The era of laptop users being forced indoors on sunny days because they can't read their screens in bright light is coming to an end, according to Trivium Technologies.
The company is developing a thin, flexible, polymer film that will improve the quality of LCD screens, the first passive film technology of its kind, according to Trivium.
The Trivium Diodic Lens, a film placed behind the LCD, allows 100 percent of backlight to be transmitted and remains 85 percent reflective, according to Timothy Wojciechowski, chief executive officer of Trivium. This allows for a clear, readable screen under bright, outdoor lighting.
The film also optimises ambient light--which accounts for 90 percent of available light--so less power consumption is needed in low light and/or night time conditions. The lens will "increase battery life by 200 percent," Wojciechowski says, adding that "the display uses 60 percent of the battery."
Currently, LCD screens are limited by the amount of reflected light, transmitted light, or both that can simultaneously be used to create an image. Besides saving power, the new technology will ease user eyestrain.
Costs to the consumer for the new technology will be minimal, amounting to less than 5 percent of the cost of an LCD screen, the company said in a written statement.
Trivium expects the lens to be used across LCD markets, including handheld devices such as PDAs, cellular phones, and car navigation systems. Commercial production is expected to begin by October 2001, according to Wojciechowski.