Industry News May/June 2015 Issue 3

Apple Watch Hits Market

In late April, the Apple Watch became commercially available in nine countries.  As there are already other smartwatches on the market, and not too many people are convinced that they need those, expectations are that Apple’s entry will have to offer some powerful capabilities in order to succeed.

The early reviews are in, and they are mixed, with many critics describing the device as “ambitious.”  Cnet called it “beautiful and promising,” but decried its short battery life.  “First-gen shortfalls make it feel more like a fashionable toy than a necessary tool,” wrote the reviewer.1  The watch, available in several trims and a variety of colors (Fig. 1) runs from $349 all the way up to $10,000 for custom editions.  This watch also sports Apple’s first-ever OLED display.  In terms of features, it synchs with the iPhone 5 and offers health and fitness capabilities as well as a plethora of other apps.  It has a haptic engine so that the phone can alert you with vibrations or “taps” on your wrist.  And, it tells time.

Fig. 1:   The Apple Watch interface will appear somewhat familiar to anyone who uses an iPhone.


Lytro Opens Light-Field Imaging Studio

Lytro, Inc., has opened what it claims is the world’s first light-field imaging studio.  The new studio, in the fashion district of Tokyo (Fig. 2), will be open to professional photographers and members of the general public who would like to gain some hands-on experience with Lytro’s light-field cameras and software.  The Lytro imaging platform enables users to render multiple outputs, including 3D pictures, from a single exposure by adjusting aperture, point of focus, tilt, perspective shift, depth of field, and animation in both 2D and 3D.

“With its culture of innovation and active photography, fashion, and creative communities, Tokyo is the perfect city to host this studio,” says Jason Rosenthal, CEO of Lytro.

Fig. 2:   The new Lytro studio in the Shibuya district of Tokyo will feature light-field works on display and will also offer demos and training to visitors interested in learning how to use the company’s imaging platform.

C3nano Acquires Silver-Nanowire Supplier Aiden Co.

C3nano, Inc., a maker of transparent conductive films for the touch sensor and display industry, recently announced that it has acquired the major supplier of silver nanowire in Asia, Aiden Co., Ltd., of Korea.  In addition to gaining a vertically integrated silver-nanowire supply for C3nano, the acquisition provides the company with a gateway to the display market in Korea and greater Asia. •

– Jenny Donelan

Product Briefs

Covering all the bases for high-end TVs, AUO recently rolled out a family of 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-in. UHD quantum-dot-enhanced curved LCD TV panels at the China Information Technology Expo in Shenzhen.

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Japan-based DMC Co., Ltd., and Display Solution AG of Germany have released two projected-capacitive touch-screen panels with COF (Chip-on-Foil) technology.  The 7- and 10.1-in. models come with a DMC in-house- developed controller and supporting USB interface.  The touch sensor is a single-ITO type with capacitive multi-touch incorporating XY electrodes on the same glass.

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Tianma NLT America now has a new 8.4-in. XGA TFT-LCD with the company’s “Wet & Glove” projected-capacitive touch sensor bonded to the front.  This enables operation even when the screen is wet and/or the operator is wearing gloves (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3:   Tianma’s new 8.4-in. XGA TFT-LCD provides dry screen tracking, water build-up tracking, and single-glove operation, even in a wet environment.  It can also be used with medical- grade defibrillator gel and ultrasound gel.