If OLED and AMOLED researchers thought that the established display technologies would lie down and die without a fight, they've a surprise coming. Funai's Electric Advanced Applied Technology Research Institute has developed an LCD display that requires no active backlighting, no thin-film transistors (TFTs) and requires just 1-percent of the power per square centimeter than traditional LCD panels.
The system uses color-changing dyes that flip when current is applied. Funai have coupled that with an 80-percent reflective panel - compared to standard outdoor-viewable LCDs, which are only around 50-percent reflective - meaning that the display requires just 0.16MW of electricity per square centimeter. The absence of a backlight and TFTs means it's also cheaper to make: one third of the cost, Funai are saying.
Picture quality is apparently on a par with printed characters on paper. Funai plan to commercialize the technology in 2009, with displays initially ranging from seven to fourteen inches. The company website is pretty bare of details right now, though.