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Sharp’s New Five-Color LCD Displays 99% of Visible Colors, But Not on Your TV

LCDs may be on the verge of being superseded by OLED tech, but Sharp still found room for innovation. The electronics company just released news about a new invention–an LCD that can generate 99% of the colors you can see on real surfaces.

LCDs may be on the verge of being superseded by OLED tech, but Sharp still found room for innovation. The electronics company just released news about a new invention–an LCD that can generate 99% of the colors you can see on real surfaces.

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Sharp LCE Colors


Simple LCDs have sub-pixel elements arranged to generate red, green or blue spots of light–the classic RGB arrangement that also makes OLEDs and older cathode-ray displays work. It’s a great solution, and it lets the whole pixel generate colors that cover a lot of the available spectrum, though not all of it. Sharp’s innovation has been to create an LCD that has five sub-pixel colors instead of three: cyan and yellow join red, green and blue. If those two colors sound familiar, it’s because typically your color inkjet printer will have cyan, yellow, magenta and black–it uses a combination of these colors instead of RGB to generate its full-color printouts.

What Sharp has done is effectively combine the RGB of standard LCDs with the CY of the CMYK color standard used by printers–with the result that the new screen can generate an enormously extended range of colors very accurately. Sharp points out that the new device is particularly good at generating emerald blue, golden yellow and crimson red, which are hard to correctly generate using RGB alone…they’re the colors found in the sea, brass instruments and classic red roses. In fact, the screen can generate 99% of the surface colors discernible by the unaided human eye.

The monitor is a chunky 60-inches across, and comes in 1920-by-1080 full-HD resolution with a contrast ratio of 2000:1. And though you probably won’t see one in your living room anytime soon, Sharp sees the tech as finding uses where accurate color reproduction is critical–such as industrial design, photography and graphic design, digital archiving and network-enabled remote medical care: after all, you’d like the doctor to be able to see the exact hue of the rash you’ve suddenly developed. Though there’s no info on pricing or release, Sharp is showing the tech at the Society for Information Display conference in Texas next week.

[via Sharp

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