Thursday, March 20, 2008

Digital Signage

Digital Signage is among the quickest growing communication media, which enable brands to communicate directly to responsive captive audience at the point of sale. In-fact it is a revolutionary technique in advertising that will finally surpass conventional methods in the long run. Keeping the growing needs in mind, retail chains are translating the static advertising and brand messages into internal digital signage providing real time to prospective customers.

Interactive Digital Signage:

Suppose you are strolling with your friend in a mall. There is a digital signage displaying up some ad and someone is standing in-front of it. All of a sudden the digital signage alters its content that appeals to you, for instance an advertisement offering discount on an IPod. You at once, took out your cell phone, activate your blue tooth to make a connection to the display screen and copy it your phone.

Thereafter, you will be surprised to see how your cell navigates to the location where you can purchase it at discount rates. This is the recent trend in the digital signage where consumer profiling is carried out on the basis of customers’ interaction history and buying pattern.

Enhanced familiarity:

Since Digital Signage is designed by companies possessing several years of software experience and marginal retail store background, the software provided by them is cutting edge but lacks precise and targeted content. Therefore, business owners should verify the credentials of the digital signage firms who can provide remarkable copies along with state-of-the-art technology.

Point of sale:

Businesses are increasingly making efforts to build up digital signage software to sustain their presence in the transforming advertising world. The aim is to create state-of-the-art software that will attract massive number of prospective customers for no matter what products or information a firm you want to endorse.

Point of sale advertising is a great tool for retail market as 60% of purchase decisions are made by the consumers while they are in the shop. Therefore, it is imperative to adopt for a judiciously executed consumer centered digital signage. Brand recollection and enhanced sales easily comes with a digital signage solution.

Make sure you go for a digital signage solution firm who understand and meet your needs by delivering quality, value-added solutions.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Creating an LCD

A proper blend of following features makes LCD possible: Polarization of light, liquid crystals can broadcast and vary polarized light, the structure of liquid crystals can be altered with the help of electric current, transparent substances can conduct electricity.

To produce an LCD you need two pieces of polarized glass. A special polymer that forms microscopic grooves in the surface is rubbed on the side of the glass that does not posses the polarizing film on it. Add a coating of nematic liquid crystals to a filter. The grooves will bring the first layer of molecules bring into line, within the filter’s direction. Thereafter, adjoin the second piece of glass with polarizing film at an angle of 90 degree to the first piece. Every consecutive layer of TN molecules will slowly twist until the uppermost layer is at 90 degree angle to the bottom, corresponding to the polarized glass filters.
When the light strikes the first filter, it is polarized. The molecules present in every layer then direct the light they obtain to the subsequent layer. When light pass over the liquid crystal layers, the molecules alter the lights plane of vibration to suit their own angle. As the light reaches the far side of the liquid crystal substance, it vibrates at the similar angle as the absolute layer of the molecules. If the concluding layer matches with the second polarized glass filter, the light will definitely pass through it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The State-of-the-Art in Display Technology

A display technology that uses rod-shaped molecules (liquid crystals) which flow like liquid and bend light. Unenergized, the crystals direct light through two polarizing filters, allowing a natural background color to show. When energized, they redirect the light to be absorbed in one of the polarizers, causing the dark appearance of crossed polarizers to show. The more the molecules are twisted, the better the contrast and viewing angle. There are three types of LSDs:

1. Transmissive LCDs

In transmissive construction, all of the light seen by the user comes through the LCD from the backlight. Most LCDs used in portable computers today are transmissive. A transmissive
LCD looks good indoors and is typically completely black (unreadable) in direct sunlight. The reason is that sunlight is up to 1,000 times brighter than LCD's backlight, so the reflection of sunlight from the surface of the LCD overwhelms any light coming through the LCD.

Portable computer manufacturers such as Amrel, Intermec, Itronix, Microslate, Panasonic, Xplore and others all claim to have "daylight-readable transmissive LCDs" in their laptop or tablet products. Given the above, how do they do it? One of two basic ways: (a) increase the brightness of the backlight, or (b) modify the LCD to reduce the amount of ambient light that's reflected. See the sidebar on "Making Transmissive TFTs Work Outdoors" for more details.

2. Transflective LCDs

Transflective construction starts with a transmissive LCD and adds a partially reflective mirror layer between the LCD and the backlight. Depending on the LCD manufacturer, the mirror layer can be either a half-silvered mirror or a full mirror with tiny holes punched in it. When a transflective LCD is used indoors, it is illuminated by the backlight just like a transmissive LCD, except that the mirror layer blocks some of the light. When a transflective LCD is used outdoors, ambient light reflects off the mirror layer and illuminates the LCD. Note that outdoors, light has to go through the LCD twice, once on the way in and once on the way out. This tends to makes the outdoor performance of a transflective LCD not as good as the indoor performance, where the light only has to go through the LCD once.

