Foxconn Buys Belkin
Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn, best known as a maker of Apple’s iPhones, recently announced that it would acquire Los Angeles-based consumer products maker Belkin International, Inc., for US $866 million in cash. Belkin got its start in a garage in the 1980s, selling computer cable assemblies to local dealers and manufacturers. It now sells products in more than 50 countries. In 2013, Belkin bought router and WiFi company Linksys, and more recently acquired Wemo, a maker of “smart home” devices.
According to Belkin’s press release,1 the acquisition by Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) is designed to enrich the company’s consumer product portfolio and to “accelerate our penetration into the smart home,” said FIT CEO Sidney Lu. A recent article in The Verge2 notes that the addition of Belkin, Linksys, and Wemo will indeed give Foxconn, known for manufacturing other companies’ products, a foothold in the consumer space, where it will be less dependent on the successes and failures of its clients. The article also notes that the purchase is expected to require approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment.
Light-Field Camera Company Lytro Shuts Down
Lytro, a light-field imaging startup focused on virtual reality, announced in March 2018 that it will be ceasing operations. On its website, Lytro stated that it was not closing immediately, but winding down and not taking new orders.3
Lytro was founded in 2006 by Executive Chairman Ren Ng. In late 2015, Lytro announced a light-field product for VR, Lytro Immerge, followed by the 2016 launch of Lytro Cinema, a light-field capture system for cinematic content.
The company’s principals provided no reason for the closure, but stated on its website: “At Lytro, we believe that Light Field will continue to shape the course of Virtual and Augmented Reality, and we’re incredibly proud of the role we’ve been able to play in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
HP Debuts a Tablet Contender
HP’s new Android-powered Chromebook X2 offers both a detachable keyboard-free tablet and a notebook in one device. The LCD tablet is only 8.2 mm thick and weighs 1.62 pounds. With the included keyboard, the device is 15.3 mm thick and weighs 3.14 pounds. It includes a pen for note-taking and sketching on the 2,400 × 1,600 display. The Chromebook X2 comes with 4GB of RAM (8GB optional), 32GB of expandable storage, and a claimed 10.5-hour battery life. The Chromebook X2 starts at $599 – about $50 less than an iPad Pro. •
HP’s new Android-powered Chromebook X2 can be used as a tablet or a notebook.
C O R R E C T I O N
The article “OLED Displays and the Immersive Experience” in our March/April issue contained a mislabeled photograph and a statement that
was attributed in error to eMagin CEO Andrew Sculley. The corrected photo caption and text appear below:
Fig. 9: eMagin’s 2K x 2K OLED microdisplay-based HMD allows for a more streamlined design than the standard HMDs based on direct-view displays. Source: eMagin
According to eMagin CEO Andrew Sculley, immersive AR needs a display with full-color high luminance, high contrast, high pixel density for wide FoV, high speed, and capabilities like global shutter and low persistence. eMagin believes OLED is preferable to LCoS in this case because it supports the
contrast levels needed for AR, has faster response times, and can reach pixel densities of over 2,000 ppi with luminance levels above 5,000 nits. (eMagin demonstrated a 5,000-nit display with over 2,600 ppi at Display Week in 2017.) According to eMagin, it is the only company that has shown direct-patterned OLED with pixel pitches above 2,000 ppi and is the only US company that manufactures OLED microdisplays. Its direct-patterned displays are bright because they don’t have color filters, which block two thirds of the light by design, and because they use more efficient OLED stacks for each color. One example of AR is in aviation. eMagin is now in a major helicopter program and is in qualification for a multi-service fixed-wing aircraft program.
The editors of Information Display regret the errors. •