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Vision of the future

08.11.2004


A revolutionary new invention in optics which will lead to the production of energy efficient, low cost, high performance, large flat screens for information displays, educational displays and ultimately home cinema/TV, could soon be on the way thanks to NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) - the organisation that champions UK creativity and innovation.



A small Cambridge-based start-up, CamFPD, have received an investment of £150,000 from NESTA to help them develop a prototype of their Wedge® technology to engage major corporate customers. The market for consumer displays is huge. For displays between 50 and 100 inches in diagonal is projected to exceed more than £10 billion in sales by 2009.

Applying well-known laws of optics in a new way, the Wedge® concept will be the first technology to break the compromise between unit cost, unit size and shape which has been the immutable part of the displays industry until now. To date, displays have either been thin and expensive, or bulky and affordable.


The Wedge® technology allows an image from a normal digital video projector to be shown on a large flat, or slightly curved, panel of plastic or glass, by projection from the edge of the panel rather than from the front. At about 2 cm thick, the resulting display is far thinner than a conventional television and will cost far less than comparable liquid crystal or plasma screens. Also the technology does not suffer from the ergonomic shortcomings of front projection systems which need to be able to project light unobstructed from the projector to the screen.

The display panel can be made of glass or plastic, either of which is readily and fully recyclable in contrast to the components found in other large display technologies. Also, the power consumption of a Wedge® display will be about one third of a similar size LCD display and an even smaller fraction of a plasma screen.

Mark White, NESTA Invention and Innovation Director, said: “We are delighted to be investing in technology that could revolutionise the displays industry, making large, flat-screen products affordable to the man on the street. NESTA exists to offer the much-needed seed investment to get ideas like this off the ground.”

Hannah Daws | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nesta.org.uk

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