Tech Exchange: Optoelectronics/Displays
An interview with Jennifer Davis, Vice President, Marketing at Planar Systems on trends in the optoelectronics and display market.
1. What are some of the major display trends today influencing the global electronics market e.g., consumer electronics, automotive electronics, medical electronics?
A: The trends in global electronics continue to center around industrial design (how the product looks) and user experience (how the product performs). Displays play a key role in both these trends, because the display is most often the “face” of the invention and with the growth of interactive technologies, is often the core of the user experience. In larger format displays, the digital signage marketplace is growing more sophisticated and professionals working in design engineering are realizing now that their display selection matters to the design of their spaces as much as the user experience. Whether it be an ad network at an airport, a lobby display in a hotel or an immersive retail experience, digital signage displays deployed must work within the design of the space overall, must be attractive in its own right, and must perform for its intended application. For example, displays Planar develops for outdoor menu boards for quick serve restaurants are very different than video wall displays deployed in a sports arena, but the commonality is the image experience.
2. How has the design of digital displays been impacted by the increased consumer demand for improved performance, more advanced features – while keeping increase in cost to a minimum?
A: The design of digital displays, like any advanced technology, has been greatly affected by rising consumer expectations. We simply demand more from our technology than ever before and that trend will continue. The super-narrow bezel of Planar’s Clarity™ Matrix LCD Video Wall System is a great example of how consumer demand for improved performance and advanced features has influenced the product’s design. At a reasonable price point, retailers, hotel operators or ad networks can deploy video walls of digital signage that are nearly seamless, are front serviceable and have features that allow for the display of one or many different sources of content on a single video wall, all at an installation depth well within the 4-inch requirement outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to which many public facilities must comply. Designing digital signage to meet these requirements, while providing the advanced features the installation demands, all while keeping the price point to a minimum is a delicate balance – but one that is critical to success in this industry.
3. Has the demand for more rugged displays prolonged the design cycle? Proposed new challenges?
A: Planar has an advantage in this respect because we’ve been building specialty displays for over 28 years so meeting the demands of rugged displays is something that we know well and factor into our design cycles for many product lines. The ability for products to thrive in public venues where they are subject to extreme environmental demands, does pose challenges that are critical to address early in the design process to avoid problems, service expenses and potential downtime in the future.
4. How has the design of optoelectronics and displays changed to meet market demands for miniaturization in wireless communication devices?
A: Today’s displays require less power than ever before, which is enabling whole new applications to emerge, including miniaturization in wireless communication devices. Planar has built upon our pioneering and market-leading efforts in electroluminescent displays to create more applications for this rugged, bright and transparent display technology. These new developments, allow designers and OEMs to consider it for projects that were never before possible with other display technologies.
5. Select a recent product introduction or technology and describe its competitive advantages and how it can benefit designers and OEMs.
A: Planar is a leader in display products utilizing projected capacitive (PCAP) touch technology. We have a 22” PCAP display that is available in both a bezel-free monitor design (PT2285PW monitor) and an open-frame component for embedded applications (our LA2250RTPW). Both boast the most natural multi-touch interface available in the market and the 22” diagonal wide screen allows designers to create user experiences and interface elements that cannot be replicated on smaller displays. The edge of the screen is highly accessible, allowing full Windows 7 compatibility without drivers and enabling unconstrained design options. Kiosk developers, device makers and signage network operators are finding this solution opens up new opportunities for them to create attractive and highly-usable systems that are differentiated in the market and help them grow their businesses.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
January 25, 2012