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Micro VGA Screen is Another Step Toward Displays Everywhere

While the world moves on to more advanced display tech, there’s still wiggle room to improve the old LCD system. Kopin Corp. has done exactly that–they’ve made a full-color VGA screen that’s just a quarter inch across.

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While the world moves on to more advanced display tech, there’s still wiggle room to improve the old LCD system. Kopin Corp. has done exactly that–they’ve made a full-color VGA screen that’s just a quarter inch across.

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The miniscule screen has a full 600 x 480 pixels and is just 0.27-inches on the diagonal. Kopin’s calling it the “smallest VGA color-filter liquid crystal display in the world,” and we’re not going to argue with them: Four of these stacked together would best a full 720p HDTV screen, and still be just about the size of a dime.

The company achieved the breakthrough by shrinking the dot-pitch of the screen–that’s the size of the pixel and the relative spacing between them–and that’s a tricky task because the pixels still have to reliably function, and all the transparent driving electronics needs to be fitted in too. In fact Kopin’s pixels are just 2.9 x 8.7 microns across. To give that a sense of scale, a human hair can be up to 100 microns across.

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What’s the point of such a technological advance? It’s just a step on the road to Kopin producing a 2048 x 2048 display the size of a postage stamp, according to the company. And that means that in a few years time the screen on the back of your DSLR could show a full-resolution preview of the photo you’ve just taken. It’s also another step along the road to a future where high-res color displays are embedded absolutely everywhere–as envisaged by Microsoft’s futurists in their vision for 2019.

[Kopin]

Related:
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Microsoft Moving Surface Off the Table and Into Your Home

About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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