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Despite LCDs' dominance, opportunities remain for emerging display technologies, says iSuppli

Bi-stable displays, touch screens and miniature projectors are gaining momentum

By Dennis P. Barker

Digital TV Designline
(12/06/2007 5:06 PM EST)

LCD is the dominant display technology for most electronic products, including televisions, computer monitors, notebook PCs, Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), MP3/Portable Media Players (PMPs) and mobile phones. However, there still is room and a need for emerging display technologies, according to iSuppli Corp.
According to Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for display technology and strategy for iSuppli, "Alternative technologies are still required because they can overcome some of the disadvantages of LCDs, and have some special capabilities that LCDs cannot match. These technologies include touchscreen, bi-stable, near-eye, Head-Up Display (HUD) and miniature projection displays."

Examples of the strong market prospects for such technologies include:

Near-eye display revenue is expected to grow to $724 million by 2012, rising from $209 million in 2007.

The global HUD module market is expected to reach $107 million in revenue by 2012, up from $26 million in 2006.

Mini's might
Consumers love tiny handheld electronic devices, but don't love diminutive displays that can show only infinitesimal images. Because of this, makers of handhelds—including Portable Media Players (PMPs), DVD players and mobile TVs—hope to improve the viewing experience by offering products with pocket/embedded projectors and near-eye displays, also called Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs). Such display solutions not only offer a larger viewing area, but also lower costs, less power consumption and reduced weight and size.

As its name suggests, the near-eye display is designed to be placed on a helmet or visor close to the user's eye, providing a virtual image that is larger than the physical dimensions of the display. HMDs can display a virtual image ranging in size from 20 inches to 100 inches, providing a much more comfortable and compelling viewing experience than the as small as 2-inch displays typically used on mobile phones.

Pocket rocket
The pocket projector market is growing due to the high demand for portable presentation equipment. iSuppli defines pocket projectors as those that weigh less than 2 pounds, or about 0.9 kilograms and have a size smaller than 60 cubic inches, or about 983 cubic centimeters, without a battery.

Pocket projectors are preferred by travelers, because they allow them to deliver presentations to small groups of people instantly, at any time, and in any place required. Most of these projectors can run on batteries.

Commercially available pocket projectors mostly now weigh between 1 and 2 pounds, or 0.45 to 0.9 kilograms. A pocket projector that weighs less than 1 pound is set to come to the market in the fourth quarter.

Heads up
Displays have been used in automobiles for decades, as they can provide information for drivers and entertainment for passengers. Head-Up Displays (HUDs) enhance safety by keeping drivers' eyes on the road. Currently, there are many vehicle manufacturers offering HUDs including General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Honda.

The global HUD module market is expected to reach $107 million in revenue by 2012, up from $26 million in 2006.

There are big growth opportunities for miniature projectors. And with the rear-projection television market losing momentum, microdisplay manufacturers should view this market as an opportunity for growth.


At December 7, 2007 at 6:55 PM Len said...

I wish you good luck with your Pats against the Steelers. But not too much...

I smell victory concerning MVIS. I love the smell of victory in the


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