Updated October 2004

Computer Displays: Roll Up, Paint On and Shrink Down
39 pages

This report examines the current state of computer display technology, organizes key issues and puts them in context, and succinctly explains how the technology works.

The relatively small windows we use as our main means of interaction with computers fall far short of the high-contrast, nuanced, three-dimensional, 360 degree view the real world offers.

Researchers are working to close the gap by making larger, thinner, more flexible flat-panel displays; improving picture brightness, sharpness and contrast; making more realistic three-dimensional displays; and producing foldable electronic paper.

Researchers are also looking for cheaper ways to produce screens. In the not-so-distant future this research could enable enable high-quality video on surfaces as diverse as books, T-shirts, and sides of buildings. Other research efforts are looking to bring to the real world a couple of future technologies previewed in movie special effects: transparent screens a la Minority Report and holographic video like that seen in Star Wars.

The report includes an executive summary, a list of 13 developments to look for as these cutting-edge technologies take shape, and a section of 20 researchers to watch, including links to their Web pages. It also includes a quick tour of 35 recent developments in six areas and a section of 26 in-depth news stories from TRN.

The stories are organized into seven categories: components, plastic electronics, display performance, electronic paper, assembly processes, three-dimensional technologies and display types.

TRN's Making the Future reports contain live links, and can be read on a computer, printed and archived.

Buy the the Computer Displays report for $89.
. You will receive download instructions via email.

Report Sections

Executive Summary:
250 words

Main Report:
4,065 words

How It Works:
1,015 words

In-Depth Stories:
26 stories, including 22 images

Table of Contents:

Main Report
Moving the box outside the box
Cheaper, smaller, transparent
Light-emitting diodes
Reaching for Minority Report
Improving the contrast
Sharpening the image
Flat-panel evolution
Chips and nanotubes
Microscopic machinery
He took his screen out of his pocket and unfolded it...
Paint-on screens
Screens that construct themselves
Making 3D deeper, wider and brighter
Lose the glasses
Right there in the room with you
Look Ma, no screen
Putting it altogether
A bigger, brighter, cheaper future

How It Works

Using mechanics
Electronic ink

In-Depth Story Categories
Plastic electronics
Display performance
Electronic paper
Assembly processes
Three-dimensional technologies
Display types

Take a look at all available Making the Future reports.

View a four-page sample of the Making the Future report (pdf).

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