The balance between outdoor and indoor performance can be adjusted during manufacture of the LCD by varying the reflectivity of the mirror layer. For example, the mirror layer might be set to reflect 60% and transmit 40% of the light.

This means that if the normal indoor brightness of the LCD is 130 nits, only 52 nits (40% of 130) is transmitted from the backlight through the mirror layer and the LCD. Outdoors, 60% of the light hitting the mirror layer is reflected, but since the light has to go through the LCD twice, the user actually sees less. A transflective LCD is therefore by definition a compromise. It can never be as bright as a transmissive LCD indoors, and it can never be as bright as a reflective LCD outdoors.

3. Reflective LCDs

A reflective LCD always has a fully reflective mirror layer. All light used to view the LCD, whether it's ambient light or from a frontlight, goes through the LCD, bounces off the mirror layer and goes through the LCD again. (See the sidebar on "Light Guides" for an explanation of how frontlights work.) Since the light still has to go through the LCD (and the frontlight) twice, even though the mirror reflectivity is 100%, the outdoor performance of a reflective TFT with frontlight is generally slightly worse than a transflective TFT (assuming that the same technology is used in both). Indoors, since a frontlight is not as efficient as a backlight, and the light still has to go through the LCD twice, the performance of a reflective TFT with frontlight is again slightly worse than a transflective TFT (once more assuming that the same technology is used in both). -

Based in Silicon Valley, Geoff Walker is a consultant with Walker Mobile. Geoff has worked on the engineering and marketing of pen computers since 1990 at GRiD Systems, Fujitsu Personal Systems (now Fujitsu PC) and Handspring.

Selecting a Touch Screen Technology

The touch screen technology is the in-thing for computers and mobiles that are made sleek and cozy for attraction. Touch-screen monitors have become more of a commonplace today and their price is too witnessing a sharp fall. The latest technology includes four main divisions: they are-- resistive, capacitive, SAW (surface acoustic wave) and infrared. Though each technology varies from one another the first two technologies are said to be the most popular ones as far as industrial applications are concerned.

If the application requires that operators have to wear gloves while using the touch screen, then resistive technology is generally recommend. Because of its sheer convenience, the touch screen technology solutions have been applied more and more to industrial applications and other products and services. Resistive technology offers excellent durability and resolution. It is used in a variety of applications.

Resistive touch screens deliver cost-effective and consistently durable performance in environments where equipment must stand up to contaminants and liquids, such as in restaurants, factories, and hospitals. Because of only 75% optical transparency there is a possibility of a sharp object damaging the resistive layers is likely. It forms as one of the greatest disadvantages.

A touch screen is a computer display screen that becomes sensitive to human touch. Thus, it allows a user to interact with the computer by touching pictures or words on the screen. Touch screen devices are used with information kiosks, computer-based training devices or systems designed to help individuals who cannot manage a mouse or keyboard. A touch screen kit consists of a touch screen panel, a controller, and a software driver.

Capacitive touch screen technology

A capacitive touch screen panel is coated with a material that stores electrical charges. When the panel is touched, a small amount of charge is drawn to the point of contact. Circuits located at each corner of the panel measure the charge and send the information to the controller for processing. Capacitive touch screen panels must be touched with a finger unlike resistive and surface wave panels that can use fingers. Capacitive touch screens are not affected by outside elements and have high clarity.

Among this method’s advantages the foremost one is that it transmits almost 90% per cent of the light from the screen. The superior efficiency gives capacitive better than resistive technology.

The other two types are SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) and infrared. These two are relatively considered of less importance than the above two.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ruggedized Flat Panel LCD Displays

The product that I came across a few days ago seem to be all rounder it can be used at home or for industrial purposes. The product ensures long life for your electronic equipment and gives excellent protection to lat your product longer. All this means that you can go a little bit rugged on electronic products that you use.

The product offered by the company are defense against external materials including dust, water and moisture, which may damage electronics to a huge extent.

The ruggedized flat panel LCD displays that are developed for high reliability, shock and vibration tolerance, survival of high temperature, and corrosive environments. The product has a versatile IP grade mechanical design with full range 6.4” to 20.1” which makes the product to be strong and rugged, with rack and panel mounting feature makes it easier for adjustments also it is easily compatible with the newer LCD monitors and with the size availability it can be used with a variation of screens. The design makes integration of products with thermal and anti-vibratory system design thus taking care of your most important system by preventing them from moisture and dust. With such flexibility offered by the product it can be easily used or installed at various places like outdoor kiosk or a drive by ATM where the amount of dust and moisture often tend to be on the higher side. The industrial and factory automation areas are one of the most prone regions for dust moisture and small particles that fly around in the cutting areas IP is the ideal product to safe guard automated machine screen which get constantly bombarded. The added advantage of it been waterproof makes it better suited for such environments where there is a mix of technical and mechanical work.

