Cutting-Edge Products Selected as 2005 Display of the Year Award Winners

Now in their 11th year, the most prestigious awards in the display industry will be presented during the 2006 SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition.

by Michael Morgenthal

TRANSPARENT SCREENS that make images seem to float in mid-air; 3D systems that allow for total three-dimensional visualization; liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) that allow two users to view completely separate images from the same display; cutting-edge portable projectors; credit cards made more secure by electronic-paper displays; and a revolutionary approach to rear-projection TV light engines. These products are the cream of the display crop for the year 2005, each having been selected to receive a Display of the Year Award by a prestigious international committee of industry experts. The products were selected based on multiple factors, including technical innovation, commercial significance, and likely social impact.

The 2005 Display of the Year Award winners emerged from the most grueling process in the awards' 11-year history. The nomination process for the awards, which are sponsored by the Society for Information Display (SID) and Information Display magazine, was opened up to the entire industry for the first time, and the display industry responded with more than 100 nominations. In order to qualify, products had to be introduced between November 1, 2004 and December 31, 2005.

The Display of the Year Awards will be officially presented during the annual SID Luncheon at the 2006 SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition on Wednesday, June 7, at noon in the Yerba Buena Ballroom of the San Francisco Marriott.

Displays of the Year

These awards are granted for displays with novel and outstanding features such as new physical or chemical effects, or a new addressing method.

Gold Award: Philips 3D Solutions' 42-in. 3D Intelligent Display
The Philips 3D Solutions' 42-in. 3D Intelligent Display is perhaps the most comprehensive 3D solution on the market today, enabling everything from content creation to content visualization. It is tailored to professional markets including digital signage, a growing area of interest for 3D displays, which can attract more attention than traditional 2D signs.

The 42-in. LCD with slanted multi-view lenticular lens technology is based on Philips WOWvx technologies and provides auto-stereoscopic 3D images with full brightness (460 cd/m2), full contrast (1000:1), and true- color representation. The display is based on a 1920 x 1080 high-definition (HD) panel, enabling high picture quality in both 2D and 3D mode. It allows multiple users to view 3D content at the same time within a large comfort zone.

One of the more unique elements of this 3D display solution is how it seamlessly com-bines data from the 2D and 3D worlds. Philips's 3D display solution is a complete end-to-end 3D system that supports the process from 3D content creation up to visualization. Any application with a 3D dataset will be supported by visualization in 3D. Philips provides plug-ins for popular 3D animation software that allows existing and new content to be exported in the new 3D format. Real-time 3D applications, such as games and design software, use the OpenGL or DirectX API (application programming interface). Now with the WOWvx OpenGL Visualizer and WOWvx OpenGL Control, real-time extraction and usage of the depth information is supported, thus realizing real-time visualization of the application on the 3D display. For video, Philips has developed tools for converting normal video content into 3D video. With the Philips semi-automated 2D to 3D conversion tool, live production and post-production companies can revive their 2D content by creating a 3D version of the video. Philips's real-time stereo to 3D conversion technology not only enables the display of the growing source of stereo 3D movies, but also facilitates real-time conversion and broadcast of live-action sports that are filmed by stereo camera set-ups.

The Philips 3D display solution is designed for maximum reuse of content/concepts from the 2D world. Easy creation or adaptation of existing applications and content for the 3D display are possible thanks to the use of a flexible 3D data format, in the form of 2D-plus-depth. The 2D-plus-depth format is compatible with existing compression tools, and ensures 3D application performance and distribution bandwidth close to 2D. The 2D-plus-depth format decouples content creation from content visualization and allows applications to use different 3D display screen sizes and designs in the same system.


Michael Morgenthal is the Managing Editor of Information Display magazine; telephone 212/460-9700, e-mail: mmorgenthal@ pcm411.com.

Silver Award: Sharp Corp. and Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd.'s Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCD
Sharp's innovative Two-Way Viewing-AngleLCD has struck a blow for domestic tranquility worldwide. The world's first mass-produced display capable of showing different information simultaneously to two different users can settle the argument that was spawned at the dawn of the TV age – what to do when two people want to watch two different things and only one screen is available.

