Industry News July/August 2017 Issue 4

New Products Arrive with the Warm Weather

A number of new products were introduced in May and June, including E Ink-based devices and the latest round of Apple tablets. Here is a look at several of them.

E Ink introduces New Prism Colors

E Ink recently announced the launch of seven new colors for E Ink Prism, its color-changing film for architecture and design. E Ink Prism utilizes the same bi-stable ink technology used in e-readers, wearables, and shelf labels, but includes color pigments in larger size films for use in architecture and design.

The colors are named, somewhat whimsically, voyage (dark blue), daydream (cyan), blush (red), sprout (green), zest (yellow), harvest (brown), and waltz (black).

While this isn’t the technology that will bring us the color e-reader of our dreams, it can be custom programmed to create striking signage that switches colors in nearly any pattern, shape, and sequence (Fig. 1). E Ink describes the product as having a paint-like appearance and stresses its compatibility and customization readiness with materials such as decorative panels, glass, marker boards, and laminates.

Fig. 1:  The seven new colors available for E Ink Prism increase options for designers of low-power, reflective signage and architectural elements.

QuirkLogic to Ship E Ink-Based Whiteboard in July

Canadian company QuirkLogic recently announced that its digital whiteboard product, which it describes as “a real-time ideation solution,” would be available to the general public in mid-summer. The E Ink-based device, Quilla, enables remote workers and teams in multiple locations to create and collaborate by formulating, capturing, and sharing content in real time (Fig. 2).

Quilla was announced in January 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it earned awards from both ZDNet and TechCrunch. Core to the product are its E Ink electronic paper display (EPD) and electronic ink technologies, which provide a simple, familiar interface for brainstorming and collaborating – similar to pen on paper. Quilla consumes little power and is readable under direct sunlight. The 42-in. display weighs only 22 pounds and operates for up to 16 hours on a single battery charge.

Fig. 2:  Quilla is a low-power, reflective, digital collaboration tool that offers users a look and feel similar to that of pen on paper.

Apple Announces New Tablets

Apple recently introduced new 10.5-in. and 12.9-in. iPad Pros featuring “ProMotion” technology and the new A10X Fusion chip. The tablets’ redesigned Retina display has an anti-reflective coating that makes content easier to see indoors and out. True Tone technology dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the light around the user for a more natural and accurate viewing experience. In addition, Apple Pencil works more fluidly with the new tablets (Fig. 3).

ProMotion is a new technology that delivers refresh rates of up to 120 Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion content. ProMotion also improves display quality and reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting the display refresh rate to match the movement of the content.

Fig. 3:  Apple Pencil users may appreciate the enhanced fluidity offered by the new iPad Pros.

Fujitsu Launches Customizable Touch Panels for Industrial Machine Controls

At Display Week 2017 in May, Fujitsu Components America unveiled a new series of resistive touch panels with dome switches designed for industrial automation and machine control applications.

The FID-11x series touch panels are composed of a film-glass sensor with a flush-surface film overlay that is dustproof, waterproof, and easy to clean. They are available in sizes up to 22 inches diagonal, feature 80 percent (typical) transparency, and have an operating life of 1 million taps.

To meet the demands of most industrial environments, the FID-11x series has a standard operating temperature range of –5° to +60°C and 3H pencil hardness. User input can be performed with a variety of implements, including a gloved finger. Available options include an extended temperature range and strengthened glass. Customers can also specify border color, legends, and logos.

Samsung Ships HDR Monitors for Gaming

Samsung Electronics America recently expanded its gaming portfolio with the ultra-wide, 49-in. CHG90 display and the 27- and 32-in. CHG70 monitors.

The CHG90 and CHG70 displays feature high-dynamic-range (HDR) picture enhancement technology that has until recently been reserved for televisions and large-format displays. They are designed to show games as developers intended them to be seen, dramatically improving picture quality and gameplay with crisper colors and sharper contrast.

The new monitors all leverage Samsung’s “QLED” quantum-dot technology, which supports 125 percent of the sRGB color space and 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, for a wide range of accurate color reproduction — especially dark reds and greens — that stay crisp and clear even in bright light.

To enhance gameplay visuals further, the CHG70 joins the CHG90 as the industry’s first gaming monitors to feature AMD’s new Radeon FreeSync 2 technology. This functionality combines smooth, stutter- and tear-free gaming with low-latency, high-brightness, high-contrast visuals, as well as excellent black levels and support for a wide color gamut to show HDR content with twice the perceptible brightness offered by the sRGB standard.

The CHG90 has a 32:9 aspect ratio and 3,840 × 1,080 double-full HD (DFHD) resolution across an ultra-wide, 49-in. screen. The CHG90 also boasts a rapid 1-ms response time, 144Hz screen refresh rate, and advanced, four-channel scanning technology to deter motion blur throughout the entire screen, making the monitor ideal for first-person shooting, racing, flight simulation, and action-heavy games.  •