Sunday, June 8, 2014

Quantum Dots Enable High Dynamic Range TV

A year ago, high dynamic range (HDR) was not part of anybody's stated technical envelope for advanced generation television. Now, all major TV makers are at least mentioning it. In his SID keynote address, Kazumasa Nomoto, Senior GM of Sony's Display Device Development Division, specifically mentioned HDR as part of the envelope of future TVs, and at this year's CES, Sharp showed an HDR technology demonstrator using Dolby technology.

On the show floor at SID 2014, Nanosys' 10-foot-by-10-foot booth won a Best in Show award in the small exhibit category.  Nanosys, which makes the quantum dots used in 3M's quantum-dot enhancement film (QDEF), was showing two TV sets side-by-side:  one was a conventional LCD TV; the second incorporated both QDEF and Dolby's HDR technology, and the image was compelling. But what does QDEF have to do with HDR?

Nanosys' Jeff Yurek told me that QDEF turns out to be a critical tool in reducing the cost and power consumption of HDR, which up to now have limited the technology to very expensive professional monitors. Dolby's current technology uses 2300 red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes in a full-matrix backlight array.  Controlling the LEDs in clusters, known as local-area-dimming, is the key to HDR, and Dolby is currently controlling the LEDs individually.  Some of the LEDs are very inefficient, with the result that lots of heat is generated and the power consumption is very high.

However, if only efficient blue LEDs are used and the QDEF is used to convert the blue light to red and green, power consumption would be reduced.  For consumer television, it is likely that the number of LEDs would be sharply reduced. This side-by-side comparison drew a lot of attention, creating heavier traffic around the Nanosys booth. – Ken Werner

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Self-Healing Material Protects Mobile Devices

By their very nature, mobile devices are more exposed to physical damage than desktop devices that spend their time sitting safely in one place. Manufacturers have responded to the problem of cracked or shattered display screens with the adoption of hardened cover glass such as the ion-exchange Gorilla Glass from Corning. But what about protecting the rest of the case from scratches and dents?

Natoco from Japan may have the solution. The company was exhibiting some of its novel materials in the booth from chemical company Nagase at Display Week. One particularly interesting one was a glossy paint that can heal itself when scratched. The booth demonstration had two glossy black panels mounted side by side. When you scrubbed them with a wire brush, the scratches were clearly visible. However, the scratches on the panel using the Natoco coating slowly disappeared, and in a matter of a few minutes, the surface was restored to a pristine surface.

The paint comes in a variety of formulations that can be cured using either heat or UV light. The paint is clear, so it can be used to create a case of any color, simply by applying a base coat. The result is a bright and durable coating for mobile phones, tablets, or other portable devices. As companies struggle to find ways to differentiate their products from the competition, a durable coating made to match colors associated with the company’s branding could provide a competitive advantage.

Natoco also makes a matte transparent coating that resists marks. Dirt from routine handling or even “permanent” markers can be wiped off with a standard facial tissue or paper towel, with no solvents required: not even water. The slick surface makes it difficult for materials such as ink to adhere, and the transparent coating offers the same color-matching advantages as the self-healing material. –Alfred Poor

Friday, June 6, 2014

Display Week Touch Poll Shows Surprising Disconnects Between Industry Direction and User Preference

During Monday’s Seminar, “Issues, Insights, and Interactions on Touch HMI,”  by Geoff Walker and Gary Barrett), the speakers asked the audience the questions listed below. The audience responded by raising their hands. Because of the size of the audience (134 people), exact answer counts weren’t possible, so estimates were made. (Before the questions started, the speakers made everyone in the audience raise their hand as a warm-up exercise, which helps increase audience participation in the polls.)

1.    Question:  Which would you rather do: (a) Hover your finger above the screen to view choices and then touch to select, or (b) Press lightly to view choices and then press harder to select?
Answer: Hover = 1/3; Pressure = 2/3

All the p-cap touch controller suppliers are implementing (or have already implemented) hover as the industry’s preferred solution to the need for mouseover emulation, since nobody has successfully developed absolute pressure-sensing for p-cap yet. This audience response shows a definite preference for pressure sensing, which is not where the industry is headed.

