What Is Smart Display Technology
A smart display is a device that can connect and interact with its user and other connected devices. It is a monitor that can be connected wirelessly and requires little or no keyboard activity. The increased penetration of smartphones has enabled the use of smart home technology. In addition, the smart home industry is projected to experience a significant boost as the number of smartphone users increase worldwide. Due to their applications in smart homes for controlling lighting, fans, surveillance cameras, TV, etc., AI-powered smart displays will lead to considerable investments.
History Of Smart Display Technology
The cathode ray tube (CRT) was the first projection technology, and despite being inefficient, cumbersome, strong and full of toxic waste materials, it lasted an incredibly long time and helped shape the 20th century. CRTs coat the screen with phosphor, includes red, green and blue zones and glows when hit by an electron beam fired from an electron gun through a phenomenon called phosphorescence.
The firing mechanism in a CRT has masks that isolate red, green and blue parts of the image to be displayed. The input for these masks is a combination of focusing coils, electron guns and deflection coils. The intensity and position of the output of respective electron guns are controlled by the electronic circuitry driven by the image data.
Electroluminescence was discovered in 1907. Henry Joseph Round, a British radio scholar, discovered electroluminescence, a natural phenomenon that is a light that does not create heat. This was the basis for LEDs–light emitting diodes–which are a much more effective means of generating light than incandescent bulbs. While incandescent bulbs are cheap, their main disadvantage is they use much more energy compared to LEDs.
The LED came into existence in the early 1960s. Although initially lacking in effectiveness and color choices, LED technologies have since made enormous strides and are the light source of the future. Nick Holonyack invented the first LED that is visible to the human eye, and he became known as the father of the LED. The invention of LCD and plasma came in 1964, when both the first working liquid crystal display (LCD) and the first plasma display panel (PDP) were invented, but it would be some time before these devices were in common use LCDs came to dominate due to mass manufacturing, while plasma screens were constrained due to their heavier weight.
The crystals used in LCDs are in an intermediate state, that is, between a perfectly liquid and a perfectly solid state. This ambiguity means that although the molecules in the crystal can always maintain their relative orientation, they are not rigidly held into their positions. Pixels filled with these liquid crystals form the basic building blocks of LCDs. These pixels are arranged between transparent electrodes.
There is also a pair of polarizing filters with axes perpendicular to each other. Liquid crystals can thus change orientation when exposed to electrical energy, thermal energy or simple mechanical pressure. The molecules’ change in orientation results in the alteration of transmission of light passing through them. In short, the application of energy to liquid crystals can be utilized to govern the transmission of light through them.
A simple LCD arrangement consists of a liquid crystal layer sandwiched between a pair of polarized surfaces, mainly glass, with orientations perpendicular to each other. The liquid crystal used in LCDs is said to bear a nematic arrangement of molecules. The nematic arrangement resembles a twisted helix similar to that of human DNA. Incident energy on these molecules causes them to untwist or detangle.
The change of alignment is accompanied by a change in light transmission characteristics. For example, polarized sunglasses allow light to pass through them only after the polarization of the light matches that of the glass. When the light passes the first of the glasses in the polarized pair, its polarization syncs with the glass.
Eastman Kodak researchers developed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, an innovation in electroluminescence, in 1987. OLEDs are thin, compact and remarkably small relative to LEDs. The technology progressed further to challenge LCDs with improved blacks and a thinner profile, as well as no need for a rigid substrate.
LCD dethroned plasma in 2007. Due to their large size and lower cost, LCD televisions surpassed plasma as consumers’ and manufactuers’ first choice. LED technologies continued to improve, and LED-backlit LCDs won the market. OLED technologies continue to improve and are getting ready to challenge LCD with better blacks–even better than plasma–and thinner, less rigid profiles.
Active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes (AMOLEDs) take OLEDs a step further with increased resolution and infinite contrast ratio. In TVs and phones, OLED is being used, as the backlight is gone and the display is no longer rigid. These OLEDs are also available in a flexible format.
Additional Intel On Smart Displays
- Download an overview of our report, Smart Displays: Global Markets.
- Check out our Innovation Spotlight, Future of Displays.