Archive for March 2011
Posted March 31, 2011on:
When it comes to display technologies nothing says “cool” like a transparent display. While we’ve seen a number of prototypes, such as TDK’s flexible OLED display, pop up at trade shows in the last couple of years, Samsung has announced it has already started mass production of a 22-inch transparent LCD panel. Because they rely on ambient light instead of the usual back lighting, the transparent panels consume 90 percent less electricity than conventional LCD panels. But despite the fact the new panels are starting to roll off the Samsung production lines, it will probably still be a while before transparent panels make it onto our desktops.
Samsung is producing two varieties of transparent LCD panels – a black and white and a color version. Both boast a contrast ratio of 500:1 and resolution of 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA), with the black and white model sporting what Samsung says is the world’s best transparency rate of over 20 percent and the color model claiming a transparency rate of over 15 percent. This compares to the five percent transparency rate of conventional LCD panels. Both panels also incorporate HDMI and USB interfaces.
No doubt reflecting the expected high price of the transparent panels – and possibly while the boffins at Samsung rack their brains for possible everyday home and office applications – Samsung is touting the possibilities for the panels for use in advertising in shop windows and outdoor billboards. It also says corporations and schools could put the panels to use as an interactive communication device.
Unfortunately there’s still no word on when the prototype transparent AMOLED displays Samsung was showing off at CES 2011 will get the same mass-production treatment.
Even though the applications for home/office users may be limited, these things just look so cool we can’t help wanting one. So if anyone can come up with a good use for the technology in the Gizmag offices, please let us know in the comments because we’d love to have an excuse to snap one up when they drop in price.
For the last eight years, German presentations specialist Stereolize has been helping Microsoft do its thing at CeBIT, and every year the company tries to top the previous year’s efforts. For this year’s trade show, the company went super-size – creating 234-inches of diagonal, interactive touchscreen loveliness that towered above the Microsoft presenters and left onlookers having to pick their jaws up off the floor. Read on, to see a short video showing the huge display in action …
Rather than stitch together a number of displays to form a kind of touchscreen wall, Stereolize chose to make one huge display from the biggest piece of security glass available – and even that proved a less than straightforward task. “We found out there is a limit on production size,” Reiner Knollmueller from Stereolize told Gizmag. “Then another limit for transporting it and a third for operating it on a booth environment.”
Even before Microsoft could attempt to build its booth, Stereolize had to erect the custom steel frame and then move in a specially-ordered crane to bring in and mount the high-gloss security glass – which weighed around half a ton – in the frame. “After some meticulous cleaning, a dedicated rear-projection foil was put into a frame and placed gluelessly behind the glass window,” explained Knollmueller. “One of the many characteristics was keeping the frame as minimal as possible in order to create an almost borderless display impression.”
In a forest of tubes eight metres high in eastern Spain scientists hope they have found the fuel of tomorrow: bio-oil produced with algae mixed with carbon dioxide from a factory.
Almost 400 of the green tubes, filled with millions of microscopic algae, cover a plain near the city of Alicante, next to a cement works from which the C02 is captured and transported via a pipeline to the “blue petroleum” factory.
The project, which is still experimental, has been developed over the past five years by Spanish and French researchers at the small Bio Fuel Systems (BFS) company.
At a time when companies are redoubling their efforts to find alternative energy sources, the idea is to reproduce and speed up a process which has taken millions of years and which has led to the production of fossil fuels.
“We are trying to simulate the conditions which existed millions of years ago, when the phytoplankton was transformed into oil,” said engineer Eloy Chapuli. “In this way, we obtain oil that is the same as oil today.”
The microalgae reproduces at high speed in the tubes by photosynthesis and from the CO2 released from the cement factory.
Every day some of this highly concentrated liquid is extracted and filtered to produce a biomass that is turned into bio-oil.
The other great advantage of the system is that it is a depollutant — it absorbs the C02 which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
“It’s ecological oil,” said the founder and chairman of BFS, French engineer Bernard Stroiazzo-Mougin, who worked in oil fields in the Middle East before coming to Spain.