Qualcomm and Pixtronix developing different display technologies to help conserve power on phones
You might have a phone with the most powerful camera, largest touchscreen display, loudest built-in speakers, and brightest flash, but one thing still makes it equal to most other handsets out in the market: its weak battery life.
It’s a plague that most handset makers (indeed, most electronic product makers) still face to this day. Many predict that even in ten years’ time, we’ll still be suffering from the short battery life of our gadgets.
It’s a problem that can’t seem to be solved. Fortunately, there are companies who realize that extending battery life isn’t the only answer to our problems: reducing the power consumption of gadgets will also work.
Qualcomm and Pixtronix are two on the case, and both are currently working on their own display technologies that would reduce battery consumption and help us all out in the future.
Qualcomm’s subsidiary, Qualcomm MEMS technologies, takes pride in its work called “mirasol.” Taken literally, it’s a display technology that works by reflecting the sun, or more specifically, making use of the light that’s available around it.
A digitally controlled, microelectro-mechanical system (or MEMS) is what makes this display technology work. Tiny mirrorlike optical structures in the MEMS of Qualcomm’s mirasol displays selectively reflect red, green or blue light to form an image. It is low-power because it makes use of ambient light, and should also be inexpensive to make.
Meanwhile, Pixtronix has PerfectLight, their own version of a new display technology that uses MEMS. Pixtronix puts energy-efficient LED bulbs to work with PerfectLight, and creates images on the display with thousands of tiny shutters that slide open and closed like digital pocket doors.
The VP of Pixtronix touts that their display technology only takes one-fourth the power consumption of LCDs. If that isn’t energy efficient, I don’t know what is.
Both companies are expected to license their display technologies to manufacturers, and the extent of this technology’s use will be up to manufacturers.