Back to Boston


by Brian Berkeley
President, Society for Information Display

Greetings and welcome to Display Week 2012! First, I would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Munisamy Anandan, the outgoing President of the Society for Information Display, for his leadership of SID over the past 2 years. Anand has dedicated many hours of volunteer service to the Society. Volunteers like him, including other members of the SID Executive Committee, the SID Board of Directors, and other key volunteers around the world, are at the core of SID's success. We are here to serve the SID membership.

By the time this issue of Information Display is published, SID will be going back to Boston for its annual Display Week Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition. Boston is a special place with great historical significance. It is home to many top-tier research institutions, including MIT and Harvard, and it boasts a resurgent technology industry. Boston is special to me personally. I lived in Boston's Back Bay during my undergraduate years, then I later served as General Chair for the 2002 Display Week conference held in Boston, and this year I will be taking on the responsibilities of SID President in Boston. Boston is also a special place for SID. As the technology hub of the eastern United States, SID's annual conference has come to Boston many times in the past, including 1997, 2002, and 2005. Some of the most significant industry announcements and technical breakthroughs have been presented at SID conferences in Boston.

Going back 15 years to 1997, the conference covered a mix of the old and the new. The three keynotes celebrated the centennial of the CRT, plus a retrospective on 25 years of active-matrix driving, and then the rise of active-matrix LCDs in Japan. Many technical papers reported developments on active-matrix LCDs, which we now know would become the dominant technology not only for notebooks but also for mainstream desktop and TV applications. Novel technologies were presented as well; for example, interferometric modulation (IMOD) reflective displays were introduced at the 1997 conference by a startup company that would later be purchased by Qualcomm. Then back in Boston in 2002, no fewer than seven sessions were held on OLED displays, foretelling the importance of this emerging technology. There were also two sessions on e-paper and a separate paper on electrophoretic displays, which years later would achieve high volume in the Amazon Kindle. As an interesting side note, 2002 was the first year that the SID Symposium Digest had to be split into two volumes in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of technical submissions to the conference.

At SID 2005 in Boston, Samsung LCD president Sang-Wan Lee gave his now-famous keynote speech, "LCD Revolution – The Third Wave". As Dr. Paul Drzaic noted in his President's Corner column of March 2010, President Lee made several astonishing predictions. Probably the most significant, if not provocative at the time, was his prediction that production volumes of 100 million LCD TVs per year could be achieved by 2010. Consider that at the time, CRTs had 70% TV market share and 40-in. LCDs cost $2500. Gasps could be heard throughout the keynote session during the presentation, but as we know now, the 100 million/year milestone was actually achieved in 2008, and President Lee's other predictions came true as well.

This year, we will be celebrating the golden anniversary of SID as we get back to Boston. The Society will turn 50 on September 29, 2012, and later this year there will be a commemoration of the first meeting of SID that was held in UCLA's Boelter Hall, which was also the birthplace of the Internet. As this is a historically significant year for SID, it is fitting that Display Week 2012 is being held back in Boston. What new announcements will be made and what technologies will be shown that will once again serve as a compass for the future of displays? As always, Display Week will be the place to find out. The Display Week 2012 show portends some of the most amazing exhibits ever. Rumor has it that there will be "big things" on the show floor. Look for a large presence in OLED displays and make sure not to miss the prototypes in the Innovation Zone.

Congratulations to all on 50 successful years for SID! •