A look at tech trends for electronic displays, including machine learning and virtual reality

By Warren Miller, contributing writer

It seems as
if all forms of consumer electronics are evolving into multimedia platforms
from phones and MP3 players to home digital assistants and smart TVs. Obviously,
electronic displays are essential to any multimedia experience. Here are five of the biggest trends in commercial technology
currently affecting the display market, according to a report by the Society for Information Display (SID)

Getting back
to digital assistants for the home and/or office, artificial intelligence (AI)
and machine learning tech is one of the most rapidly growing markets in
consumer electronics. Most of the world’s biggest tech conglomerates have made
forays into this sector, with giants like Amazon and Google leading the way. Amazon’s
newest iteration of its digital assistant, the Echo Show, is capable of
streaming TV shows, making video calls via Skype or other similar applications,
and even displaying digital photos. Streaming video seems to be an integral
component of all commercial electronic devices, both now and in the future. 

Image source: Pixabay.

Virtual and
augmented reality (VR and AR, respectfully) systems are another swiftly
expanding area in consumer electronics, requiring the most detailed and vivid
displays to create a world for their users to not only see, but experience. Not
just limited to gaming, VR and AR provides opportunities to take virtual tours
of potential real estate purchases or virtual test drives of automobiles.

Interactive
self-service stations and kiosks are also becoming ubiquitous at airports,
shopping centers, and hotels. Video displays and touch-screens guide users
through procedures that no longer require human interaction – the proliferation
of this kind of automation seems inevitable, so much so that it doesn’t seem
farfetched to check in and out of a hotel without ever encountering a living,
breathing employee in the near future.

Displays are
being incorporated more frequently into automobiles, both of the autonomous and
more traditional variety. Family-sized vans and SUVs with video displays in the
rear sections, ostensibly for kids to zone out and watch movies/TV while their
parents enjoy some merciful downtime, have been available for years. Now
automotive manufacturers are incorporating video displays into center consoles
and dashboards, possibly acknowledging that the future of autonomous driving
will necessarily include mechanisms to divert the attention of passengers while
they sit back and let the cars do the work.

Education is
another realm in which video displays, be they on laptops, tablets or electronic
readers, are being more commonly incorporated. China has been on the forefront
of using electronic textbooks, or eSchoolbooks, in educational environments. Although
there’s some debate over whether staring into a digital display could be
harmful to the developing eyes of young children, the “flat” backgrounds
offered by eReaders like the Amazon Kindle may provide a solution. Digital
writing surfaces are also being used more frequently to teach art and design,
as they provide a more portable and sustainable alternative to more traditional
materials.

It doesn’t
take an explosion of imagination to foresee a future in which almost everything
powered by electricity, be it a home appliance, a piece of wearable technology
or even a child’s toy, will incorporate a video display. As all consumer
electronics move closer and closer to becoming immersive multimedia platforms,
digital displays will be in anything and everything.