We saw some fancy panels and flashy lights on the show floor at SID this week, but Sony decided to keep its latest display offerings tucked away in an academic meeting. We’re getting word today from Tech-On! that the outfit unveiled a 13.3-inch sheet of flexible color e-paper as well as two new glasses-free 3D panels in a separate session at the conference. New e-paper solutions loomed large at SID, but we were surprised by the lack of flexible screens. Sony’s managed to deliver both on a display that weighs only 20 grams and measures a mere 150-microns thick, a feat made possible by the use of a plastic substrate. The sheet boasts a 13-percent color gamut, 10:1 contrast ratio, and 150dpi resolution.
As for the 3D LCD displays, Sony joined a slew of other manufacturers in showing off its special brand of the panels. These new displays, ranging from 10-inches to 23-inches, apparently employ a new method for delivering 3D to the naked eye. This particular method uses a backlight positioned between an LCD panel and another backlight for 2D images, and can be easily be switched off for 2D viewing. Of course we would have liked to see these screens in the flesh, but alas, Sony decided to play coy. Hop on past the break for a shot of the new 3D panel.
By Dana Wollman
Don’t you hate it when the guy next to you on the subway is looking over your shoulder, watching you screw up in Fruit Ninja? Well, Apple could have predicted your discomfort — back in November 2009, before the iPad was anything more than a unicorn, the company applied for a patent on an LCD display with adjustable viewing angles, explicitly designed to “shield the display away from unintended viewers.” According to the filing, the display would include steering modules made of liquid crystal material, which aim the so-called scattering modules that sit on top of them. The top layer then redirects the light, making it possible to narrow down and alter the viewing angle. The patent specifically calls out cellphones and laptops, paving the way for discreet displays on MacBooks and iPhones, though the broad phrase “other portable electronic devices” leaves plenty of room for iPads and iPod Touches. No word, of course, on when or if Apple will secure this patent and if so, what devices might incorporate such screens. We may just be seeing this concept go public now, but it seems consumers could use this even more today than they did back in the fall of ’09, when all they had to worry about was a stranger squinting at their 3GS’ 3.5-inch screen.