2.    Question:  For those of you that write Kanji characters on a smartphone screen, how many of you are comfortable using your fingers, and how many would prefer to use a stylus? 
Answer:  Fingers = two people; Stylus = the great majority

This answer was quite surprising, since the speakers were under the impression that Asian users are generally happy using their fingers to write Kanji characters on a smartphone, particularly since the software suggests characters based on partial input (the same way that English words are suggested based on partial input using an onscreen keyboard). This answer strongly supports the idea that use of a stylus (probably a passive stylus) is likely to move into the mainstream.

3.    Question:  Are you more likely to want a stylus on a smartphone or a tablet?
Answer:  Smartphone = almost nobody; Tablet = almost everybody

Taking notes, making sketches and drawings, using a stylus as a high-precision pointing device – all of these activities make more sense on a tablet than a smartphone, so the audience’s preference is easily understandable.

4.    Question:  Do you see a need for simultaneous stylus and touch?
Answer:  Yes = 25%; No = 75%

Microsoft is working hard on enabling simultaneous stylus and touch (which is not a native capability of Windows 8), but most people don’t see a need for it (yet), probably because of the lack of an obvious consumer application.    

5.    Question:  How many of you are completely satisfied with the way touch works today on your smartphone and tablet?
Answer:  Zero people held up their hand.

This audience response was stunning. The fact that nobody is completely satisfied with touch today really brings into question the common OEM/ODM practice of supplying touch that’s “good enough.” Clearly “good enough” isn’t.

6.    Question:  Who has more impact on touch, Windows/Microsoft or Android/Google?
Answer:  Windows/Microsoft = 6 people; Android/Google = everybody else

While this is not a very surprising audience response, the speakers pointed out that Microsoft has had quite a large influence on the touch industry over time due to the fact that it has set a lot of technical specifications on touch.

7.    Question:  Has anyone seen a demo of a flexible touchscreen on top of a flexible OLED display?
Answer:  Zero people held up their hand.

Everyone has seen demos of flexible OLED displays, and everyone has seen demos of flexible touchscreens (for example, built on Corning’s 100-µm Willow glass). But nobody in the audience (or the speakers) has seen the two combined yet.  It’s not clear if the reason is a technical impediment, or simply the lack of a real-world application.

8.    Question:  How many of you have seen a tablet that has a passive stylus with a 1.5 mm tip instead of today’s big, ugly, uncomfortable 7 mm rubber tip?
Answer:  Eight people held up their hand

All of the p-cap touch-controller suppliers have increased their signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to the point where you can now touch with a very fine-tipped passive stylus.  In fact, on the show floor Sharp was demonstrating a 22-inch touch p-cap touchscreen that worked perfectly with a #2 pencil. The problem is that very few OEMs have rolled out products that offer this capability so far. By the end of this year, that situation should have changed significantly. The photo below shows a section of Sharp’s 22-inch touchscreen with two #2 pencils. – Geoff Walker

Sharp’s 22-inch touchscreen (using one of Sharp’s new series of p-cap touch controllers) works with a #2 pencil as the touch-object. Interestingly, one of the two pencils shown on the display even worked with the eraser (not just the pencil tip), probably because it was worn down more than the other one. Photo by author.

JDI Reveals Embedded Touch Strategy

JDI’s latest “Pixel Eyes” hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch is shown here in a 7-inch display with 1,200 x 1,920 pixels, which is 323 ppi. The circles on the screen (drawn as fast as possible with a 1 mm-tip passive stylus) demonstrate quite good performance, with only a couple of lost points. Photo by author.

Japan Display, Inc. (JDI) demonstrated the latest iteration of “Pixel Eyes”, its branded hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch. This embedded touch architecture was first described in the Information Display article covering Touch at Display Week 2012, and then updated in the Information Display article covering Touch at Display Week 2013.

I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Hiroyuki Ohshima, JDI’s Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Chief Technology Officer. During our conversation, Ohshima-san made the following comments:

·         JDI plans to stick with the hybrid in-cell/on-cell construction rather than moving to on-cell or true in-cell. Hybrid construction has high sensitivity, it works well with a fine-tipped stylus, the manufacturing process has been perfected, it can be produced with high yield, and it can be scaled easily. [This answer of “we’re sticking with what we know” is the same reason that many discrete touch-panel manufacturers give for sticking with a particular stack-up such as GFF, G1F, or GG. Once one gets good at something, there’s a lot to be said for continuing to leverage it even though other alternatives are available.]