Of course, this is just one of the capabilities of this technology, which was initially rolled out in July 2005 as a 7-in. w-VGA LCD based on Sharp's parallax barrier 3D technology. A parallax barrier is superimposed on a thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD, causing light from the backlight to separate into right and left directions. This allows the two images to be separated by a wide angle, with each viewing position enjoying considerable viewing freedom and minimal crosstalk (or image mixing). In 3D, the two images are similar, but the Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCD is designed to accommodate two completely separate images. Therefore, it is essential to achieve very low levels of crosstalk so that ghosting does not occur. Sharp has done this well, to the point where the Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCD has acceptable levels of image mixing even in nighttime driving.

The product was initially targeted for the automotive market, allowing the driver to view a GPS screen or safety information while the passenger can watch a DVD or, eventually, digital TV. Sharp believes the market for this technology extends beyond the automobile and says it can be applied to any display technology, including emissive displays, and for any screen size, from the smallest mobile-phone display to a 65-in. screen. A Two-Way Viewing Angle TV could end all family arguments over what program to watch by allowing a family to watch two TV channels at the same time, or it could enable simultaneous TV viewing and Web browsing. For business applications, the Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCDs could allow a salesperson to view confidential information while a potential buyer sees other content. For gaming, theTwo-Way Viewing-Angle LCD for two-player games would allow each player to have their own view on a full screen instead of playing games where both players watch two views on a split screen. For advertising, Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCDs allow double the adver-tising content from the same advertising space.

 

 

DISPLAY OF THE YEAR

Gold Award: Philips 3D Solutions' 42-in. 3D Solution uses multi-view lenticular lens technology to create its dramatic autostereoscopic 3D images.

 

Silver Award: Sharp's Two-Way Viewing-Angle LCD allows multiple users to view completely separate images off of the same 7-in. w-VGA LCD screen.

 

 

Display Applications of the Year

These awards are granted for novel and outstanding applications of a display, where the display itself is not necessarily a new device.

 Gold Award: SmartDisplayer Technology Co., Ltd.'s Smart Card with Embedded Electronic-Paper Display
A flexible 0.25-mm thin ultra-low-power bistable display using SiPix Imaging, Inc.'s Microcup® Electronic Paper distinguishes this smart card, allowing for increased security, control, and personalization. This is the first flexible display panel to be embedded into an ISO-compliant payment card.

The concept of the DisplayCard had its genesis at SmartDisplayer as early as 1996 when the firm recognized growing demand for intelligent cards used for multiple applications. From 1996 to 2001, the company created many prototypes of MCC with glass and plastic LCDs. However, none of these prototypes were commercialized because the LCDs were not impact-resistant, had high power consumption, and were too thick.

In 2002, SmartDisplayer began to use SiPix electrophoretic display (EPD) technology to develop an electronic-paper module (EPM) for smart-card applications. By 2005, SmartDisplayer completed the world's first viable display module for ISO card applications.

The DisplayCard was developed by Innovative Card Technologies and authentication expert Cryptone. Due to the challenging requirements for the DisplayCard, Innovative Card Technologies–Cryptone chose SmartDisplayer's flexible display for several reasons: flexibility, low power consumption, impact-resistiveness, and extreme thinness. SiPix Microcup® Electronic Paper met all these requirements, with the added benefit of display image retention even with the power removed.

Working with SmartDisplayer, the ability to design and manufacture built-in display module (BDM) card inlays – which integrate a flexible battery, a buzzer, a button, a Smart-Card IC, and the EPM – was made possible. SmartDisplayer also manufactures the 0.35-mm thin EPM; this includes a Smart-Displayer-developed controller IC and the SiPix EPD. The controller IC interfaces with all of the BDM components and provides a charge pump and drivers for the SiPix EPD. The battery life for the SmartCard is about 3 years.

