Sharp tackles reflected light with ‘moth eye’ LCD

MAKUHARI, Japan — Sharp Corp. says it has a solution for reflected light that distorts images displayed on large screens: a “moth eye” approach used on LCD to minimize screen reflection. The technology was showcased here this week at CEATEC, Japan’s…

MAKUHARI, Japan — Sharp Corp. says it has a solution for reflected light that distorts images displayed on large screens: a “moth eye” approach used on LCD to minimize screen reflection. The technology was showcased here this week at CEATEC, Japan’s largest consumer electronics show.

Reflections caused by sun and room light have become increasingly problematic as TV displays become larger and larger. Sharp applied an anti-reflecting coating to its LCD panels based on technology similar to the nanostructure of a moth’s eyes.

Scientists have long understood that moth eyes have a special property that eliminates reflection. The surface of a moth’s eyes is covered with bumps and valleys that absorb oncoming light, enhancing night vision.

Leveraging its own nanostructure technology, Philips, also has already developed a moth-eye filter for its 36-inch 3-D TV. The Dutch company says the technique deepens the blackness of dark tones while increasing the lightness of bright elements. This is accomplished without disturbing halos or reflections. Unlike conventional anti-reflection technology, Sharp’s claimed its new LCD offers more vivid color images and higher contrast. It demonstrated 80-, 70- and 60-inch moth eye panels at CEATEC based on its Aquos large-screen TVs.  In a side-by-side comparison, the center image shows the moth eye anti-reflection filter.Moth eye panel technology also can be applied to display screens. The glass on the left is displayed using the moth eye filter. Sharp said its panel technology is ready for deployment in commercial products for indoor use.  However, it still needs to be optimized for outdoor displays, a spokesman said.Some consumers prefer glare panels, but screen reflection often distorts displayed images. Non-glare panels are another approach, but they often lack contrast. “We think the moth eye panel can address both issues,” the spokesman said. —Makoto Nishisaka is an editor of EE Times Japan. (Additional reporting by Junko Yoshida)                      Related stories:Display optical coatings and films will grow to nearly $10 billion in revenues by 2019, says NanoMarketsToyota’s Insect EV: Car or gadget?