. The list of choices for these awards was overflowing with worthy recipients and I can honestly tell you as a member of the DIA committee that the final selections were really the best of the best. It's exciting that this year's awards recognize a wide variety of technologies, applications, and components that in turn represent a sample of all that has happened over the last 50 years in this industry. Trying to tell that story would seem to be an impossible task, but frequent contributor Paul Semenza has done a great job in his Display Marketplace feature entitled "The Display Industry: Fast to Grow, Slow to Change," in which he attempts to summarize the evolution of the major display technology developments over the last half-century. As Paul shows in countless examples, the pace of growth has been rapid, but the evolution of the technology has been slow and deliberate, with a few fundamental paradigm shifts along the way. These shifts, such as the growth of the notebook market, helped to launch LCD panels into the commercial mainstream, achieving suitable manufacturing infrastructure and costs and getting us to the world of LCD TVs we have today.

We bring to you this month the third installment of our special three-part series on "What Companies Need to Know about the Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) Patent Reform Legislation" from attorney Clark Jablon. This month Clark examines the changeover from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-to-file" system and what it means to your future strategy for growth of your company's intellectual property portfolio.

Along with these features we also have monthly installments of SID News, Industry News, and also reviews of some new books being published as part of the SID–Wiley book series edited by past SID president Tony Lowe.

Finally, just before this issue went to press, we received the terribly sad news of the passing of Dr. Louis Silverstein. For many of us in the display industry, Dr. Silverstein's lifetime of work wove an invaluable fabric of knowledge into our understanding of vision science and how it can and should be applied to displays. Lou was always available to help anyone who asked – he consulted with many of the best-known companies in our industry – and contributed many times to this publication as author and technical advisor. I've been aware of Lou's work for most of my professional career. A good measure of my success in designing display systems is due to what I learned from Lou's very engaging seminars and papers. To read more about Dr. Lou Silverstein's life and work, look at the SID News column of this issue for our memorial article.

So, although this piece ends on a sad note, I welcome you all to Boston, my home city, for Display Week 2012 and the home base of the New England Chapter of SID. Don't forget to try the clam chowder and the lobster. •