The revolutionary one-time password (OTP) DisplayCard enables cardholders to generate and display a dynamic passcode for one-time use. The cardholder generates a new, unique number by pressing a button on the card. As prompted, the cardholder then enters the number, proving the presence of the card, and completes the transaction. With the DisplayCard, banks can strengthen online banking sign-on by enabling two-factor authentication. The card's one-time password (OTP) feature will be used for authentication other than financial payment card applications. For example, the DisplayCard may be configured to provide physical access to secure facilities. It may also be used to secure mission-critical data and applications through intranets, VPNs, e-mail, and Web servers. The card may also be customized to display electronic purse balances on transportation and gift cards, or even indicating points for loyalty and rewards programs.

 

DISPLAY APPLICATION OF THE YEAR

Gold Award: SmartDisplayer Technology Co. Ltd.'s SmartCard with Embedded Electronic Paper Display features the first flexible display panel – SiPix's Microcup® Electronic Paper – to be embedded into an ISO-compliant payment card.

 

Silver Award: Samsung's Pocket Imager is the first market-launched projector with a light-emitting-diode (LED) light source in the world, and features unparalleled brightness and contrast ratio compared to other mobile projectors of the same size.

 

 

Silver Award: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Pocket Imager 
Samsung's Pocket Imager (SP-P300ME) is the first market-launched projector with a light-emitting-diode (LED) light source in the world, offering unparalleled brightness (25 ANSI lumens) and contrast ratio (1000:1) when compared to other similar-sized projectors. The Pocket Imager measures 12.7 cm x 9.3 cm x 5 7 m and weighs 700 grams.

The unit features a digital-light-projector (DLP) light engine with a novel LED light source. The display is a 0.55-in. digital micromirror device (DMD). With a fully charged battery back, it can operate continuously for 2.5 hours. A special cooling system reduces the heat coming out from many points with only one fan, which helps this product attain low audible noise (under 25 dB) during operation.

It can project images at various screen sizes, ranging from 12 to 63 in., without affecting the contrast at a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. The adaptable focus range is 0.4–3.0 m.

Display Components of the Year

These awards are granted for novel components that significantly enhanced the performance of a display. A component is sold as a separate part destined to be incorporated into a display. A component may also include display-enhancing materials and/or parts fabricated with new processes.

Gold Award: Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd.'s Crystal Illusion Screen
The new Crystal Illusion Screen from Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) is a transparent optical front-projection screen on which bright, crisp images can be reproduced in a bright room. The reproduction of sharp large-sized images floating in mid-air makes it possible to open a new projection-display market.

Obtaining high contrast in a bright room is difficult because ambient light reduces the black level of the image. By controlling the light-reflection properties of a screen surface, DNP was able to produce this new transparent front-projection screen that displays high-quality images in a bright room. High-contrast pictures can be displayed even in bright rooms because the new screen uses cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs).

With a peak gain of 2.0 and 50% transparency, the Crystal Illusion Screen is available in sizes of up to 75 in. in a 16:9 format. Both board- and sheet-type screens are available for customers to use in various environments, such as screens on windows, curved transparent columns, and others. This makes it a good fit for in-store signage, advertising, and demonstrations.

The transparent screen is similar to existing hologram screens used to view transmitted images, but the adoption of a roll-to-roll production process has made it easier to create large-sized screens; large-sized hologram screens are more difficult to manufacture.

 

DISPLAY COMPONENT OF THE YEAR

Gold Award: Dai Nippon Printing Co.'s Crystal Illusion Screens are transparent screens of up to 75 in. that display bright, sharp images as if they were floating in the air.

Silver Award: 3M's Vikuiti LCOS Optical Core is an environmentally friendly, cost-efficient high-performance light engine for rear-projection TVs.

