Vibrating cellphones and emergency sirens are clues that help us act, but user feedback doesn’t really come alive until its visual.
Displays have come a long way in the recent years. Not many years ago it was more a question of should we include a display. Today one could argue that the question is more in the direction of which display technology and how large should the display be.
Flexible display platforms
«The real challenge isn’t just choosing between LCD and AMOLED or any number of other technologies. It’s not about fitting the display into the design either. The challenge is creating a useful interface on a flexible platform» says Karl Andersen, Senior Engineer at NXTech, explaining how the usefulness of a display really is about more than the ability to display information. «The CityMotion Project is a good example of how we approach displays. In an electric vehicle that’s founded on the idea of versatile use , we are able to supply a central display providing the driver with relevant information — in all states of using the vehicle. While you are driving the display can show the basic functions like speed, battery capacity status and so on. But when the car is standing still, it can display traffic information or where to find an available parking. And when the driver gets in the car, the display can remind you to put the seatbelt on and at the same time pop up your favorite play list» Andersen continues. Through the CityMotion project NXTech is geared towards supplying the e-vehicle industry with displays capable of a wide array of tasks.
Being the rich interface it is, displays come in a variety of ways. The display panels themselves are usually wholesale products, but for a long time the underlyingcircuitry has been custom made for each and every product. Taking a new approach, NXTech is about to change that. «A customer presented us with a need to hook up a standalone connector device to a tablet. Originally we suggested an complete integrated device with both the connectors and the tablet function, but the requirements of making the device flexible to upgrade CPU capacity the project turned out too expensive. We quickly realized though that this was the way to go, but we had to reduce the project cost» says Andersen. «The solution came in using a module with the micro controller and its necessary circuitry. For our client this meant that the connection board could be the same and only the replaceable module had to be produced in variants, which will reduce the production cost and board variants ».
High quality, right cost
«We have long experience working with displays», says Tore Karlsen, hinting at his own and his colleagues’ years of designing projectors as key employees in Ask and InFocus. «This experience is something our clients value, because it helps us reach the optimal solution faster. Less time deciding on technology, and more time focused towards creating the best possible product. And when designing, we always start with consider the cost aspect of the product — because we know that cost is one of the main factors in bringing an idea into reality».