Thinking Outside the Rectangle: The Display Revolution
It’s been nearly 40 years since the laptop first appeared in the world. One of the most important factors that allowed the invention of the laptop, which started with the idea of carrying the computer, is the advent of the display and the battery.
The battery eliminated the need for the power cable, and the “liquid crystal” LCD changed the entire framework of the big and heavy CRT monitors.
The so-called “wall-mounted TV,” which began to spread rapidly around the time of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, quickly replaced the bulky CRT TV. The technological advancement of LCD and plasma-based PDP played an essential role in this shift. Now, the “wall-mounted TV” is no longer just a trendy word,as OLED has made it possible to produce a TV as slim as paper.This thin, lightweight display affects the form and accessibility of the device, not only for laptops, but also the tablet, the smartphone and the car.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the evolution of computers and TV began with the display. The display affects many components of producing a device. The display is not only the most important factor in determining the size and design of the device but also the power consumption and the image quality of the output. Better displays not only produce better devices, but they also create products that have never existed before.
[Imagination for Hardware Trapped in a Display]
One of the most promising aspects of next generation display technologies, including OLED, is not only that they produce better image quality, but also how they will create new products from their distinct characteristics. Some are being established, while others make us wonder how they can be used, but diversity stimulates demand and imagination.
Nearly every device we encounter in everyday life, large or small, has computers. With the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), the role of the computer is becoming increasingly significant. Any computer should be able to communicate with users in whatever way possible. Recently, speech recognition technology is a leading example. But the most visible component is the screen. It is the most familiar way to show the information on the screen and to deliver commands by tapping the touch screen. The display is essential for intuitive delivery of messages.
But the display is also the most paradoxical component. Demand for large screens is high, but the size soon determines the design of the device. LCD’s largest contribution has allowed us to combine displays with many devices. But when you think about it,LCD has created the stereotype that screens as rectangular in the same way that CRT did in the past. While we were still accustomed to LCD, we encountered a curved display and even a bent or folded display. Some of these new displays can be made with LCDs, but many of them really require new display technologies. Some also demand that we must utilize the characteristics of the new display.
Anyhow, OLED is the display technology that is having the biggest impact on the industry at the moment. In OLED, the points that form the screen emit light and color on their own without a back light. The shape of the display depends on where and how these diodes are placed, a process called deposition. When the OLED is deposited on curved glass, they become curved displays, and when deposited on a soft plastic, they become flexible displays that can be bent freely.
So far, most OLED products are still rectangular, but if a screen can be folded or bent, it means any form of no_expression can be used as a screen. The possibilities include surfaces like mirrors or transparent windows, surfaces that we couldn’t think of as displays before.
[The Mesmerizing New Display Technology]
The basic principle of an OLED is that each diode directly represents a pixel. This property allows a better no_expression of color and brightness. Two pixels attached side by side do not interfere with each other as they emit their own colors. This characteristic also influences the type of content created for different displays.
Display technology is one of the components of virtual reality (VR). Though the ideal VR display is a hologram, it is technically difficult to produce at this time. As of 2018, the most realistic display is OLED. Almost all of the virtual reality headsets we wear on our heads use OLED displays.
The clear reason is the rapid response times offered by OLED. With virtual reality headsets, the user moves their head to look in the desired direction. If the screen does not properly follow their movement or afterimage occurs, the user experiences dizziness because it disrupts the correspondence of balance and vision. OLED is less disruptive because it refreshes faster and responds in real-time more effectively than LCD. In addition, since the display can be made transparent, it can be used for augmented reality (AR) devices that combine reality and virtual content, not only in VR devices that block your view of reality. As response time, transparency, and slimness are the basic qualities of OLED, when the resolution becomes higher and the price cheaper, the technology related to virtual reality will become a fully developed platform.
The new display technology also creates an opportunity to enter into environments where there wasn’t a screen at all before. The most recent trend in automotive interior design is adding screens. The automobile industry used to be concerned about including navigation systems in cars due to safety issues, but the now that the stability has improved and sensitive issues such as screen response time have been resolved, information display components in cars are being replaced with displays. This also has to do with the response time of the OLED and the fact that display can be made flexible.
[A Vessel for Better Image Quality]
One of the changes occurring as the display evolves is in the content. The biggest issue that hit the TV market around 2010 was 3D. When you wear 3D glasses, the world inside the TV screen pops out as if it is actually right in front of you. It was a technology that has continued to be developed since long ago, but the movie Avatar jump started the boom. That interest moved into the home as 3D TV. What made it possible were displays such as polarized light and shutter glasses. Although interest in 3D TV is waning at the moment, the content industry always are always looking for new display and video formats, because producers have the desire to communicate exactly what they envision in their minds to viewers.
Recently, dynamic range has become an important issue. Most of the videos we are currently watching use a color profile called Rec.709. It is the color space that emerged when the concept of HDTV first emerged in 1990. However, this color space is far from expressing actual color. A TV may look a bit blurry in comparison to a monitor because of this color space. Instead, the display evolved to represent a wider range of colors. In order to compensate for the gap between them, recently emerging TVs use a dedicated image processor that directly adjusts the color and creates clear pictures. But this is still not true color.
Of course, proper color standards are a concern. The TV industry is setting new standards for color. Currently, Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG are used as standard technologies,which are slightly different but all show bright spots brighter, dark spots darker, and more realistic colors. When the sun is shining on the surface of a car, it is dazzling to the eye, and the hair of a black cat hiding in a dark place is expressed as subtly and delicately as possible.
Currently, HDR images can be played through platforms such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon, and consoles including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as recently released PCs. However, it is still a problem that there are not many displays that can express these images properly. In particular, the distinguishing factor of HDR videos is in expressing bright and dark screens without issues, but LCD is limited in image no_expression as it uses a back light. OLED technology, on the other hand, can express extreme contrasts such as a candle lit in a dark room because each pixel of the screen is self-illuminating. Behind the standardization of HDR in production and transmission specifications is the advent of the OLED display, since the objective to express perfect black and white is how HDR came to fruition. In order to increase the number of images produced by HDR, this display needs to be popularized in the market, and the only commercialized technology that can adequately express its qualities at the moment is OLED.
To this day, the display itself has limited the imagination of content and devices. The technological direction of next-generation displays is in creating free-form shapes and thicknesses and displaying more realistic content on the screen. It’s no surprise that many companies are thirsty for new display technologies. It was from the evolution of displays such as OLED where technological opportunities arose for virtual reality, HDR, and automobile dashboards. Interestingly, the potential of OLED display technology is not limited to the improvement of image quality. As LCD replaced the fat CRT and led to changes in devices, OLED will lead the imagination of the next generation. This is probably why OLED was named “the next-generation display”.