·         JDI is definitely going to use Pixel Eyes in a 10-inch tablet. There are no technical impediments; all the engineering and manufacturing problems have been solved so it’s just a matter of business strategy. JDI is currently delaying introducing a product in order to make sure that that it has a fully differentiated solution.

·         JDI believes that it could definitely produce a 13.3-inch display with Pixel Eyes (i.e., for use in an Ultrabook), but doesn’t participate in that market and doesn’t know the market requirements. Plus, JDI also views the touch notebook market as being too small. So even though it’s technically possible, it’s unlikely that JDI will use its hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch technology in displays larger than 10 inches.

·         JDI believes that ALL display makers are working on some form of embedded touch because of the revenue and profitability that it brings. While I characterized the battle between the display-makers and the touch-panel makers as a “war”, Ohshima-san wasn’t willing to go quite that far. – Geoff Walker

Water-resistant Algorithms

Solomon Systech demonstrated water-resistance on a 4-inch, true single-layer, mutual-capacitance smartphone touch panel. Note the spray bottle of water on the left and the large number of water droplets on the screen. Photo by author.

Demonstrations of touch-panel water resistance can be seen in a number of booths at Display Week this year; it’s part of the trend of enhancing projected-capacitive (p-cap) touch to make it more environmentally resistant. 

Most often, water-resistance is achieved by operating a touch-panel in two modes and switching back and forth between them: self-capacitance (using only the top electrode layer) and mutual capacitance (using both electrode layers). Self-capacitance is unaffected by water, while mutual capacitive sees water as a touch.

Solomon Systech, a Hong-Kong-based touch controller supplier, demonstrated water resistance using only algorithmic support on a 4-inch, true single-layer, mutual-capacitance p-cap touch-panel. This is an achievement because it’s very difficult to distinguish water droplets from touches using only mutual capacitance. I asked if perhaps the Solomon Systech controller was using only a portion of the single-layer electrode in self-capacitance mode, and the booth representative insisted that the water resistance was accomplished purely via mutual-capacitance algorithms running on the touch controller.

True single-layer mutual-capacitance touch-panels have rapidly become the configuration of choice for low-end smartphones due to their low cost; Solomon Systech’s ability to support more advanced functionality such as water-resistance purely through mutual-capacitance firmware provides an interesting illustration of how the capability of p-cap touch is continuing to expand even at the very low end.  --Geoff Walker

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Silver Nanostructures Create Versatile Transparent Conductor

Tucked away on a table at the end of a booth in the far left part of the Display Week 2014 Exhibit Hall sat a glass toaster.  This is an incongruous device to be put on view at a display technology show, but it was an intriguing part of the larger story about a new transparent conductor material from Cima NanoTech.

The company produces a material that it calls “SANTE,” which is based on a self-organizing silver layer that forms random nanostructures that are so small that they are effectively transparent. The high conductivity of the sliver layer makes it well suited for a variety of applications, especially in creating projected capacitive touch panels for displays. In fact, Cima NanoTech had demonstrations that did not even require that you touch the surface of the display; the panel could detect the presence of a finger hovering above it.

The silver material creates random nanostructures that are similar to the patterns left behind when soap suds dry on a surface. The random nature eliminates the moiré artifacts that can appear when the touch panel has a grid structure. The high conductivity delivers high performance even with large displays. The company showed a 42-inch panel created in partnership with Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS) that supported 10-point touch operating at 150 Hz.

The conductive layer is deposited as a wet coat that self-assembles on the substrate. It can be placed on glass or plastic film. Using plastic film, it creates touch screens that are lightweight, durable, and flexible.

The silver layer has other applications, however. If you run enough current through it, it heats up. This means that you can put a transparent conductive layer on anything from a car windshield to ski goggles, and the heating can defrost and defog the device. And that leads us back to the glass toaster. Initially created as a technology demonstration, engineers wanted to show that the material could get hot enough to cook toast. And it works. In fact, some manufacturers have expressed interest in actually creating a production version of the design. – Alfred Poor

Wheels of Progress: The Lure of Automotive Displays

JDI’s curved touch panel is designed to harmonize with automotive interiors.

One of the themes that rose to the top at this year’s Display Week was the proliferation of displays in cars. There are many more displays in automobiles than there used to be, and there are going to be many more in years to come -- not just in high-end vehicles, but in everyday ones too.
Almost every display maker I visited who had industrial/medical panels to show had a line of automotive displays as well. This was somewhat true in past years as well, but this year there were simply more, and the subject came up more. Obviously this trend is good news for display makers, who are constantly on the lookout for new uses for their products. (On the downside, at least one panel maker told me that airlines may eventually discontinue the use of individual displays for each passenger, because everyone will just use their own devices to display content provided by the airlines.)

An oft-mentioned aspect of this automotive display phenomenon is how ungainly flat panels can look amid the curved interiors of cars. Obviously it behooves display makers to work on making those auto panels in curved formats. Some are already at work on it, including JDI, which was demoing a curved automotive display that also had touch! – Jenny Donelan

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Most Impressive Notebook Screen You've Ever Seen

At Display Week today, 3M and Nanosys showed ASUS notebook PCs with 15.6-inch, 4K, quantum-dot-enhanced screens with a gamut of 100% NTSC.  This is the first high-volume product using 3M's QDEF, and 3M sees the product's introduction as a milestone. The ASUS PC appeared in the Nanosys booth because Nanosys supplies the quantum dots that are used in the QDEF.

We are not used to seeing images like the ones the ASUS displays at such a short distance, and the effect is so striking it's hard to look away from it. This is a display that could easily sell the product of which it is a part, and it's a fine example of the remarkable ability of quantum dots to provide dramatic increases in a display's impact at a very small increase in cost. –-Ken Werner

The Femtosecond Solution for Cutting Glass

 The folks at Raydiance believe that femtosecond lasers will transform glass-cutting display applications, much as they have made significant contributions to micromachining solutions in the medical and automotive industries.

Raydiance Chief Scientist Michael Mielke told me this morning that his company's "R-Cut" solution can perform free-form cuts in Gorilla Glass and other materials, as well as drilling micro-holes and other precise features, and can produce cover-glass parts at half the cost of mechanical singulation methods. The cost savings are due in large part to the fact that femtosecond-laser cuts have an excellent finish and require no further polishing or smoothing steps, said Senior VP of Marketing Stefan Zschiegner.

Raydiance had held off introducing its process to the display community until it had prepared a complete solution. The company formally introduced the system today at Display Week. The solution includes sophisticated software control of the laser that makes it easy for operators to define new shapes and features. The system, said Mielke, is suitable for rapid prototyping as well as production. Zschiegner added that the system has been developed in cooperation with manufacturers.

Until now, conventional mechanical glass-cutting has stubbornly refused to give way to laser separation. Raydiance tells a convincing story that this state of affairs may soon begin to change. -- Ken Werner

Curved OLEDs Hit SID - Why They Are Better TVs

On opening day of Display Week, crowds rushed in to see the record number of component display suppliers at this year’s event. One of the most notable booths just at the entrance was LG Display, welcoming visitors not with one, but three curved OLED sets in full UHD resolution glory in 77-, 65-, and 55-inch diagonal sizes.

The first question we had for the LG team, led by Hong Jae Shin, Chief Research Engineer on OLED TVs, was why? Why is curved better than flat displays? 

Answers to this question have been all over the map since the first big screen curved sets appeared. They’ve ranged from the curved screen matches the curve of the eye (found in the Samsung booth today!) to speculation that companies are doing it simply because they can.

But in that first morning analyst meeting with LG, Dr. Shin told us the curved screen offers viewers the same distance from the edge of the image to the eye as the distance from the center of the screen to the eye. “It’s curved because that screen offers a better immersive experience,” he told us. Adding to the point, that same distance helps make vivid color (at any part of the screen), they told us. 

Interestingly, LG said it used extensive customer research to find that the optimal radius for the curved set is 5000 mm radius, or simply 5000R for its curved TV.  By way of contrast, Samsung said its curve is 4200 mm so one may speculate there may be a new spec war of the curve on the horizon.

We found the Samsung curved LCD equally impressive, and perhaps because it was LCD based, it was nice to see how this is breathing new life (extending the runway) for LCD yet again.  -- Steve Sechrist

Hints of the Future: Quantum Dots

We’ve all been amazed at the color saturation improvements made in LCDs using quantum dots. But one of the most inspiring talks given at the Monday Session at Display Week gave us a peak at the future and potential applications of this new nano science.

