Displays have become ubiquitous in our society. We find them in smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, drive through restaurants, ATM machines, thermostats, gas station pumps…the list is endless. Even still, there are notable negative impacts of displays which we have become accustomed to – excessive power consumption, subpar viewability in bright sunlight, and poor health effects.
Similar to how a Kindle e-book works, Azumo displays are easily seen in bright outdoor environments (right). Traditional displays used in many mobile devices (left) are hard to read in bright sunlight.
Azumo’s mission is to deliver on the promise of LCD 2.0TM to make displays more energy-efficient, effective, and eye-safe for all.
LCD 2.0TM combines the benefits of a Kindle display (easy to see in the sun, multi-week battery life, easy on the eyes for extended viewing) with all the benefits of an iPad display (full color, video, high resolution).
Have you ever tried working on your laptop on your deck during a bright, sunny day? Or tried reading a text message on your phone while walking on the sidewalk? If you’re like many of us, you either gave up because the glare on the screen was so bad or you maxed out the display brightness only to find your battery dead hours earlier than planned. Many people don’t realize that the #1 power drain in most mobile electronics is the display. The reason is because the lighting of the display is fighting with your surroundings. Bright surroundings = bright display = more energy consumed. Not only is constant recharging an annoyance but it is becoming increasingly more important to energy-conscious consumers. To solve this problem, Azumo developed a technology that is enabling the future of LCD. Their advanced materials work alongside existing LCD manufacturing processes and makes these displays more energy efficient, more effective at viewing in the sun, and provides both adults and children with a more natural way to look at our screens. As a growth staged Chicago startup, Azumo has built a global supply chain anchored in the Midwest and has amassed a strong patent portfolio with over 60+ patents globally.
Azumo displays, named LCD 2.0TM, have now been installed in over 300,000 units and have been improving user experience and extending battery life on devices ranging from consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial applications, and beyond.
How it Works & Why LCD2.0TM is so important
In the display world, there are three types of display technologies – Emissive, Transmissive, and Reflective. Emissive displays (OLED and MicroLED) emit light when electricity is applied to their material. As ambient light gets brighter, the display must get brighter to be visible.
Transmissive displays are dominated by LCDs. Pixels within traditional LCDs operate like shutters, opening and closing to either allow light through or block it altogether. A backlight, which is a glowing LED panel, is behind the LCD to push the light through the pixels. This approach has been used for decades but only allows 7% of the light through, meaning 90%+ is trapped behind the pixels – a complete waste of energy! This gets even worse when the LCD must go outside and be seen in direct sunlight.
To overcome this power drain, LCD manufacturers created the third category of displays – Reflective. They removed the backlight and replaced it with reflective material allowing the display to work by using reflected light from the ambient environment. This reduces power consumption by over 90% compared to Emissive or Transmissive displays! The Kindle e-reader is an example of a reflective display, which looks great in the sun and has a 3+ week battery life.
The challenge with Reflective LCDs is that the industry hasn’t been able to produce a way to light the display in the dark. Reflective LCDs require extremely precise front lighting in order to work and a solution has never been found. Until Azumo…
Azumo’s technology can deliver light from a single LED through their patented optical material. This enables the full promise of LCD 2.0TM — combining all the benefits of a Kindle display (easy to see in the sun, multi-week battery life, easy on the eyes for extended viewing) with all the benefits of an iPad display (full color, video, high resolution).
This is a game changer for the display industry and is coming at a crucial time for society as we find ourselves working/reading/learning from anywhere and everywhere.
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