Mitsubishi In The Round

October 31, 2007

On October 31, Mitsubishi Electric unveiled a 2-meter tall, 7.5-meter diameter panoramic display system consisting of synchronised rear-projection displays arranged in a wall that encircles the viewer. The 150 million yen ($1.3 million) system, which was built-to-order at the company’s Kyoto factory where it was unveiled, consists of 17 pairs of 67-inch panels arranged in a 340-degree near-circle — the 20-degree gap presumably allows the viewer to enter and exit the walk-in display. The system uses Texas Instruments Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology and has a total resolution of 27 million (1024 x 768 x 34) pixels.

At the unveiling, Mitsubishi said it will deliver the panoramic display system to the customer early next year, but the company was unwilling to say who the customer was or how they intend to use the display. However, Mitsubishi did say it hopes to begin selling the system as a virtual reality display for use at museums or in applications such as traffic simulations.

[Source: Iza!] Via Pink Tentacle

About Face

October 5, 2007

Mitsubishi Electric incorporated a function to estimate sex and the number of people into “gate-shape multi DLP,” a system composed of multiple DLP rear projectors installed in the shape of a gate, and exhibited the setup.

For example, it is expected to be used in an application where the gate-shape multi DLP is installed at the entrance of commercial facilities to display the information on the shop determined to be the most appropriate based on sex and the number of people who walk through it. Specifically, the system recommends a bar if a couple walks through it, while introducing a cafe if the passerby is a female.

Because the system has to provide information to passersby, the recognition speed is most crucial. In the demonstration, the system required 1/3 second for the face recognition. While the accuracy of recognition is important to a certain degree, in an actual application, “it is the way of outputting recognition results that matters,” said a demonstrator from Mitsubishi Electric.

In case of a false recognition, a female customer would be offended if the system indicated “you are a male.” No serious problems occur, however, if the system displays information on a restaurant preferred by both male and female. The company reportedly completed the technical development including the face recognition and further development toward commercialization, such as the evaluation of content, is ready to be initiated at the request of clients.

Sony announces OLED TV launch in December

October 4, 2007
LEDs Magazine – 04 Oct 2007
Sony will seed the OLED TV market with an 11-inch model priced at around $1700.

Sony has announced plans to launch the world’s first organic LED (OLED) television on December 1 this year, although in an era of giant 40-inch plus screens the XEL-1 will have a much more modest size of 11-inch diagonal. However, the XEL-1 is ultra-slim, with the screen measuring only 3 mm at its thinnest point. The retail list price is 200,000 yen (approx. $1700).

Sony says that its “Organic Panel” used in XEL-1, which has been in production since September 2007, provides advantages such as high contrast, high peak brightness, good color reproduction and rapid response time.

Sony’s move is seen as an attempt to plant a flag in the OLED TV market ahead of rivals such as Samsung and LG. Samsung demonstrated a 40-inch OLED TV over two years ago but has not moved the technology into production (see Samsung showcases first 40-inch OLED).

Sony says that the launch of XEL-1 represents “the first stage in Sony’s OLED TV business, and Sony will continue to advance its OLED TV development, while focusing on long-term business growth. Sony will also extend beyond its own OLED development and production, to leading the expansion of surrounding industries and the OLED market as a whole.”

Sony first began researching organic materials in 1994, and in 2004 launched mass production of small sized, full-color OLED panels that have been used commercially in mobile products. The company then positioned OLED as a key next-generation display device, and further accelerated its R&D of OLED technology.

The Organic Panel used in the XEL-1 combines many aspects of technology. Since OLEDs are self-emissive and do not require backlights, the Organic Panel consists of several hundred nanometers of organic material, with very thin glass panels on either side. This enables the very thin form-factor of the TV.

The OLED display is capable of reproducing very deep black levels, with a contrast level of 1,000,000:1, and the output can be controlled from zero to peak brightness. The “Super Top Emission” technology developed by Sony allows for efficient light emission from the organic materials, enabling very high peak brightness.

Sony has developed its own proprietary organic materials that enable “excellent” color reproduction, particularly for natural colors, and this can be sustained in scenes of lower brightness.

Since the light emitted from the organic material layer can spontaneously be turned on and off, OLED technology is capable of very rapid response times. Newly developed OLED drive circuits enable “XEL-1” to reproduce fast moving images such as sports scenes smoothly and naturally.

And finally, if that weren’t enough, the absence of a separate backlight means that OLED TVs consume extremely low levels of power compared with other display devices. The power consumption of XEL-1 is as low as 45W.

Cell Phone Alerts Keep Travellers on Track

October 3, 2007

Ceatec: Tech vendors team with Japanese railways to demonstrate new tracking service.

Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

Wednesday, October 03, 2007 5:00 AM PDT

There isn’t anything more frustrating when you ride a train than seeing your station whiz by, a blur through the windows, as you realize the express train you’re riding on isn’t making a stop there. In Japan, where there are sometimes four different types of express running on the same line it’s a common mistake, but technology promises to come to the rescue.

A prototype system developed by Mitsubishi Electric Co. Ltd. and East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) will send information to a user’s cell phone about the train they are traveling on, the scheduled stops, at what time it will reach each station and other information pertinent to the journey.

The system is on show at this week’s Ceatec exhibition in Chiba, Japan, and uses Sony Corp.’s Felica near-range communications system as a base. Felica is already embedded in many cell phones in Japan and is used by JR East for its IC-card commuter and travel passes. On the telephone a Java application is also required.

With the application running a communications session automatically begins when the phone is brought within a centimeter of a panel inside the train. Within a few seconds the phone contains a wealth of information about the train on which the user is riding, including the railway line name, the car number and its scheduled stops, said Tomoya Shirakashi, of Mitsubishi’s Transport system engineering department.

Additional information such as that on transfers and the wider railway network is available but is too heavy to be sent by the Felica system, so an infrared transmitter in the ceiling of the train carriage can send that down to phones.

JR East is already installing some Mitsubishi Electric developed systems in its trains. Those traveling on the Yamanote Line that loops Tokyo and the Chuo Line that runs west from the capital all have two LCD panels above each door. The right-hand panel displays information about the train route and scheduled stops, much like that to be sent on the cell phone system, while the left-hand panel shows advertising and other information.

A wireless LAN system has been introduced on the trains so that the latest information can be downloaded at stations. Recently the left-hand screen also began running news reports from cable news channels. The reports are pushed to the trains as they pull into stations.

JR East hasn’t decided on a roll-out plan for the new cell phone information service but development is now complete and the operator is considering a launch schedule, said Takayuki Matsumoto, of JR East’s research and development center.

Matsumoto said the rail operator hopes the new service will be especially useful for passengers who don’t understand Japanese or English, the two languages currently used on the in-car LCD monitors. The cell phone system can be customized to offer information in additional languages such as Korean and Chinese.