Vladimir Bulovic of MIT Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Laboratory spoke on this unique technology, with some compelling, thought-provoking ideas. First he asked the audience to consider the trade-off between manufacturing traditional wafer technology with its complex fabrication processes, albeit using a relatively simple material (silicon), versus nano materials that by contrast are rather complex, but can use a simple thin film (roll to roll) process method with relatively few steps. In short -- a complex process with many steps to manufacturing using a simple material vs. a complex material using relatively few steps in manufacturing.

It’s the latter that Bulvoic likes, and he showed the group the potential of this thought shift that looks to offer dramatic production cost reductions by limiting the number of complex steps. Bulvoic said fewer than six synthetic manufacturing steps would achieve significant gains in cost efficiencies.

To make the point, he showed an application of this low-cost manufacturing of a complex nano material by creating solar cells on paper. They created vapor printed organic electrodes from nano materials applied to newspaper, with the result of an ITO-free flexible solar cell made of layers and substrate that were completely flexible. The photo voltaic device was made by simply coating films on a piece of paper from an organic polymer layer coated with two additional layers of organic dyes, he said.

These low-cost solar cells on paper have limitless applications, with some examples that included secure documents, packaging, ads and entertainment, and more.  The discussion then shifted to making a solar cell invisible with the idea of placing the material on an e-book reader that would never need conventional recharging again. The possibilities can easily be extended to wearable devices that gain huge benefits from such functionality. -- Steve Sechrist

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Light Pipes Put Images Where You Want Them

Everybody knows about fiber optics; that’s the glass technology that can bring high-speed broadband Internet access to your home or office. But why would you find it in the Exhibit Hall at Display Week 2014? The answer is that images are information, too, and the same fiber optic features that carry bits of data also make it possible to deliver images where you want them. INCOM has some interesting demonstrations of its fused fiber optic technology on display in its booth.

For example, consider the control panel created by one of the company’s partners: Fairlight. Fairlight makes controllers for use in professional audio and video editing. The software used for these tasks is very complex, and the controllers have keys that provide quick access to the different commands. It would take an acre of buttons, however, to cover all the different choices.
The solution is to provide context-sensitive keys; each key takes on a different function depending on the type of task you’re doing. The problem with this is that it would be confusing to mark all the possible functions on each key. What is needed is a way to change the content of the individual keycaps on the fly. And that is what INCOM’s technology makes possible.

The trick relies on a simple, low-cost LCD panel mounted inside the control panel. INCOM’s fused fiber optics blocks channel the light from the panel to the keycap. Then by changing the image displayed by the panel, the image on the key cap changes. And you get an instantly changing control panel without the cost and complexity of creating separate displays for each key.
INCOM has used this technology to create controls and display panels for everything from flight simulators to slot machines. The company originally made the materials out of glass but has since added polymer products that reduce weight and cost. INCOM can make just about any shape or size button or display that a client would need. And it makes it possible to get your image from here to there in a flash. -- Alfred Poor

The Return of the Pen, and Much More

At Display Week the best way to get started is the Monday seminars , which provide a technical foundation on a wide variety of subjects that are also featured prominently in the symposium and exhibitions. 

I started my day at the seminar titled "Issues, Insights, and Interactions on Touch HMI," jointly presented by Gary Barrett from Touch International and Geoff Walker from Intel.  Both Gary and Geoff are well known and highly experienced experts in the field of touch technology, and lately both have been on the forefront of the projected capacitive (p-cap) wave, making bold predictions on the commercial advancement of the technology as well as acting as keen observers and contributors to its success.  This year they provided us with their insights on several key topics such as ITO replacement materials, the return of the pen/stylus and the potential value of "hover" mode, the future direction of coatings and the possibility of plastic top glass layers returning, limitations that still exist in p-cap today, and what the future holds for p-cap applications. 
On the subject of pens and hover, there is a lot of interest in returning to pen-based interactions, because of the very high information content on today's portable devices, and I was surprised to learn that today's latest p-cap systems are so well tuned that they can be activated in many cases by an actual lead tipped pencil, which means that the opportunity for a wide family of narrow-tipped, low-cost passive styluses is back again. Of course pen computing is not new, having first come on the scene back in the 1990s, and anyone who has owned a PDA is familiar with this style of interaction.  But lately the iPhone led the way in the 'finger-not-pen' debate and pen-based UIs seemed to fade away.  However, I've always found pointing devices more useful and accurate than finger touch myself, and my wife uses a passive stylus on her Surface tablet most of the time, so I welcome the return of the pen.

