The display industry is evolving faster than ever. Since it’s always exciting to look into what the future may bring in terms of innovation, we decided to take a peak. This article brings together the most promising display technologies for the near future. Naturally, we’re not only looking at the most innovative ones but also those that promise to reshape the industry in the long run.
Here’s a list of the most important display trends that are going to accelerate in 2021 and beyond.
1. OLED displays
Most of our handheld devices are already equipped with OLED technology. OLED displays promise to transform the entire industry during the next few years. They’re thinner, faster, and simply better than their alternatives.
Experts predict that within the next few years, OLED displays will become commonplace in our TVs after conquering the smartphone and tablet scene. Every major display manufacturer is today researching the OLED technology and estimating how it will impact the market.
Manufacturers can produce OLED displays that are thin, transparent, and even bendable that might revolutionize our entire perception of display technologies. Such displays can become part of window glass or textile.
Just imagine this: OLED displays can be paper-thin and totally flexible. That’s why they might open up entirely novel markets and allow manufacturers to develop product categories that we’re not even able to imagine yet.
2. Haptic technologies
Touch and haptic technologies promised to reshape the industry – and now they deliver on that promise. Touchscreens used to be non-existent, and today we can see them across the entire line of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Finding a phone without the touchscreen is next to impossible. And believe it or not, but it all started a few years ago when the first iPhone came equipped with capacitive touch technology and multi-touch.
So, where does touch technology go from here? One of the most interesting next steps is haptic technology. In such a touchscreen, manufacturers add a separate layer that provides feedback to the user’s fingers when they touch the screen.
In other words, haptic touch displays can imitate physical buttons and textures dynamically on the screen surface. A device like that could make buttons or surfaces appear all over the place on the screen – and imitate physical keyboard buttons.
The possibilities of haptic technologies are mind-boggling, especially when you take gaming into account. But their value goes way beyond entertainment. It also promises to solve one serious accessibility issue: the fact that people with visual disabilities find using a touchscreen device challenging.
3. Virtual reality and augmented reality
VR and AR are constantly on the brink of exploding, but this year we will finally see them blossom.
But first, what are VR and AI? And how do they differ from one another? Virtual reality (VR) refers to a virtual world – for example, in a movie or a game. Augmented reality means adding layers of virtual content on top of the real world. As you can imagine, they both involve some kind of display technology.
The most popular one is Google Glass, where a small device projects visual information directly into the user’s eye. Google Glass is not really a screen but a mini projector located in front of the eye. Such a device brings many opportunities – from tourists being guided around the city to surgeons using Augmented Reality tools during procedures.
Virtual reality is much more about gaming and movies. The main idea is to take users into the virtual world. That’s why virtual reality evolves in line with display technologies. For example, OLED displays are expected to make virtual reality finally a success. Paper-thin and curved displays could provide a truly immersive experience to users playing games or watching movies without making them feel nauseous.
4. Higher pixel density
High resolutions are already part of our smartphones and tablets, but now they’re coming to desktop monitors and TVs as well. Resolution is measured in pixel density (pixels per inch).
Now imagine the new 4K Ultra HD TVs with an extremely high pixel density. How will these technologies impact consumers? What exactly enables such a high resolution? Pixel density depends on transistors that are part of all display panels and give each pixel an individual voltage level. The idea is to come up with a display substrate that can enable much smaller and faster transistors – that’s what creates displays with higher pixel density.
The new transistor technologies will impact not only LCD panels but also all the displays and plasma TVs. It seems that higher resolution is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and a lot of developments in the industry focus on it today.
5. Intelligent displays
Another powerful trend in display technology is smart displays like EVE4 displays. Why are they so revolutionary? Displays like EVE4 use a communication protocol that allows effective data interchange between the graphics controller and touch panel.
Thanks to that, the display already has the right graphical libraries, so there is no need to buy a separate processor with a controller and connect it to the display. As a result, the communication with the display is carried out through the SPI interface.
If you want to display a picture, you only need to send it once because it will be stored in the built-in memory. Smart displays like EVE4 will be used in a variety of sectors, from industrial equipment and public space elements like kiosks to medical devices or even military equipment.
In short, the year 2021 was an interesting one for the display industry. As trends come and go, we believe that these technologies are here to stay and will have a profound impact on both manufacturers and consumers.