HP Labs Holographic 3D Display

Katherine Bourzac, MIT Technology Review:

A new kind of three-dimensional display developed at HP Labs plays hologram-like videos without the need for any moving parts or glasses. Videos displayed on the HP system hover above the screen, and viewers can walk around them and experience an image or video from as many 200 different viewpoints—like walking around a real object.

Jony Ive Pushing Flat Design for iOS

Jessica E. Lessin, The Wall Street Journal:

Some suggested that in Apple’s next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more “flat design” that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn’t have further details. Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative.

If flat means simpler and more elegant, I’m all for it, but most important is a more intuitive design.

Your Next Smartphone Screen May Be Made of Sapphire

Kevin bullis, MIT Technology Review:

Manufactured sapphire—a material that’s used as transparent armor on military vehicles—could become cheap enough to replace the glass display covers on mobile phones. That could mean smartphone screens that don’t crack when you drop them and can’t be scratched with keys, or even by a concrete sidewalk.

Among natural materials only diamonds are harder than sapphire. Compared to Gorilla Glass sapphire is roughly 3x stronger and 3x more scratch resistant.

4K2K LCD TV Panel Shipments to Reach 2.6M in 2013

NPD DisplaySearch:

TFT LCD panel suppliers are forecast to ship 2.6 million 4K×2K LCD TV panels (also known as Ultra HD) worldwide in 2013, up more than 40-fold from 63 thousand in 2012.

According to David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch Vice President, Greater China Market, Innolux has been the most aggressive 4K2K LCD manufacturer with sizes ranging from 39 inches to 85. Other 4K2K LCD suppliers include: AUO, LG Display, Samsung, and Sharp.

HTC One Delayed

Florence Ion, Ars Technica:

The delays can be attributed to shortages in metal casings and camera parts.

Presumably the reason for these shortages is because component suppliers do not consider HTC a tier-one customer. That’s too bad, if true. I think the HTC One sports one of the smartest designs on a smartphone. I also respect HTC’s decision to buck the trend of adding more meaningless pixels to the image sensor and instead making the pixels bigger.

Netflix Expects 4K Streaming Within One or Two Years

Greg Sandoval, The Verge:

Streaming will be the best way to get the 4K picture into people’s homes. That’s because of the challenges involved in upgrading broadcast technologies and the fact that it isn’t anticipated within the Blu-ray disc standard. Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K. 4K will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else.

Looking forward to it.

Samsung Galaxy S4: No Design Innovation

Business Insider: President of HTC North America, Mike Woodward:

“It feels very iterative. It looks a lot like the Galaxy S III,” Woodward said of the GS4. “We were pleased to see no innovation in the design itself.”

I hate to say it, but for a big chunk of potential smartphone buyers it’s about marketing. Samsung’s marketing is stupid and at times sexist, even misogynistic, but it is effective in selling. Design innovation is not necessary to sell a lot of smartphones. Unfortunate, but true. Just wait and see, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will outsell the HTC One, and a lot of other better designed smartphones.