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Next Generation LCD Screens Display 3D Images Without Electricity


rewritablelcdFuture LCD screens might not require continuous power to project and maintain images. What is more, the new technology might even allow display in 3D. Does it sound like a sci-fi story? Well, it isn’t. There is even a functioning prototype to demonstrate the feasibility.

Thinking of what the technology of the future might look like, I imagine one of these ultra-thin 3D screens that have all sorts of functions and always seem incredible when they make it in a futuristic movie set. Now, a team of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology managed to develop this exact technology, which in the eyes of many might seem as something that would never have become real.

Published in the latest issue of the journal Optics Letters,  the guys present an optically rewritable 3D LCD, which is not only ultra thin, but also works without the need of constant electrical supply. Unlike any of its ancestors, this new type of LCD technology does not have electrodes. In addition, instead of using a constant electrical current to produce the image, this invention only needs a flash of light and polarized filters to create the visual 3D effect.

The team built a prototype to prove that the technology is really feasible. Although it is still in its very early stages of development, the researchers are convinced that as it is right now, it could already be used in devices, which display a single image for a significant period of time, let’s say ebook readers. In addition, the low power consumption allows storage of an image for a good couple of years.

There is still quite a bit to be done on the technology. For example, as it is now it could only display images in gray scale. Among other limitations that still remain and should be dealt is also the refresh time between individual images, which does not allow the display of videos. However, because the fabrication of the device is simple, the team is convinced that they will be able to easily improve the speed of image display and add color.

Image (c) Abhishek Kumar Srivastava

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