What struck me as part of this discussion is how dynamic this technical area continues to be, with many key areas for research and development still open, including ITO replacement materials and harsh environment performance.  While p-cap is good, it continues to prove Geoff's old adage that no touch solution is ever perfect.  There are several good areas for innovation and competitive differentiation due to both performance and cost.  During the audience questions, I asked specifically about the future for salt spray/water immunity in commercial large screen p-cap applications and was pleased to hear Gary answer that today this vulnerability can be effectively managed through firmware and may be eliminated in the near future.  We've already seen at least one company commercially advertising salt water-immune p-cap, so, between this performance area and the return of the passive stylus we may be closing in on the "perfect" touch technology after all -- OK, not quite yet but I'm just sayin'... . – Stephen Atwood, Executive Editor

SID Announces 2014 DIA Winners

Today, the Society for Information Display (SID) announced the winners of its 19th annual Display Industry Awards. The six winners, two in each of three main categories, were chosen for their degree of technical innovation and commercial significance, in addition to their potential for positive social impact. 

Display of the Year  
Gold Award Winner: Samsung Display's 5.68-in. Curved (Flexible) AMOLED Display
Silver Award Winner: LG Display's 55-in. FHD Curved OLED TV Panel

Display Component of the Year:  
Gold Award: UDC's Green Phosphorescent UniversalPHOLED® Emitter Material
Silver Award: Canatu Oy's Carbon NanoBud (CNB) Film

Display Application of the Year:  
Gold Award: LG Display's G Flex
Silver Award: Google Chromebook Pixel

A more comprehensive description of the winners is included in the Display Week 2014 Show Issue of Information Display magazine, available here or in the show issue of the magazine, available outside the exhibit hall at Display Week.

The Display Industry Shifts to Mobile

The success of the display industry used to rise and fall with the fortunes of the TV industry, but this is no longer strictly true, as industry analyst Paul Semenza from NPD DisplaySearch made clear in his Monday seminar presentation, “The Display Industry Shifts to Mobile.”

Revenues are growing in displays but not in large-area displays. In 2010, mobile displays represented 10% of the total display market; by next year, they will make up 50%. “The industry is shifting away from bigger and bigger displays,” said Semenza, adding that he believes fabs will top out at Gen 10.

In an apparent contradiction, at the same time that smaller mobile devices are gaining momentum, the size of mobile device displays is getting bigger. More smartphones with displays larger than 4 inches are coming in 2014, and larger iPads (12.9-in.) are due out soon.

In addition, 4K smartphones are on the way. “It’s hard to say what you would actually do with a 4K smartphone,” said Semenza, to laughter in the audience, “but it indicates the drive toward higher resolution.”

Last, he noted that larger screens and higher resolutions in mobile devices increase power consumption. New backplane technology is needed in order to support these features. LTPS and oxide are possible solutions, but getting it right is a high priority for the industry right now. -- Jenny Donelan

Monday, June 2, 2014

Where e-Paper Is Headed

Display Week has begun! Monday featured 16 technical seminars on topics ranging from oxide TFT fundamentals to light fields, and more, including,"A Critical and Current Review of the Present and Future Prospects for e-Paper," by the University of Cincinnati's Jason Heikenfeld. (Heikenfeld is also a frequent contributor to Information Display and a roving reporter covering flex and e-paper for ID.)

One of his central points was that no single e-paper technology has the potential to answer all needs. He contrasted the current situation with e-Paper is to that of silicon in the chip industry, noting that for chips, the silicon solution is "good enough" in terms of performance, whereas for e-Paper, unmet market needs will continue to drive the emergence of new technologies (though E Ink will continue to dominate.)

Other predictions made by Heikenfeld were that e-paper technologies that are different in how they work but not in performance will rapidly disappear, and also that the inherent advantages of e-Paper will continue to differentiate it from other products, even as those products evolve. e-Paper is, for example, highly readable, even in sunlight, as well as foldable, rollable, and low power.

One of his more intriguing predictions was that the Amazon/Liquavista acquisition (May 2013)  is "a major wait and see." Heikenfeld said "they are doing this for the video, not for color." In other words, there should be some interesting announcements from the tablet/e-Reader space sometime in the not-too-distant future. --Jenny Donelan