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Casio Shows Off “Transmissive” LCD

Blame it on translation error, but Casio’s [TYO:6952] badly-named "Blanview" LCD technology doesn’t sound all that interesting. The name belies the fact that the new LCDs have the potential to be a small breakthrough in mobile computing. They’re "transmissive," meaning they can pull in exterior light to allow the pixels to be viewable, making them usable without a backlight in bright settings. Traditional LCDs need their backlights cranked all the way up to compete with sunlight, which obscures their colors and makes them appear dark.

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Blame it on translation error, but Casio’s [TYO:6952] badly-named “Blanview” LCD technology doesn’t sound all that interesting. The name belies the fact that the new LCDs have the potential to be a small breakthrough in mobile computing. They’re “transmissive,” meaning they can pull in exterior light to allow the pixels to be viewable, making them usable without a backlight in bright settings. Traditional LCDs need their backlights cranked all the way up to compete with sunlight, which obscures their colors and makes them appear dark. This, of course, eats up battery life, making most laptops poorly suited to outdoor uses. To boot, the reduced requirement for backlighting supposedly equals a 50% power savings over traditional LCDs, according to Casio. Apparently, these Blanviews are moving quickly to production; Casio claims that small models from 2.7- to 6.5-inches will begin shipping this month.

About the author

I've written about innovation, design, and technology for Fast Company since 2007. I was the co-founding editor of FastCoLabs

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