The IP allows you to protect your valuable resources and extended their life period which invariably leads to higher productivity for business. It is a product that has been well thought out to make sure it give the maximum of benefits with the least cost something which is every product promises but the IP just delivers it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sunlight LCD Technology: (with Features & Specialties)

In general, people have to bear with really poor quality of display on the LCD with less than 500 nits* and 2 to 1 contrast ratio**. At i-Tech we are here with a contrast ratio** of 5 to 1 and a display with 1000 nits*. The display on screen of the LCD by i-Tech is completely visible and readable even in the strong sunlight. Due to this excellent image quality under the shade, this i-Tech LCD is highly recommended as the sunlight readable/outdoor readable in any indoor or outdoor environment.

*nit: a unit for Luminance: Brightness will be the simpler and better understandable term for anyone. Here ‘nits’ is to determine the perceived picture quality in an LCD. Our mind reacts quite positively to visually brighter objects. Brighter display on an LCD with 1000 nits will surely be with easier readability and more pleasant to human eyes comparing to a standard active-matrix LCD with a screen luminance around 250 nits. No doubt, outdoor or indoor, the sunlight readable LCD displaying on screen with more luminance looks more beautiful
Scientifically if one is interested to know deeply about it. A nit, the unit for hotopic brightness, is calculated in candelas per square meter (Cd/m2) or nits.
{In US, the British unit Foot-lamberts (fL) is also frequently used. To convert from fL to nits, just multiply the number in fL by 3.426 (i.e. 1 fL = 3.426 nits)}.

** Contrast ratio (CR):

This isn’t just one more determinant of brightness, it actually determines the sharpness and crispness of the perceived picture’s display quality on a screen under different circumstances. Definition-wise, Contrast ratio (CR) is the ratio of luminance between the brightest “white” and the darkest “black” that can be produced on a display. A printed glossy magazine could have color pictures with CR up to 15, to make them look better, than those in simple newspapers with the same resolution.

In a dark room with a CR of 300 to 700 any AMLCD, exhibits or displays picture quality pretty well. However, in an ambient illumination, the CR of such an LCD considerably reduces and goes down further to 2 in strong direct sunlight.

We may simply understand the whole thing by an example: A 200 nit standard LCD measured in a dark room has 300 CR, but will have less than a 2 CR under strong direct sunlight. The fact is that the surface glare increases the luminance by over 200 nits both on the white and the black that are produced on the display screen. Here the luminance of the white is somewhat over 400 nits, and the luminance of the black is more than 200 nits. The CR ratio then becomes less than 2 and the picture quality is drastically reduced.

This is where, the i-Tech sunlight readable LCDs differ totally. Brightened with 1500 nits, LCD screen gives a CR more than 8, with same glare under the strong direct sunlight. The resultant picture quality on screen of these units is surely much better.

Viewing Angle: Importance and relevance--The angle, at which the image quality of an LCD degrades completely and gets to be improper, for the projected purpose. With the physical movement of observer side ways to an LCD, the image on it degrades in three ways:
Ø Drop in
Ø Drop off Contrast ratio (at large angles)
Ø Shift in colors

Here the viewing angle’s definition is very much dependent on the application and type of LCD. Many manufactures take it as the angles where the CR (contrast ratio) is ^3 10; for simpler application CR goes down to ^3 5, for the viewing angle’s definition here.

For the outdoor application, the viewing angle of LCD cannot be defined based on CR alone; as the luminance drops below 200 nits under the bright ambient light. At i-Tech, we define viewing angle based on CR as well as luminance.

Inverters for your units:
Invertors, as an electronic circuit, convert DC voltage into AC voltage. CCFLs (Cold cathode fluorescent lamps) power all the LCD backlights, require invertors.
i-Tech Technology manufactures inverters for all its products. In addition, Applied Concepts and ERG provide inverters for our products, as well.

Importance of Dimming range:The capability of an inverter to
perform backlight luminance adjustment is its dimming range or dimming ratio.

Dimming range of the inverters used in notebook computers and LCD monitors is generally 10:1. That is, the luminance is adjusted from 100% down to about 10%.

In case of i-Tech Technology sunlight readable LCD modules, very high brightness backlights used are able to deal with the wider dimming range, i.e. 200:1. This wide choice of dimming ratio adjustment (100 to 0.5%) not only saves the LCD from remaining too bright in the night or dark. It also lengthens the backlight life and saves power, with the related thermal management issues.

Thermal management issues with i-Tech backlights
A Significant amount of power consumption for brighter backlight-system, LCD being used under sunlight, could be cause for concern. Nevertheless, temperature issues are very well handled here through proper thermal management design, in case of i-Tech manufactured units.