The Future of Electronics: Touch Taiwan 2013!

touch-taiwan_amoledEvery year, companies from all over the world that are dedicated to creating touch surfaces, displays, and personal digital devices convene on Taipei Taiwan for the International Touch Panel and Optical Film Exhibition – otherwise known as Touch Taiwan. Running from August 28th to 30th, visitors were treated to over 1000 exhibition booths that showcased the latest from developers in touch panels, OLED, flexible displays and optical films.

One such company is AUO, a display company based in Taiwan, which is working on flexible, ultra-thin technology. Much like the AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) display Nokia showcased at CES in Las Vegas last year, the AUO exhibit showed a series of screens that could be bent, but would still broadcast a crystal clear imagine with 512 pixels per inch.

This is in keeping with the apparent “pixel race” that is on, where developers are trying to outdo each other in sheer pixel density. 512 seems to be the current high, though that can be expecting to change soon! And though the AUO displays seen here are not yet been available on a specific device, it is clear that future devices will look something like this:

AUO Ultra-Thin Display Tech:


Another big hit at the show were display glasses. Clearly, the consumer electronics industry is now in a race to create the next generation of Google Glass, looking for ways to improve on the existing technology by making it smaller, cheaper, and the images sharper. That was the rationale behind CPT’s display booth, where a series of display glasses were shown that relied on a “smartbox” displays rather than display lenses.

As you can see, the smartbox resides in the upper right corner of the glasses, which a person can consult whenever they are out and about. Simply look to your upper right to get a desktop image or browse, and look away to see the rest of the world. The goal here is clearly utilitarian, with CPT hoping to create something that could beam images into your eye without fear of distraction.

What’s impressive about this is the fact that CPT was able to use AMOLED technology to create detailed, multi-colored images with 200 ppi in a smartbox display that was only half an inch big. The technology is ready to ship, so expect to see a wider range of display glasses at your electronics store soon!

CPT AMOLED Smart Glass:


Aside from AMOLED technology are the equally important developments being made in Micro-Light Emitting Diode (or MLED) technology, which offers the same benefits as LEDs but in a much smaller package which relies on significantly less power. The company leading the charge here is ITRI, a research division of the Taiwanese government that also creates consumer electronics.

So far, the display is monochromatic, as you can see from the video below. However, ITRI expects to have a full-color version ready towards the end of 2013. Have a gander:

ITRI MicroLED Display:


And then there was Corning Glass, which once again made big waves with the display of their “Gorilla Glass”, a next-generation type of display glass developed with Microsoft. As their promotional video from last year demonstrated (“A Day with Glass”), the company hopes that this new type of display surface will one day be integrated into all walks of life because of its sheer versatility.

And aside from the usual benefit being offered – a thin surface that is sensitive to touch commanders and offers high-definition imagery – Gorilla Glass (as its name suggests) is also highly resistant to damage. Whereas other makers are focusing on small devices that can withstand damage by being flexible, Corning and Microsoft are thinking big and resilient. Check out the video:

Gorilla Glass Demo:


If it were not already clear from all the new devices making it to the street in recent years, these exhibitions certainly confirm that the future is getting increasingly digitized, personalized, ergonomic, and invasive! And the devices powering this future, allowing us to network and access untold amounts of information at any moment in our day, are looking more and more like something out of a William Gibson or Charles Stross novel!

If I weren’t such a sci-fi geek, I might be worried!

Sources: mobilegeeks.com, displaytawain.com, chaochao.com.tw

The Future is Here: The Transparent Smartphone and USB Stick

transphoneTwo years ago, Samsung made a big splash with the release of their concept video for a thin, transparent, AMOLED display tablet. Having showed a great deal of promise, thanks to the combination of paper thin technology and the Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode display, they had to admit a fully transparent device was still many years away.

And in that respect, they were hardly alone. After the Consumer Electronics Show of 2010 and 2011, it seemed that every major company had their own concept for a transparent device, still many years in the making. Well, as it turns out they all may have spoken a little too soon!

In a recent story, a Taiwanese group named polytron introduced their concept for a transparent smartphone and USB stick. As purveyors of smart glass – glass with built-in LED displays, “privacy” glass, holographic glass, touchscreen glass, etc – this latest invention effectively combines what they do best with the world of computing and communications and has jump started efforts to create to completely transparent devices.

transphone1

As you can see from the pics and video below, the phone has a thin frame, a slot for a SIM card, speakers mounted in the top, and is powered by two button cell batteries. It also boasts and LED screen, and is clearly still very much in the research and development phase. In the future, the company plans to mount a case across the bottom to hide the electronics, and an operating system will come as standard.

Much the same is true of their transparent USB stick. Combining an internal chip, a transparent case, and an embedded LED light to let you know when it’s plugged in, this device is likely to become the next generation of USB drives. And according to official rumors, the glass USB stick will also be made available with storage capacities of 4, 8, 16, and 32 gigabytes. No telling when it will be commercially available as of yet, but in all likelihood, sooner than the transparent phone.

transphone2

Be sure to check out these videos by Mobile Geeks, and follow the links at the bottom of the page to learn more about polytron’s smart glass products. I assure you, its really quite inspired!


Source: designboom.com, polyvision.com

The Future is Here: The ASB Glassfloor!

GlassFloor_TitelIt looks like something out of Tron, doesn’t it? In truth, its LED lights underneath a glass surface, but the end result is nothing short of awesome, not to mention convenient. It’s known as the ASB Glassfloor, the latest creation from German manufacturer Germany’s ASB Systembau. Using a system where an aluminum substructure supports the surface and LED’s provide light lines, a gymnasium or sports arena can be converted from a volleyball court, to a basketball court, to a series of tennis courts by simply pushing a button.

What’s more, ceramic dots on the glass re-create the feel of a wooden surface, while special etchings diffuse the LED light and prevent glare from bothering athletes. And for those who worry that the entire thing will shatter as soon as the home team takes the floor, know that this “glass” is actually a high-tech tempered security variety that is actually more durable and longer lasting than a conventional wood floor, meaning it can bear the weight of multiple teams, and is even available in different colors.

And finally, the company also indicated that since the floor’s are basically one large display device, that they can be programmed to broadcast ads in certain spaces, and that the entire floor itself can be turned into a single screen. Hence, while the player’s are playing, people can also enjoy small ads running in the end zone or sidelines, just in case they felt sports weren’t saturated by enough product placements! And at halftime, the floor can put on a show, either on its own or with the help of cheerleaders and a marching band.

My, with all the new display technologies and high-tech surfaces coming out, one would think the entire future is going to be made of “smart glass” and inundated with images and texts. Seems nobody can be satisfied with a simple, non-augmented window or floor anymore. Oh well, it looks cool and that’s what matters!

ASBGlassFloor-3xTo see the Glassfloor in action, click on the gif image above, or watch the video below: