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Here Come the Lasers

It may surprise some to learn that the next big thing in displays might have nothing to do with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Prysm, a private company founded in 2005, recently unveiled its own technology of the future?laser phosphor display (LPD).

It may surprise some to learn that the next big thing in displays might have nothing to do with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Prysm, a private company founded in 2005, recently unveiled its own technology of the future–laser phosphor display (LPD). The company debuted it this month at Integrated Systems Europe and hinted that products could be ready by InfoComm 2010 in June.

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LPD technology uses a laser engine to excite phosphors on a surface-emissive screen (see below), causing them to emit red, green, and blue colors and produce a high-resolution image. The phosphors are contained within an element of the panel that protects them from exposure to pressure and other factors, preserving a long lifespan, according to the company. The lasers modulate at a 240-Hz refresh rate while scanning the phosphors, which, according to Dana Corey, vice president of sales and marketing for Prysm, eliminates motion blur. But image quality isn't the only thing LPD may have over current display technologies: as designed, it also boasts an energy efficiency that could surpass all others.

"If you look at LCDs, plasmas, projection, [they're] constantly overdriving the image to drive up brightness. They have so much light fallout," Corey explains. "[With LPD], we are able to aim the laser at the phosphors and have an efficiency of light-output-to-screen that is unseen. Nearly 100 percent of the light that comes out goes to the surface."

According to Corey, that helps make LPD technology completely flexible in the size and brightness it can support, with no measured maximum or minimum lumens or resolution. As a result, LPD can be used for mobile phone displays or billboards in Times Square, the company says.

In wasting very little light, LPD also wastes little energy. According to the company, LPD technology consumes the energy of a 100W light bulb per square meter–approximately 75 percent less wattage than competing technologies. LPD also runs cool, says Corey, at a low 110 volts of power, eliminating the need for external cooling devices.

When could the technology show up in pro applications? Prysm says it's already been seeding the market with samples and plans to license LPD technology to partner manufacturers. But don't rule out the appearance of a Prysm-branded product. The company is that confident it's onto something big.



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