Japan Display, a leading LCD development company co-owned by of Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, has just announced a new LCD panel designed specifically for the smartwatch market. In particular, the panel aims to limit the display’s impact on the battery life of compact wearable products.
The display has a resolution of 320 x 300 and a diameter of 1.34-inches (3.4 cm). JDI boasts that the display requires less than 0.5 percent of the power typically consumed by a smartphone or smartwatch LCD display. That’s certainly an impressive energy saving, which appears to be accomplished by moving over to a reflective LCD technology.
Rather than typical transflective LCDs, reflective designs do not require a back-light, which is responsible for most of a LCD display’s energy consumption. Instead, it relies on ambient light and should provide excellent colors in bright conditions, even outdoors. However, this type of display performs poorly in low light conditions. JDI’s technology seems similar to Qualcomm’s Mirasol display seen in the Toq smartwatch.
The first samples of JDI’s new display will be made available in March, with mass production scheduled to begin in July. Products featuring this new display could arrive on the market sometime in late 2015.