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Round Screen LCDs Take Us Back

Before the visiplate, the vision plate, the tele-screen (but not before the kinetiscope appliance), there was the 1928 G.E. Scanning Disk Television set.


(1928 G.E. Scanning Disk Television set)

Since then, everybody seemed to want rectangular screens. Flat rectangular screens. Giant flat rectangular screens.

Finally, Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology has announced a return to sanity - and circularity. Their new round screen liquid crystal display is just 2.4 inches in diameter.


(Round LCD from Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology)

How did they do that?

Historically, TFT LCDs have been designed in a rectangular format, due to the electronic connections and configuration needed to externally control the pixels at the intersections of electrodes arranged in horizontal and vertical directions. In the newly developed display, the peripheral driving circuit is integrated on to the glass, using TMD's proprietary LTPS technology, which enables a drastic reduction in the number of external points required for electrical connection. The result is a display module that is round for approximately three-quarters of its circumference, thus it is nearly completely round in shape.

The intent of the new display is to replace the standard speedometer or tachometer gauge found in automobile dashboards.

And it really is the kind (and shape and size) of screen that H.G. Wells had in mind when he wrote When the Sleeper Wakes in 1899:

He flicked out a little appliance the size and appearance of a keyless watch, whirled the knob, and behold -- a little figure in white appeared kinetoscope fashion on the dial, walking and turning...
(Read more about Wells' Kinetiscope Appliance )

Via Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2007)

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