Top News from Leading Digital Manufacturing Solution Providers
December 10, 2012
LCD Contacts Put Dollar Signs in UGent's Eyes
Ever wish you could change your eye color on demand? Researchers at the Centre of Microsystems Technology (CMST), IMEC's associated lab at Ghent University in Belgium, have unveiled a working prototype of a curved LCD display thin enough to embed within a contact lens. This breakthrough could pave the way for augmented reality contact lenses, featuring heads-up displays, built-in sunglasses and iris-color changes in the blink of an eye.
Until now, the stumbling block to integrating electronic displays into contacts has been the spherical curve of the lens. “Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one,” explains researcher Jelle De Smet from IMEC's lab at Ghent University. “Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes. Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display.”
While there has been research into integrating LEDs into contact lenses, researchers and Ghent and IMEC believe their breakthrough shows more promise because LCDs can be integrated into the entire display surface, whereas LED displays of this type are limited to only a few pixels. They hope the technology will prove valuable both to the medical and cosmetic fields, offering sun protection to maintain eye health while being able to enhance the user's natural eye color.
Currently, though, the display is limited in its capabilities. The dollar sign pattern demonstrated on the current prototype looks more like the display on a graphing calculator than the images advertised on Apple's Retina Display (which, ironically, has nothing to do with contact lens displays).
However, their ambition extends far beyond this first prototype. “Now that we have established the basic technology,” says Professor Herbert De Smet, supervisor at CMST, “we can start working towards real applications, possibly available in only a few years time.”
But with a breakthrough like this, it looks as though Ghent University researchers may be the ones with dollar signs in their eyes.
Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal. Read more...
On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology. Read more...
GPU maker NVIDIA has ratcheted up the core count and clock speed on its Tesla GPU processor. The new M2090 module for servers delivers 665 double precision gigaflops, representing close to a 30 percent increase over the previous generation Tesla part. The memory bandwidth on the device was bumped up as well, from 150 GB/second to 178 GB/second. The new GPU boosts performance significantly across a number of HPC codes. Read more...
07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.
06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.