Trying to use a tablet or smartphone while outside in direct sunlight can be a frustrating experience, even with the display on maximum brightness. Japan Display, a merger of Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba’s small and medium size LCD panel businesses launched in April 2012, has come up with a solution to this problem. The company has created a low-power, paper-like LCD display that uses reflected light much like E-Ink found in devices such as the Kindle, but is capable of displaying full color video.
A liquid crystal layer is sandwiched between the rear reflective layer and the top “Light Control Layer.” Light reflected from the rear electrode passes through the liquid crystal layer, which produces a monochrome image, before color filters in the top Light Control Layer add color. The end result is a color LCD panel with a paper-like quality.
The design is also highly power efficient, which is another reason we may see this display technology making its way into smartphones and tablets in the near future. Japan Display demonstrated its new screens at the FPD International 2012 exhibition in Japan last week: