Screen evolution is under our eyes. Every week some new television is on display making us regretting having bought one last month. If we only waited a bit more…
But there are some evolutions that is not that visible and that will change the way we use screens. One example, I already posted, is the embedding of videocameras (in the plural since there are hundreds of them in a single screen) in the screen itself so that the screen can see how we are watching and adjust the content to our reaction…(of course through an application based somewhere in the television itself or in the network).
Another one is this news from Technology Review. Two researchers groups, one from the University of California, LA, and the other from the University of Michigan, are looking at ways to make use of the back panel lights that is needed for LCD screen. What we see as an image in an LCD screen uses only 5% of the light that is provided by the back panel so it is a very inefficient way of generating an image energy-wise. On the other hands, LCD screen manufacturing is so cheap that they dominate the market.
The researchers have invented a filter that incept the polarized light (that has to be filtered to avoid messing with the LDC image) and rather than cancel it as it occurs with today’s polarizers convert it back into electricity.
Basically, they are transforming an energy wasting component (the polarized filter) into an energy saving one. So far the energy saving is very low, in the order of 3-4 % but they expect to be able to increase it to a 10% soon. Since the screen is the part that consume most energy in television and a good portion in computers, this saving is surely welcome.