OnQ Blog

Displays Getting Touchy

Aug 12, 2010

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

I’m back to answer the questions about mirasol® displays that keep you up at night. Tuesday we addressed questions about how “front-light” technology enables users to view mirasol displays in conditions with little or no light. Now it’s time to get in “touch” with mirasol’s sensitive side.

This year’s SID (the annual conference for display-industry types) was all about a number of the most game-changing display innovations today. Striking though, was how in the span of just a few years, touch-screen technology has become seemingly pervasive. This is not surprising for anyone following trends in consumer technology. Display Search sums it up nicely in their 2010 Touch Panel Market Analysis:

  • Total touch-screen shipments increased 29% Y/Y in 2009 to 606 million units.
  • 376 million touch-screens were shipped for mobile phone applications in 2009, which represents 25.6% penetration of the overall mobile phone market.
  • 2010 will be the first time that projected capacitive touch technology surpasses resistive in market size.

So the question I’m so often posed is, can mirasol displays be touch-enabled? We’re so different than from other display technologies. But when it comes to incorporating mainstream technologies like touch, mirasol displays can integrate with minimal impact on performance.

Just recently at SID, we showed two types of touch-screen technology integrated with mirasol displays: project capacitive and optical touch. Since 2010, projective capacitive is the current industry standard, while optical touch technology is an emerging approach that utilizes infrared to pinpoint where on the display a user is touching.

One other important thing to remember about integrating touch, and something I’m not sure a lot of people consider, is the necessary role a fast refresh rate plays in a flawless touch experience. A display technology that takes too long to refresh can be frustrating to a user. So not only can a mirasol display support touch technology, but it has the fast response time to make it an enjoyable experience for the user.

In our minds, it’s a necessity for the next generation of e-reader displays to be able to support touch screen capabilities. These demo videos from SID not only show the ease with which these technologies integrate with mirasol, but they also illustrate that mirasol displays are in “touch” with consumer demand for touch.

If you have any other questions, technology or otherwise, send them on in and check back soon for a response.

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