 

 

The screen consists of three light-reflection layers (CLC layers) on transparency film. The total thickness of the light-reflection layers is less than 10 μm. Each CLC layer has two important optical properties arising from the characteristics of the liquid-crystal structure, which is helical in nature. First, the CLC layer selectively reflects light with a particular circular polarization. For example, the layer that reflects light with right-hand circular polarization transmits light with left-hand circular polarization. Second, it exhibits wavelength selectivity for light with the proper circular polarization. For example, the layer that selectively reflects green-light transmits blue and red light. The CLC layers reflect light with the same circular polarization but with different wavelength ranges; for example, blue, green, and red. In other words, each film is a bandpass filter that selectively reflects light with a particular polarization in a particular wavelength range. The three CLC layers selectively reflect light in different wavelength ranges (blue, green, and red) with a particular polarization. These three different wavelength ranges are fitted for the projector light source (blue, green, and red).

The light-reflective layer is composed of three CLC layers, which are polymerized, thus fixing the optical properties. Fixing the optical properties provides the ability to withstand force without breaking or bending.

Silver Award: 3M Optical Systems Division's Vikuiti LCOS Optical Core 
The 3M Vikuiti LCOS Optical Core (the "Optical Core") enables a high-quality television image with the lowest possible liquid- crystal–on–silicon (LCOS) projection light-engine cost and reduced light-engine component count. The Optical Core was developed using glass materials that do not include lead or cadmium in their formulations, allowing it to exceed requirements of current EU RoHS Directive environmental regulations.

The key enabling technology in the Optical Core is multilayer optical film (MOF) and polarizing beam splitter (PBS) film. This film comprises hundreds of layer-pairs of two polymers, one of which is uniaxially birefringent while the other is homogeneous. By matching the index of the homogeneous layers with the ordinary index of the birefringent layers, light polarized perpendicular to the extraordinary axis is transmitted through the film unimpeded. However, light polarized along the extraordinary axis is partially reflected at each inter-layer interface. Forming a quarter-wave stack of these layers so light can be separated into two orthogonal polarization states with high extinction enhances this reflection. This is important for producing high-performance television images.

Polarization discrimination is based on material axes fixed in the PBS film. This reduces the adverse effects of skew rays so that more-efficient high-numerical-aperture beams may be used to produce a brighter television picture. The transmission of pass-light through PBS film typically exceeds 98%, while transmission of block-light is so low that no light is lost in clean-up polarizers. 3M used high transmission efficiency and /1.8 illumination to project more light from a given illuminator than can be done with other PBS technologies. These advantages are especially important for light-emitting-diode (LED) illuminated systems where light is at a premium, and the trend continues toward use of smaller LCOS imagers.

The design of the Optical Core uses three PBSs and an x-cube color combiner. This allows completely independent illumination of each color channel, thereby relaxing mechanical tolerances, easing the alignment process, and reducing light-engine assembly time. PBS prisms, not plates, are used for reduced back focal length (BFL) and therefore lead to lower projection lens costs. The PBSs are cemented to the x-cube to reduce aberrations and reflections and provide a unitary, mechanically robust structure for attaching the projection lens and imagers. All of these features contribute to lower light-engine cost.

Typically, prism-PBSs have used lead-bearing glasses to avoid bright regions in the dark state, caused by stress-birefringence, which resulted in a non-uniform television image. Newly developed compensation technology for the Optical Core [J. Soc. Info. Display14/3, 285–292 (2006)] enables short BFL engines to be made with glasses that do not include lead or cadmium in their formulations. Use of these glasses should simplify eventual disposal of the microdisplay-based projection televisions, as well as contribute to a cleaner environment.

Optical Core performance is industry leading, including contrast values typically exceeding 6000:1 with much higher transmission efficiency than other systems. The PBS's have been shown to have over 30% higher transmission than MacNeille or wire-grid PBS designs [c.f. Philips's paper, SID Intl. Symp. Digest Tech. Papers 36, 1806–1809 (2005)].

Incorporation of this technology into brighter systems, such as front projectors for home theater and conference rooms, is under development. Implementation of other approaches is also in process to simplify imager compensation, achieve new levels of ANSI contrast, and further decrease engine costs. •