Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Big Changes Come in Small Packages

From the desk of Lee Distad's Professional Opinions:

One of the hottest stories on the daily tech e-newsletters today is Sharp’s demonstration at CEATEC JAPAN 2007 of a new 12.7-inch LCD display that is only 20mm (less than an inch) thick.

Sharp’s announcement follows on the heels of last month’s declaration by Sony that they will be bringing a similar sized OLED panel to market this Christmas.

The biggest flat panels often hog all the attention at trade shows and media events. Witness the arms race of the last few years between Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic, and LG to show off bigger and bigger LCD and plasma displays. In fact the same press release that trumpets Sharp’s new super thin panel is dominated by the announcement of their 108-inch LCD panel (the subtext there being “Take THAT, Panasonic!”).

While the competition to build bigger panels is fun to watch, and certainly important to technological development, it’s almost a sideshow compared to what may be the main event: better, brighter, thinner, more energy efficient displays.

While the sizes may be unexciting, the leaps that are being made in LCD and OLED are going to be earthshaking, and will have a huge impact on devices with displays, from phones and pocket computers (will there even be two different categories in three year’s time?) to kitchen appliances, onwards to obvious things like laptop monitors and, of course, televisions.

Besides, today it’s a 12-inch display that’s less than an inch thick. Tomorrow it might be a 70-inch television hanging on your wall that’s no thicker. Now are you excited?

I can’t resist drawing a parallel to 65-million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The thunder lizards may have been mighty indeed, but the future was being made closer to the ground, as tiny little mammals began to proliferate.

So yes, sometimes very small things are a prelude to big changes. (For more of Lee Distad's Professional Opinions)

1 comment:

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Sharp developed a 20mm thin 50" LCD prototype as well: recall this previous post