Metrology Company Takes Aim at Digital Billboards
As the use of roadside digital signage has increased, so have the number of studies and articles about whether the technology causes light pollution and traffic accidents. The former is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, as in New Haven, CT, last spring, when public objection to a new, 230-square-foot LED-based billboard, described by the Connecticut Mirror as “blinding,”1 led to proposed new legislation for digital signage regulation. The latter, traffic accidents, have been studied at some length, with a 2015 National Institutes of Health Study concluding that while billboard-related driver distraction appeared to be minor, further study was required.2
Industry and governmental uncertainty over digital signage is a possible windfall for display metrology manufacturers such as Konica Minolta Sensing, which recently released a white paper about how instruments such as its CS-150 Luminance and Color Meter could help ensure that luminance guidelines for roadside digital signage are met. Konica Minolta
suggested that its products be used to calibrate billboards for optimal luminance both day and night – hitting the sweet spot of getting people’s attention without distracting them to the point of danger or discomfort.
It may take some time before the public and the government decide on acceptable parameters for roadside digital signage. In the meantime, automotive technology itself could make the call. The sequential Burma-Shave signs that proliferated from the 1920s to the 1960s disappeared as people began driving at speeds too fast to read them. It is possible that by the time digital signage has been optimized, autonomous driving may be taking off and driver distraction will be less of an issue.
MicroLED Summit to Take Place in China
There may be no surer sign of a technology’s arrival than having conferences designed around it. This year, the 2nd International MicroLED Summit will take place in
Shenzhen, China, on November 12, 2018. Due to the success of last year’s event and the ongoing interest in microLEDs in China, organizers say they expect more than 1,000 attendees. On November 13, a related business conference will be held for companies and investors looking into microLED. For more information on either event, visit:
Fig. 1: A conceptual drawing shows LG Display’s future OLED panel production facility in Guangzhou, China. Source: LG Display
Fig. 2: Electronic Assembly offers OLED displays in a variety of sizes (as above) that include pins for easy assembly. Source: Electronic Assembly
Innolux Demos Flexible OLED Smartwatch
At Touch Taiwan 2018, Innolux showed what it claims is the first smartwatch to feature a flexible OLED display. The 1.39-in. flexible OLED display has a resolution of 400 × 400 pixels, and is built using a low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) process at Innolux. Company representatives say Innolux is working on numerous OLED-based flexible, wearable devices.
New Holographic Display Is in Development
Still in Kickstarter campaign mode but due to start shipping product soon (according to its maker) is The Looking Glass from Looking Glass Factory (Fig. 3). Its inventor describes it as “A Holographic Display for 3D Creaters“ and it is designed to be used by people working in 3D content creation programs such as Maya, ZBrush, and SolidWorks. The display involves a patent-pending combination of lightfield and volumetric display technologies in one three-dimensional display system. It is designed to provide 45 unique simultaneous views of a virtual scene, as captured at 60 frames per second.
According to a recent article in The Verge,3 The Looking Glass will be available at $600 for an 8.9-in. model and $3,000 for a 15.9-in. model. The first 100 units are supposed to ship in the third quarter of 2018. •
Fig. 3: As pictured on its Kickstarter campaign page, The Looking Glass is a glasses-free holographic-type device. Source: The Looking Glass Factory