Electronic Visualization for the Next Century

  • Everything Old Is New Again: Goodbye To The VCR

    October 20, 2016

    This past summer, the Funai Corporation of Japan decided to stop manufacturing videocassette recorders (VCRs) after several decades, citing their inability to source parts as the reason. What’s that you say? You didn’t even know anyone was STILL making VCRs in 2016? A reporter for the Washington Post was referred to me by The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for some pithy quotes about the demise of the VCR, which had its debut in the United States 40 years ago this past summer. Yes, the ½” videocassette format has been around for some time, with the most popular iteration being the VHS format developed by Japan Victor Corporation, better known as JVC. Sony also had a ½” videocassette format for home use called Betamax, and in many ways, it was a better way to record and watch TVs shows along with movies. But Sony’s insistence at keeping Betamax a proprietary format (a la Apple with Mac OS and iOS) eventually doomed it. In contrast, JVC..Read more

  • OLEDs Can Fold. So What?

    October 17, 2016

    The idea that a folding OLED display will somehow revolutionize portable product design and create a volcanic market expansion periodically raises its ill-conceived head. A recent occurance was the presentation by UBI Research president Choon Hoon Yi at IMID 2016 in Jeju entitled "Flexible OLED Opens New Digital Convergence." Yi's "digital convergence era" refers to the convergence of phone and tablet, in which the screen can be completely folded and unfolded, allowing a 5-inch phone screen to become tablet sized. Is it possible to develop OLED displays so flexible they can be said to fold? Yes. Is it then plausible that such a display can be integrated into a "convergence" product that consumers will actually buy in large numbers? That part is questionable. The foldable concept most people seem to think of is shown in this photo of a 2013 Samsung design demonstration. The display inside the folder wraps around both halves to make the double-sized display when the folder is opene..Read more