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Displays Science Technology

New Research Could Lead to Transparent Displays 85

An anonymous reader tipped us to a ScienceDaily story about advances that may lead to transparent transistors. By combining inorganic and organic materials, we may reach the goal of transparent surfaces that can display information, with no visible wiring marring the effect. The article cites HUDs on car windshields, and targeting goggles for soldiers, but I'm sure we can think of some additional interesting uses for such a technology. From the article: "High-performance, transparent transistors could be combined with existing kinds of light display technologies, such as organic light-emitting diodes, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and electroluminescent displays, which are already used in televisions, desktop and laptop computers and cell phones ... Prototype displays using the transistors developed at Northwestern could be available in 12 to 18 months, said Marks. He has formed a start-up company, Polyera, to bring this and related technologies to market."
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New Research Could Lead to Transparent Displays

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  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @03:25PM (#17355040) Homepage Journal

    Well, it's Christmas time here so I've got a little time to do some reading. And frankly, I'm excited to hear about the progress on greener technologies forthcoming next year. I was just reading about a projection TV set that will use laser to increase range-of-color and decrease power usage by a third -- win-win! And it got me to thinking; given that the average computer uses about 52,000 pine trees worth of energy every day there's probably a lot of slack that can be tightened up to restrict wasteful consumption. While one could probably save the most by dimming the 'Brightness' setting on his monitor, I strongly suspect the greatest savings will be realized by emphasizing energy saving technologies in the personal computer.

    Sure, spending another hundred or so on efficient computing wouldn't make the video games run any faster, but if it was mandated we'd probably notice huge dividends in nationwide energy consumption. Energy that could then be used to run our cars, or air conditioning, or substinence farming. Until then I suppose we could just use the coal from our Christmas stockings to offset the electric bill, lol.

  • by El Puerco Loco ( 31491 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @04:55PM (#17355494)
    The whole point of a HUD is that you don't have to shift focus between the display and objects in the environment. In aircraft HUDs, the image is collimated, so it appears to be focused wherever the pilot happens to be looking at the time. This can't be achieved by simply putting a transparent monitor on the windscreen in front of your eyes, it requires a projection system. The type of display they are talking about here would not be much better than a regular instrument panel, because you would still need to shift focus from the outside environment to the windscreen. The same goes for a targeting system built into goggles, it would be useless because you would need to shift your focus to the targeting display a few inches from your eye to the target several hundred meters away.
  • contrast control (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @05:08PM (#17355548) Homepage Journal
    Everyone thinks that transparent displays are a really cool idea until they try to actually look at one in uncontrolled lighting situations. Minority Report displays weren't real, folks, and the special effects crew could ignore physics to make it happen. The key to being able to see things is contrast. If this thing isn't actively both shadowing and emitting, the display will be totally useless in light areas or dark areas or both.
  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @05:33PM (#17355692) Homepage Journal

    Quit worrying about that crap. 52000 pine trees? The coal puts CO2 in the air enough for 52000 pine trees to be very happy and make more sugar (photosynthesis results in food...). Even if we burned trees for power, when you cut down a tree in America you need to plant 2 more elsewhere; there's a whole tree-planting industry, the foresters and developers just pay someone when they tear out a chunk of woodlands so they go somewhere else and put down more trees; some of the newly planted ones die, overpopulation of an area causes about half of them give or take to get crowded out, and everything is preserved (we have more trees now than we did long ago).

    Energy efficiency will come when it's a good business move, no sooner. When the government mandates spending ~$100 more per machine to make it energy-efficient, the manufacturers will use it as an excuse to charge ~$300 more and ramp up sales. When businesses demand cooler, more energy-efficient servers because it costs them $200/hr to AC the server room and $6000/hr to power all the machines, Intel and AMD will offer them $8000 more expensive CPUs that save them $1000/hr.

    How about you? Worry about your wallet instead of national energy consumption; move to solar water heating, CFLs, a geothermal heat pump, and tack on some solar panels to kill off your electric and heating bill. Your expenses drop by $500/month and the $20,000 you spend pays for itself in about 2 years. If your neighbors want to eat 5 times the power you do, then who cares? They're not important; when the grid can only supply you with a few kWh/month, you can drop in some storage batteries to power your house at night and go fully independent of them.

    I for one am not paying for gas and electric when I buy a house. I'm sealing the leaks; heat-proofing the roof; putting in a custom water heating/heating/power generating solar collector (dense energy collector, my own design, super-efficient); maybe some solar panels if they can outperform my dense energy collector (I can get 35% efficiency for electricity, or sacrifice electricity generation for 90% efficiency heating DIRECTLY from the collector); switching to energy efficient geothermal heat pumps and electrical stove/oven, as well as electrical water heater back-up in case the solar collector can't heat the water. I should overproduce by about 400-900% of what I need (electric; direct, possibly 3 times that if I can make a more efficient system). This is a good business move; I can sell the overproduced power back to the electric company and make money.

  • Stuck pixels (Score:4, Insightful)

    by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @05:39PM (#17355740)
    Can you imagine how aggravating a stuck pixel will be if it's on your HUD or glasses? My friend has an LCD TV with 3 stuck pixels. I understand the conditions which encourage manufacturers not to accept the exchange of a set unless it has 7 or more stuck pixels, but come on; do you know how fleeced my friend feels, knowing that he paid the same amount of money for a display that has 3 glaring defects which affect his viewing pleasure, whereas his other friends paid the same price for a set with no stuck pixels?
  • by wingbat ( 88117 ) on Sunday December 24, 2006 @05:51PM (#17355800)
    You're assuming this can't be combined with the technology behind 3D LCD monitors (already commercial), where each eye sees a different image because of its angle...

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie