Nits, Bits and Other Tidbits – Takeaways from SID’s Display Week 2018

By Marty Shindler
Published 06/15/2018
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Display Week has become one of my favorite trade shows and conferences. It is of reasonable size and is future thinking in a technology sector with a vast ecosystem of companies which impacts all of us in one way shape or form on both a daily and continuous basis.

CES is still the granddaddy of shows. Its wide range of exhibitors, combined with the ever-expanding definition of what constitutes consumer electronics, is compelling, but can be overwhelming.

As a follow up to Through The Looking Glass – Futuring Displays For Story Telling, this blog is intended as a quick read of tidbits that intrigued us – the nits and bits of the technology showcased in the era of display ubiquity.

Nits – Defined as “a measure of light emitted per unit area, this unit is frequently used to specify the brightness of a display device,” this term rolls off the tongues of the many screen manufacturers.

Over the years the industry evolved from CRT and other low-resolution displays/TVs, to the brighter displays of today. These displays are found in all manner of product, from phones and watches to retail displays, in autos and as noted in Through the Looking Glass, the very large displays which may soon be found in local movie multiplexes.

Those CRTs of yesteryear have evolved from standard definition to high definition – 2K – to ultra-high definition – UHD/4K – and now UHD with high dynamic range (HDR).

What started as the one off 8K display seen at CES several years ago from NEC and Sharp, is now more prevalent and most of the manufacturers are planning to add them to their product lines. In fact, 8K TVs are now being sold in both Japan and China.

The Olympics, always a showcase for new technology, will be broadcast in 8K at least in Japan where the 2020 Olympics is being held. Will we see that in the US by that time? Probably not.

If you think the terms are confusing, imagine being Dennis the Menace and having to deal with the alphabet circus. Other terms that are quickly entering our lexicon include LED, microLED, OLED, QLED and QD among others. These “terms of the future” will be an every day part of the vocabulary of tomorrow, for you, Dennis and the rest of the global community.

Bits – The world has gone digital and has become the basis for electronic communications. The term IoT – internet of things – has become a commonly used phrase. IoV – the Internet of Vehicles – is a subset of IoT.

While not yet as pervasive a term, given the future of autonomous vehicles and in vehicle entertainment, we’ll be seeing, and using, the term IoV increasingly. 5G is central to this deployment, and with 69 million cars to be connected by 2022 according to one presenter at the SID Business Conference, it is easy to see why.

In fact, our belief is that in due time, meaning the next few years, 5G will hasten the cord cutting phenomenon that is rankling the content and distribution business as disruption in the marketplace takes hold.

Tidbits – Following are quick takeaways, tidbits of information gleaned from the presentations at the Business Conference and in signage and conversations on the exhibit hall floor:

  • Ecosystem – SID’s Display Week’s Exhibit Hall shows the extensive nature of the supply chain. The number of companies – and related jobs created – by any one product such as our smartphones or laptops, is indicative of the extent of the industry. From R&D to manufacturing, to testing components and on to the final products, the industry is vibrant.
  • Corning – 8K is going to be commercialized. Corning also showed its Gorilla Glass 5 with enhanced drop performance. Anyone that has dropped a phone that did not break, can thank Gorilla Glass. Corning is working with Apple in a new factory to reach the day when all glass is a display.
  • NPD Research – NPD reports that contrary to the belief that younger folks watch small screens all the time, the sales of 55” screens, the largest single size of large TVs being sold in 2017, is being driven by the 25 – 54 age demographic. NPD data also shows that 40” and above displays have experienced more than double digit sales growth since mid-April, attributable to the growing economy.
  • Bendable and flexible – Several manufacturers are showing bendable, flexible and rollable displays. One company stated that theirs can be folded 300,000 times without failure.
  • Biometrics – Facial recognition & thumb/fingerprint recognition are becoming increasingly commonplace as a part of innovative biometrics that drive security in our devices. Voice recognition is a factor, too, but that is more software than hardware related. These technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pervasive.
  • Replacement cycles – Notwithstanding the increases in larger TVs, replacement cycles are slowing down. Think of how long your HDTV, smartphone or laptop lasts these days. Due to better components and smarter manufacturing, the need to replace has slowed. That said, when replacements are made, the consumer is still buying the next best thing.
  • VR/AR – Virtual reality headsets and related tech was not as prevalent as one might have expected. AR had, as expected, more of a presence. Both technologies have a ways to go before becoming commonplace, with lower price points and better displays a fundamental part of that.
  • 3D & haptic – We have been following Dimenco, a Netherlands based company, for many years, starting many years ago with what we considered to be the very best autostereo monitor. At Display Week they showed an 8K 3D autostereo monitor with simulated reality and haptic feedback that was quite compelling.

The foregoing is just a snapshot of Display Week that caught my attention. Were you there? If you were, let me know what you found most interesting as well as future thinking.

Post script – Although not on display at SID, the new MSG Sphere in Las Vegas may be the biggest and brightest of them all when it opens in a few years. According to the Las Vegas Review – Journal, “the venue’s exterior will be fully programmable, housing a 170,000-square-foot spherical digital indoor display.

About the author: Marty Shindler is the CEO of iShindler, a husband and wife advisory team with credentials that includes a Big 4 (Coopers of PriceWaterhouseCoopers), top 5 business school (Sloan at MIT) and hands on experience at 20th Century Fox, MGM, Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, Kodak’s Cinesite and Bank of America. Mr. Shindler may be reached at Follow him @MartyShindler

© 2018 The Shindler Perspective, Inc.