SID's 50th Anniversary

by Brian Berkeley
President, Society for Information Display

I hope that everyone enjoyed Display Week 2012 in Boston. If you were able to attend, then you already know about the groundbreaking technologies that were presented in the technical program and shown at the Exhibition and the Innovation Zone. My personal favorite was the opportunity to compare 55-inch OLED screens from two different companies – but there were many outstanding things to see and experience at the show. If you didn't have a chance to get to Boston, then I encourage you to go to to learn more, or to read the extensive press coverage of the event. A photo of the exhibit's opening ceremony is shown below. Representatives of the largest exhibitors and sponsors were present at the ribbon cutting, and SID is very grateful for their support and help in opening the exhibition.


The Consul General of Germany is the person holding the scissors. To his right from SID is Brian Berkeley (SID President) and Helge Seetzen (Display Week 2012 General Chair). The others are representatives from the largest exhibitors at Display Week 2012. Photo courtesy Asahi Glass.

 This month, SID is celebrating a very important milestone, its half century anniversary. On September 29, 1962, the Society for Information Display was founded in room 3400 of UCLA's Boelter Hall by Dr. H. R. Luxenberg. In addition to Dr. Luxenberg, 39 other representatives of major high technology firms attended that inaugural meeting. If Boelter Hall sounds familiar, it might be because it also served as the birthplace of the Internet. Seven years and one month later (on October 29, 1969), the first Internet message was sent from Boelter room 3420 to the lab at SRI International, known at that time as Stanford Research Institute, in Menlo Park, CA.

From SID's first meeting, fast forward 50 years later, and SID now has 28 chapters around the world. These chapters include SID Los Angeles, the founding chapter, 10 other U.S.-based chapters, and 17 chapters outside of the U.S. There are also nine student branches worldwide, including the UCLA student branch. More than half of SID's members are based outside of the U.S. now, and SID's influence and significance have spread as the display industry and worldwide research have experienced explosive growth. It is remarkable to think about how much displays have changed in those 50 years. I think back to being a young boy in 1962, watching our family's one and only monochrome TV, then am quickly reminded of today's interactive mobile devices and flat screen full-color high-performance smart TVs. These products have been enabled by the massive advancements in our field, and this rapid pace of change has only accelerated in recent years. Displays not only deliver electronic content to the human visual system; they also serve as the primary human interface point with input and sensing capabilities. Throughout it all, SID has been the place to report, learn about, and experience the latest technological advancements in our field.

In celebration of SID's 50th anniversary, an event is being held at the site of SID's founding at UCLA's Boelter Hall on the actual anniversary date. A one-day conference will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Industry and research luminaries will reflect on the history, and more importantly will offer their perspectives on the future of displays. That evening, I will host a reception and we will all celebrate SID's golden milestone by placing a plaque at the site of SID's founding at UCLA's Boelter Hall. You are cordially invited to attend this event, and I hope to see you there.

Congratulations to SID on 50 phenomenal years!