The prototype still-image display unveiled at London’s National Gallery this week looked far from ready for the high street, but Hewlett-Packard is confident that the revolutionary liquid-crystal display technology it has developed will ultimately lead to ultra high-resolution flat screens ranging in size from a magazine page to an advertising billboard. What is more, they will use far less power than ordinary LCD screens, and can be made using cheap printing technology.
Giant TV screens that hang on the wall have already escaped from the lab, and electronic displays have appeared as small e-book screens, but they cannot match the resolution of the colour printing process used in magazines and books.
Conventional computer screens can only manage 1600 by 1200 pixels, and even high-definition TV displays create their images with an array of 1920 by 1080 pixels at best. Now, HP reckons it can make an A4-sized screen with 7000 by 5000 pixels – matching the quality of a glossy magazine. HP says it will be able to replicate this quality on screens all the way up to large electronic posters and billboards.