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I was one of the 170,000+ people who attended the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month and thought I’d share some observations; first, about the consumer technologies on exhibit, and second, about the topic closest to my heart, displays.
To learn what technologies were trending, you don’t need to look any further than Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote speech. He highlighted emerging technologies, such as virtual reality gear for gaming and business applications, robots, drones, and devices for athletes including virtual coaches and sensors to monitor and analyze performance. The drones were amazing, with features such as collision-avoidance systems that enable them to lead or follow you wherever you go, for example on a mountain bike ride through a forest. I am still unsure why anyone would want a drone to follow them, but it was amazing nonetheless.
As for TV displays, the theme was even bigger and better versions of the stunning technologies introduced at last year’s show. OLED was the flagship technology for LG Electronics, including a 77” 4K LG Signature OLED screen (pictured below).
Several Chinese TV brands, including Haier, Skyworth, Changhong and Konka also showcased OLED TVs, presumably made with panels manufactured in Korea where most OLED panels are produced.
Samsung, on the other hand, did not feature any OLED TVs, promoting instead their SUHD LCD technology. These beautiful screens have a thin form factor and include quantum dots, a technology that uses very small particles of material to optimize LED backlighting and offer a wider range of colors. While Samsung’s TVs did not include OLED, they exhibited other OLED applications, including transparent signage which looks like clear glass and can be used to show high-resolution color video images. Samsung also demonstrated a 170” TV display, which they branded “SUHD” like their high-end LCD TVs. Interestingly they did not specify the underlying technology (see photo below). These impressive new models are proof we are one step closer to the day when displays for entertainment or computing will cover the entire wall of our living rooms like wallpaper.
While Applied does not exhibit at CES, we are certainly present behind the scenes. Our display manufacturing equipment and process technologies enable most of these amazing displays. We continue to help make possible tomorrow’s displays - be they curved, bendable, or foldable. For more than two decades, we have worked closely with display manufacturers to overcome challenging technology roadblocks and provide the advanced equipment and materials engineering necessary to power today’s displays all while bringing new high margin opportunities to manufacturers. Most recently, we announced advanced OLED display manufacturing systems for flexible mobile products and curved TVs.
To learn more about the new materials and tools we’re developing for improved display resolution, performance and flexibility, check out Kerry Cunningham’s article in the December issue of our Nanochip Fab Solutions.
And share below in the comments section what you look for in a new TV for watching the upcoming Super Bowl!