Liquavista is a display start-up company between New Venture Partners (NVP) and Philips based in the UK. The company is developing (or have developed?) a electro-wetting display technology that becomes brighter in direct sunlight instead of the current situation of not being able to see the display very well or not at all. It is a reflective technology that reflects ambient light to luminate the display. Naturally, the more ambient light to reflect, the brighter the display is going to be. Nothing new there. Other companies are trying to solve the problem of sunlight readability such as Qualcomm’s iMoD technology that was originally inspired by the light reflecting phenomenon found in butterflies. Back to electro-wetting: simply put, by using the naturally ocurring phases (hydrophobic, dhyrophilic) of water and oil regulated by voltage, the ambient light is either reflected or aborbed. A technical white paper can be found here.
There are many factors that are contributing toward R&D in power consumption of mobile displays: display sizes are getting larger as more information need to be seen, more colors are required, the display must respond quickly due to multimedia content such as video and gaming, etc. These all add up to more power consumption.
Liquavista is currently located in Philips’ research campus in Eindhoven but is planning to make a move toward the Cambridge area and has the possibility of making a positive impact on the East of England display technology cluster. Mark Gostick, a founding member of Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), has been given the post of CEO.